NKOTBSB – Rogers Arena – July 9/10, 2010
Two boyband eras collided in spectacular fashion over the weekend to bring to stage one of the biggest shows in Vancouver for a long while. The combined catalogue of New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys could have been cranking out hots well beyond the very precise 2hours and 45 minute long set. With the addition of two opening acts, Neverest and Matthew Morrison (Glee), the audience certainly got their money’s worth, from the crowd reaction, no one left disappointed with the show they’d just been part of. I say ‘part of’ as the two groups were very interactive with the audience and the stage was set with a long catwalk out into a centre stage so they performed equally amongst the crowd as on the main stage. For one set, the Backstreet Boys entered through the audience and even brought a few
lucky ladies up on stage to be serenaded with “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”. New Kids went out into the audience to interact and roam around the arena. Starting the show with all nine members of the two acts all together onstage really gave the feeling that this was a BIG show. From then on the two groups traded stage time, alternating songs or mini-sets, each song, all memorable hits, had the audience on their feet, singing along.
Having both groups back to back, side by side highlighted the similarities as well as the differences. Although nearly a decade separates the peaks of each of these acts the members are
just a few years apart in age, each band having a bad-boy (Donnie / AJ), the cute one (Joey / Brian), the pin-up (Jordan / Nick). Musically, they both have firm roots in ‘boy-band pop’ but NKOTB have a definite soul edge, with their “Stylistics” reminiscent melodies whereas BSB have a more R&B slant to their brand of pop, reflecting their era.
NKOTB’s more synchronized dance moves and polished (and quite glittery) costumes hearken back to their start and their founders Motown influences. BSB has a more ‘street’ style with each member having their distinct style, (better to allow the fans to choose their favourite). Although
speaking of costumes the biggest cheers of the night came when Donnie Wahlberg tore his off, singing shirtless as he strutted and danced up and down the catwalk. At nearly 42, with a successful acting career as well, he certainly hasn’t rested since their past heydays.
Since most of these ‘boys’ are now family men in their late thirties and early forties they seem to be at ease in their careers, enjoying themselves and the adoration of their similarly aged audience of mostly ladies, some of whom brought their children along to share the experience. I heard of a number of fans, who went to both show nights in Vancouver, thoroughly enjoying themselves both times. From the reaction of some of them, I’m sure
they’d have gone to as many shows as they could. I have to say, even with the huge number of concerts I attend, this was one of the most enjoyable, fun-filled spectacles I’ve seen in a long time. Even if you were just a casual fan, when the NKOTBSB juggernaut passes through your city it is definitely worth checking out!