The Package Tour – Rogers Arena – July 10, 2013
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. (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)
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 torso, 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)