The Main Event Tour

This summer, arenas all around North America will be filled with nostalgic revellers as NKOTB are joined by TLC and Nelly on The Main Event tour.  On their recent stop in Vancouver, near the start of the tour, fans were treated to nearly 4 hours of entertainment, in the round, at Rogers Arena.

With the tour billed as Hit – After Hit – After Hit, the three acts on the bill certainly lived up to it with nearly 200 million combined albums sold worldwide.

Starting the night, Nelly and his MC and dancers got the, mainly female, audience on their feet with a 50 minute set of his turn of the millennium hits like; “E.I.”, “Country Grammar”, “Dilemma”,  “Just A Dream”, “Ride Wit Me” and “Hot In Herre” – which resulted in huge applause and much singing along. Even more cheers erupted when Nelly tore off his shirt off to close out the show.

The second act was perhaps one of the most eagerly awaited, when T-Boz & Chilli of TLC appeared onstage to “What About Your Friends”, bringing the whole arena to its feet. As the reunited pair played through an hour’s set of their greatest hits; “Baby, Baby, Baby”, “Ain’t To Proud To Beg”, “Creep”, “Unpretty”, “No Scrubs”. A tribute to their lost sister, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes brought a touching moment to the close of the show. With the audience lighting up the arena with mobile phones a collection of video clips from the top-selling girl groups history played while they performed their latest single “Meant To Be” and their colossal hit “Waterfalls” with nearly everyone singing along and echoing their memorable dance moves.

Finally, The Main Event tour headliners NKOTB were announced onstage by Michael Buffer, with his classic “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!” and the crowd audience erupted with excitement.  The row of ladies seated on barstools alongside the stage were most excited of all as the band sang and danced within arms reach. As the quintet made their way through the 2 hours worth of their 27 years of hits, there was barely a moment when the crowd wasn’t singing and screaming along.  From early tracks “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind”, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Hanging Tough” to “Step by Step” and “Tonight” up to more recent singles “Summertime” and “Remix(I like the)” the setlist was filled with hit after hit. As always NKOTB knows exactly how to please their, mostly female, audience with their very self-aware cheesy shirtless, pelvic thrusting and gyrating dance moves to coming out to the audience and dancing with the fans. Part of the fun of going to a New Kids show is watching the fans reverting to their teenage selves as they reminisced to their favourite songs.

The Main Event tour continues around the continent until the beginning of July, check it out if you get the opportunity, all three acts are sure to please.

 

The Package Tour : BoyzIIMen : 98Degrees : NKOTB

The Package Tour – Rogers Arena – July 10, 2013

BoyzIIMen - Wanya Morris gets 'On Bended Knee'It was nostalgia night at the arena for most of the thousands who came out to see The Package Tour’s three acts; BoyzIIMen, 98 Degrees and NKOTB.

Starting promptly at 7:30pm with the smooth sounds of 90’s R&B icons BoyzIIMen.  Glowing in their trademark white suits, the trio of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman were the perfect start to the night, getting the singalong started right.  Belting out the classics like; On Bended Knee, I’ll Make Love To You and Mowtown Philly, the group sounded just as good as their heyday. Moving from mainstage to the centre ‘in the round’ stage the show felt intimate even though it was a full lower bowl of Rogers Arena. The band was on bended knee quite often to reach out and touch their fans to warm them up for the show ahead.98 Degrees (Click for BoyzIIMen Gallery)

Following the opening 30 minute set, 98 Degrees proved they aren’t the Invisible Man when they popped up on the stage for their half hour of hits.  With a new album released in May, they incorporated a few of their new tracks, like Microphone, into the set. However, the big cheers were for their 90s hits; The Hardest Thing, I Do, Because Of You and Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche). Looking fit as ever, the quartet seemed comfortable on stage even though they just reformed less than a year ago after a 6 year hiatus.  Although they now have wives, girlfriends and children on the road with them it didn’t stop the the adoration from the throngs of ladies in the audience.  They got close to their audience when they brought 4 fans up onstage to sing directly to them, and earlier on Instagram they encouraged fans to show photos of themselves with their tickets so the band could upgrade 8 fans to floor seats, I’m sure making it a night hard to forget for these dozen fans. (Click for 98 Degrees Gallery)

