Their smash concert tour gives New Kids on the Block a chance to rewrite history.
BY DAVE RICHARDS
firstname.lastname@example.org Published: March 19. 2009 12:01AM
New Kids on the Block, dance team Jabbawockeez will perform Sunday at 7 p.m. at Tullio Arena, 809 French St. Tickets are $65, $47.50, $27.50, on sale now at Tullio Arena box office, Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 452-4857, and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Joey McIntyre says New Kids on the Block regrouped partly to prove they've still got it --the right stuff.
So 14 years after they split, they recorded and released a new CD, "The Block," and launched a comeback tour that's surprised the music world by selling out arenas.
"We got back together because it was a challenge. I don't think it was because we needed to prove people wrong," McIntyre said, phoning from a tour stop in Nashville. "It's just that maybe the history of the group was looked at in a way we didn't agree with, and we felt maybe we could write the final chapter."
McIntyre said it was equally important to tour with new music.
"We wanted to feel fresh, like we had some new guns. We didn't want to do a complete nostalgia tour," he said. "That's what's so great about doing a new album you're excited about, one that's gotten a lot of play and hits.
"This way, when we go out there, we can embrace the past wholeheartedly and still do some new stuff and feel excited about it."
Audiences still scream, loudly as ever, but this time he can hear himself think -- and sing.
"Ear monitors!" McIntyre exclaimed. "We have ear monitors now. I look at some old tapes and go, 'Man, I did OK considering I couldn't hear myself.'"
In their heyday, New Kids on the Block sold more than 70 million records, sold out stadiums, and launched a merchandising frenzy. Their fans were mostly young teens, girls especially, with unlimited throat power.
Today, they're old enough to embrace a little nostalgia, just as Monkees fans turned out en masse for their heroes' 20-year anniversary tour in 1986.
"They always say teenybopper fans and teen idols move on," McIntyre said. "That's true they move on, but they never forget. There has to be enough time where they want to get away again.
"Our fans now are mostly in their late 20s [and 30s]. They have careers, and they're mothers and wives with responsibilities. This is just perfect timing for them to get away and have some fun."
Expect a hit-filled show ("I'll Be Loving You Forever," "The Right Stuff," "Step by Step") with lots of dancing, especially by McIntyre, who placed third with Ashly DelGross a few years ago on "Dancing with the Stars."
That means he flashes more moves than band mates Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Jonathan Knight, right?
"I got a little bias," McIntyre stammered. "I think we all have our own styles."
That goes for fashion, as well. Expect costume changes.
"Not as many as Cher, but there are a few," McIntyre said. "But it's not over the top. It's mostly urban cool. We add some bling here and there. We just want to feel cool and fresh. But, at the end of the day, you've got to deliver."
After New Kids split up in 1994, McIntyre hung tough in showbiz. He delivered a few solo CDs, including a standards set and appeared on Broadway in "Wicked." He also married and had a son, Griffin, born in late 2007.
The McIntyre family goes on tour together. Joey said his wife, Barrett, not only takes the screaming in stride but hangs out with fans before shows.
"She's the best," McIntyre said. "She's got a little dog, and takes him to the venue and goes for walks. Thank God, she's got a great sense of it."
She doesn't mind him thrusting on stage, playing to the women.
"That's the really nice part, the maturity of this whole thing. You can experience it, and it's a balance. You want to go out there and be sexy and turn the crowd on. There's been a million pop stars doing it who are happily married. I'm one of those guys."
"The Block" produced mild hits with "Summertime" and "Single" while the world tour has been a smash. That means, for now, the reunion will continue. New Kids will also launch a summer amphitheater tour.
"The whole tour has been amazing," McIntyre said. "We're just trying to keep giving back."