New Kids on the Block @ the Broomfield Event Center
by Bree Davies on November 18, 2008
“We’re Legal Now!” read the signs in their hands.
Yes, their fans had grown up since the New Kids on the Block first appeared over 20 years ago, but the piercing sound of teenage hysteria remained timeless, resonating in a deafening tone as girl yelps bounced off of the Broomfield Event Center walls Friday night.
Opening with “Single,” NKOTB slid onto the multi-level stage to panicked screams from the crowd, each member showing graceful maturity in their stride and a bit more handsomeness in their face than I had remembered.
I felt the shivers of NKOTB-fever for the first time in my life as my eardrums rattled and ringmasters Donnie Wahlberg and Joey McIntyre begged the women for more, elevating the noise to unimaginable levels.
The boys dropped classics “Favorite Girl” and “The Right Stuff,” bringing back dance moves frozen in time from their late ’80s/early ’90s heyday, the crowd eating up the fireworks, pelvic thrusts and magical hip swings NKOTB seamlessly delivered. The stage went dark for a few moments, the gentlemen reappearing in black blazers and fedoras for “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” and “Please Don’t Go Girl,” a song that brought Joey to his knees and his audience to near-convulsive fits of sexual frenzy.
Donnie stomped about, preening himself while he asked the crowd, “How does my butt look tonight?” to which his fans responded with high-pitched howls of delight as my eyes rolled themselves back in my head.
After the syrupy “If You Go Away,” and an odd video montage of fallen musicians, actors and family members, the five dudes marched under a moving barrier of bodyguards from the stage to the center of the auditorium.
There they rested on a rotating baby grand for “2 in the Morning,” before being joined by a back-up dancer who shook her sparkly spandexed butt for “Turn it Up,” while NKOTB delivered their well-choreographed sexy action on the moving platform. Bras and panties flew at the five as they serenaded the rabid audience, eventually making it back to the safety of the main stage for yet another costume change.
Smoke billowed from the first level as makeshift stairs rose and NKOTB emerged once again for “Twisted,” finding Joey on his hands and knees with a dancer wrapped around him. The group disappeared again for a moment before Jordan Knight emerged from the top of the stairway in a flurry of fan-provided wind and Michael Jackson-esque dance moves.
Much to the crowd’s delight and my chagrin, Jordan’s shirt ripped itself open while he danced through for a solo performance of “Baby I Believe in You,” and his late ’90s solo hit, “Give it to You,” bringing the show to its most ridiculous point of the night. Joey took his turn at a solo with a half-a capella performance of “Stay the Same,” proving that he held the best pipes in the group.
In the best costume change of the night, Donnie appeared wearing a sequined, marijuana leaf-emblazoned Pantera shirt and cowboy hat for a song about cowgirls, complete with a super-’80s guitar solo and lots of crowd-appeasing prancing. The group re-emerged in all white for the gooey “I’ll Be Loving You Forever,” and a Zoolander-style pose-off with “Click, Click, Click.” NKOTB finished their two-hour long set with “Summertime,” a shower of sparkling fireworks raining down on the five boys as they soaked up the psychotic cheers and adoring cries.
An encore and costume change weren’t far behind, NKOTB appearing one last time in personalized Boston Celtics jerseys for “Step By Step,” showcasing some of their fanciest footwork and never missing a boy band beat. A “We Will Rock You”-injected “Hangin’ Tough” finished out the ego trip as cannons of glitter shot into the air and streamers dropped from the ceiling.
An integral part of music journalism ethics is to never assume you know how an artist will perform, putting aside hearsay, personal taste and bias in favor of accuracy. I’ll openly admit I went against this premise, expecting the New Kids on the Block to fail miserably under the pressure of unrealistic expectation.
It turns out this snarky music journalist got served by NKOTB. Could the New Kids be considered another top show of 2008? Definitely.
And I should mention a new crush on Joey McIntyre that surfaced mid-show, watering my eyes a bit. Or maybe it was all the smoke from the fireworks and recycled air. Either way, I’m pretty sure I’m the latest blooming 28-year-old NKOTB fan to date.