NKOTB If having two 90s hit making groups wasn’t enough, The Package Tour had barely begun, as NKOTB appeared onstage in a blaze of light.  With a new album, 10 released in April 2013 the quintet added a few new tracks to the set along with some recent ones released since their 2008 reunion; Summertime, Single. Dirty Dancing and Remix.  However, longtime fans weren’t disappointed once the popstars broke into their favourites; Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind), Right Stuff, Please D0n’t Go Girl, Step By Step, Games and I’ll Be Loving Your Forever.  With 25 years of performing under their belts, Donnie Wahlberg, brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, and Danny Wood have become stellar showmen  Every pelvic thrust, high note from Jordan or Joey or ab teased by a shirt lift was greeted by huge cheers, the decibel level peaked when Donnie tore off his tank top to reveal his chiselled abs and Nostalgia Night with NKOTBtorso, singing Covergirl shirtless turning every woman into a teenage girl again. Grabbing a video camera, the ‘Donnie Cam’ watched the crowd as they sang and cheered and in one girls case lifted her shirt.  NKOTB really know their audience and make sure that they are getting their money’s worth with the show.  As the 2 hours drew to a close, Joey brought his young son Griffin onstage to close out the show with Tonight while each member ventured out into the audience to literally touch their fans. For an encore the die hard Boston sports fans paid a bit of tribute to the Vancouver Canucks with the orca logo mixed with the Boston logo, then they broke into Hanging Tough to finish a great night of song, dance and nostalgia. (Click for NKOTB Gallery)

The Package Tour – NKOTB Gallery

Images from NKOTB headlining The Package Tour at Rogers Arena, July 10, 2013

Jordan Knight – Live & Unfinished Tour

Jordan Knight – Venue – October 20, 2012

After nearly 3 decades in the music industry, Jordan Knight knows how to please his audience, whether it’s a arena tour with his NKOTB bandmates or a small intimate solo show for a few hundred like this night. Having grown up along side him, his fans (mostly women) feel a fond affection for their pop idol.  For many Jordan Knight was probably their first pop crush, and this memory has carried over into adult hood. Given the chance to bond with him in an intimate concert setting, and I’m sure have a night out from the kids, is a chance few will pass up. Mr Knight seems well aware of this as in addition to the concert, he offered fans the opportunity to have dinner with him before the show, a VIP meet & greet after the show and a brunch with him the following morning.
For those who could only afford the time or money to attend the concert they were not to disappointed, even though it was a small venue he still brought a 3 piece backing band plus two dancers along with him, giving the audience a show well worth the money.
Running through tracks from his solo career including singles “Give It To You”, “Where Your Heart Is Tonight”, “Let’s Go Higher”, “Stingy (with recorded backing vocals by Donnie Wahlberg)” and “One More Night”. Up-tempo dance numbers featured he and his dancers covering the stage building up some great energy and then performing some ballads and cover tracks at the keyboard provided a slow intimate vibe which the crowd loved as he wooed them with his vocals, before again whipping them to a frenzy with some sexy hip action on the next dance number. A highlight for the audience was the opportunity for 4 of the ladies to come up on stage to dance with Jordan during “Rockstar”. After leaving the stage and returning in just a tank top, to wrap up the 90min set, the audience was clamoring for him to take his shirt off, but I would have been afraid of the audience had he been shirtless, he had built up such huge energy among the crowd that they might have boiled over with any bit more temptation.
As a casual fan it was an enjoyable and entertaining set, for the diehard NKOTB or Jordan Knight fan I’m sure they all had a great time.

NKOTBSB Are Still Hanging Tough

NKOTBSB – Rogers Arena – July 9/10, 2010

NKOTBSB

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

Joey McIntyre interacts with an audience member

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

Brian & Joey Introduce Each Other

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

Huge Scream For A Shirtless Donnie Wahlberg

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

The 'Kids' From Boston vs...

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!

...The 'Boys' From Orlando