NKOTBSB | 7.19.11

The mix of nostalgia with the much more mature and sometimes naughty nature of both bands leaves you feeling like you just experienced the world’s largest bachelorette party.



Nothing says nostalgia more than seeing your favorite childhood boy band over 20 years later; especially when that boy band is the New Kids on the Block. Arguably the boy band that set the bar for all boy bands to come, the NKOTB packed stadiums across the world throughout the late 80s to the early 90s. Twenty-five years later, the NKOTB, with a little help from the Backstreet Boys, came close to packing the Scottrade Center once again last Tuesday night.

It was obvious from the moment you stepped into the Scottrade Center this was not your average boy band concert. Instead of thousands of teenie boppers filing in to swoon over their favorite heartthrob the seats were jammed pack full of 20 and 30 year olds, some with their own children in toe.

Opening for the NKOTBSB was Glee singer and actor Matthew Morrison. His entrance included a short video intro featuring fellow Glee cast member Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester, plastered on the jumbo screens before performing his set. Morrison, who plays the high school glee teacher, originally announced his own tour earlier this year before quickly canceling in order to open for the NKOTBSB. His set included an array of songs performed on Glee as well as some of his own work featured on his self-entitled debut album. Some of these songs included “Gold Digger” by Kanye West, “Sway” recently done by Michael Buble, and “Don’t Stop Dancing” an original written by Morrison. The crowd went crazy from the moment he stepped on stage and without a doubt were as ecstatic to see him as they were to see the main acts. The sweat pouring through his white dress shirt was proof enough he was giving his all in his performance.

By the time the main acts came out the crowd was pumped and ready, however, a comeback tour of this size just wouldn’t have been much fun without the dramatic introduction. After about five to ten minutes of scrolling NKOTBSB marquee graphics went by in every font imaginable all seven silhouettes descended from the ceiling. Performing together a mash-up of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and a couple of their own songs, the entire night consisted of creative mixes. Some of the music heard intertwined with their songs included Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” mixed with BSB’s “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”, and others. If you’re a NKOTB fan the inclusion of these songs really brought back memories of the late 80s in general, not just the NKOTB, making the show even more amazing.

Half way through the show both groups took a moment to acknowledge the two generations present in the stadium that night. Almost ten years apart, the NKOTB and BSB had brought in two generations of fans. Another undeniable factor was the heat. Well past sundown, it was still over 100 degrees outside. Scottrade Center’s air conditioner was no match for the heat outside and inside. NKOTBSB took the time to wind up the crowd, commenting how hot and sexy St. Louis women are, and wound the intermission up by blasting Nelly’s “Hot In Here” while dancing for the estrogen-infested crowd.

Having performed “Right Stuff”  at the beginning of the show, both groups came out at the end in original NKOTB street attire and performed “Hangin’ Tough” – inciting everyone to throw their hands up in the air from side to side in classic NKOTB style. It was the perfect ending to such an amazing night.

While NKOTB and BSB may not be top 40 names anymore their shows are still immense. The mix of nostalgia with the much more mature and sometimes naughty nature of both bands leaves you feeling like you just experienced the world’s largest bachelorette party – a definite not to be missed, once-in-a-lifetime experience for every girl of the 80s. | Jennifer Manjarez

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