New Kids on the Block in Concert
For three-plus decades, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan Knight, and Jordan Knight have been the total package — they sing, they dance, and they electrify arenas in tandem as New Kids on the Block. Formed in 1984 by Boston-based impresario Maurice Starr (who'd also created New Edition), the quintet became the premier boy band of the late '80s and early '90s, sending crowds into frenzies with hits like the sweetly besotted "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and the longing "Please Don't Go Girl."
NKOTB had a bunch of hits, scoring two chart-topping albums and racking up three No. 1 singles: the doo-wop callback "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," the statement of purpose "Hangin' Tough," and the fast-paced "Step By Step." But as they've grown from boy-band members into grown-men pop stars, they've kept up with current trends; their 2008 version of "Single" by soul smoothie Ne-Yo multiplied that hip-hop ballad's love-in-this-club mood by five, while the 2013 banger "Remix (I Like The)" kept the energy high as it told the story of a high school outcast's post-grad glow-up.
That song is an extension of the lifelong connection NKOTB have had with their fans, who continue to fill venues ranging from cruise ships to hometown temple Fenway Park while reveling in their 21st-century live performances. Seeing NKOTB in concert is as intense as it was during their heyday; while the kids have grown up and their voices have changed slightly, their in-sync dancing remains exuberant and precise, Jordan Knight's falsetto can still send audiences into a frenzy on "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," and all five members maintain the charm and dancing ability that made them '80s teen idols — and kept them hanging tough in the 2010s, when they're recognized as true pop icons.