At GM Place on Friday, November 21. When I got the call to review New Kids on the Block, I thought, “Hmmm....spend the night watching an aging boyband cash in on former prefabbed fame and a shite new single?” Sign me up See, there was a dark period during my adolescence that I’m not very proud of. I loved New Kids on the Block in Grade 8 (...and maybe part of Grade 9 and 10 as well)—it was my way of rebelling against my rock ‘n’ roll family.
And like so many NKOTB fans at the time, I had a total wide-on for Jordan Knight. I think it was the way he always let one strap of his baggy overalls suggestively slip off his shoulder, revealing an underdeveloped and ineffectual bicep. In other words, he was a chicken hawk’s wet dream. And what self-respecting pubescent girl wouldn’t find that sexy.
Suffice to say, I was more than a little excited to see how the ’80s popsters were adjusting to middle age. Well, I’m happy to report that Knight still hasn’t figured out how to properly fasten his clothing. For his solo turn inhe spotlight, he didn’t bother doing up a single button on his designer dress shirt. Below him, a giant fan blew the blouse-y fabric up and away from his pasty white chest while he vogued in different seductive poses. The 14-year-old me would have melted in a pool of hormonally challenged ecstasy. The 36-year-old me burst out laughing. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the man is a comic genius. That was about halfway through the funniest concert I’ve ever seen.
Jordan et al kicked off their (unintentionally) campy extravaganza with “Single”, a hit from their 2008 comeback album, The Block. My niece was ecstatic and so were all the other attendees born after the Boston quintet called it quits ’94. Thankfully, they followed this generational divider with “You Got it (The Right Stuff)” and all the moms and gay hairdressers couldn’t have been happier. During the “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” bit, they busted out all the same side-kick moves that wowed so MuchMusic addicts 20 years ago. Disappointingly though, they didn’t break out into any synchronized chair dancing— odd, considering the group played such a huge role in bringing furniture-friendly choreography to the forefront of video-making.
It was also interesting to see that, even after two decades, the NKOTB dynamic hadn’t changed much. The three main heartthrobs (Knight, the baby-faced Joey McIntyre, and Donnie Wahlberg) got all the screams and spotlight solos and the two horse-faced guys (whose names you never remember) were just as irrelevant as they were back in the day.
On the subject of Donnie, he’s still trying to rock the bad-boy thing with his slightly askew Beantown ball-cap. (Note to D-man: you might look a little more “dangerous” if you eased up on all those sparkly embellishments on your pants.)
Predictably, New Kids on the Block left us “Hanging Tough”. They also left us fully satiated on the retro front. I probably don’t have to see another boy band reunion ever again. You know what they say: funny once.
/www.straight .com/article- 172197/new- kids-block- blast-back- past-vancouver