T onight is the New Kids on the Block 's first show in Boston in more than 14 years and Joey McIntyre is feeling a little bit like Manny Ramirez [ stats ] .
“I haven't pushed anyone yet,” joked Joey, who has been fielding a steady stream of ticket requests from family and friends. “But I have been yelling at my tour manager a lot!”
Ticket demands, a sold-out Garden, the screaming fans - the ex-boybanders' homecoming is like deja vu all over again for Joey, Donnie Wahlberg , Jordan and Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood , who were one of the most popular acts in the world in the late '80s and early '90s.
But a lot has changed since McIntyre joined the band as a Donny Osmond -like 12-year-old. For one thing, the baby of the group has a baby! And when Joey rang in from his Boston hotel room yesterday, he said he had to keep his voice down because his 10-month-old son, Griffin , was sleeping in the next room.
But despite the fact that they now have nine kids between them, the New Kids aren't having any trouble getting back into the pop-star groove and making one of the biggest and most improbable comebacks in pop-music history.
“The camaraderie and the dynamic of the group hasn't changed,” Joey Mac told the Track. “We all have sort of same personal energy. We all bounce off each other the same way. It's kind of funny after all these years but we're still the same.”
And so, apparently, are their fans, who are scooping up tickets to the New Kids shows and screaming their lungs out for Joey, Donnie, Jordan and Jonathan and Danny like it's 1989.
“It's just much cooler, though,” McIntyre said. “Much more mature - although from the way they are at the shows you'd never know it. But they all look great. They've all come into their own.”
So do the girls still try to sneak in your hotel room, Joe???
“They get their own hotel rooms! They're right down the hall,” he laughed. “No, it's fun to watch, though. I get to have it all. I have a beautiful family, a new baby, an amazing wife and I get to be a rock star every night. It's awesome.”
McIntyre said the reunion, new record and the kickoff of the tour have all seemed like a prelude to tonight's and Sunday night's shows in Boston.
“It's gonna be crazy,” Joey said. “But we're gonna try to take it in stride and try not to get too excited.”
McIntyre said band members feel really good about where they are at musically with the new record and with their stage performance.
“You know, timing is everything,” he said. “This is the right time and it wouldn't have been right any earlier. I think we are all at the age now where we can appreciate the past and now we may be able to turn our legacy on its head a little.”
McIntyre said the group was able to reunite because they walked away “as friends” in 1994, and set the bar “very high” for getting back together again.
“We weren't going to just throw out another record just to keep it going,” he said. “It had to be something fresh, something that captured the group.”
As it turned out it was the song “ Click Click Click” off their new album that convinced all five New Kids that they could have a second act.
“We just found a song that felt right to all of us,” he said. “And we went into the studio with no deadline, no contract, no pressure and just took it one song at a time. We just enjoyed the process and it was the perfect way to get the vibe going again.”
As for some of the rumors surrounding the New Kids, Joey said Donnie, who has been linked to Danity Kane singer Aubrey O'Day is “definitely single.”
“He's not really a ladies man, although he is a big flirt,” he said. “We saw you guys had him with Aubrey and we were laughing about it in the dressing room. I don't know how serious that is. I know they are friends though.”
And Jonathan, who retired from the group in 1994 after suffering debilitating panic attacks, is “doing great,” Joey said.
“He's fantastic,” he added. “He's worked through a lot of stuff in the past six months but he's having a ball. It's great.”