Did you forget? Maybe you need a litte refresher (here and here). My love for the “five bad brothers from the Beantown land” (as they refer to themselves in the 1991 hit “Games”) has been a pervasive and defining element throughout my entire life. Though I was too young to go to a New Kids on the Block concert before they broke up in 1994 (I was 8), I have consistently stoked the fire of my burning love for them for the last 20 years. I had the bed sheets and comforter. I had the Barbie dolls. The CDs. The trading cards. And then, years after they broke up, I had a serious problem letting go of them, so I didn’t. My dad and I belted out their songs in the car, instead.
I always held out hope they’d reunite. And in 2008, after 13 years apart, they did! With a new album and a tour (Lady Gaga was the opener for the opener, and no one knew who she was back then). I went to a show that year, and I feel that the only way to accurately describe what I felt is with the power of their beautiful lyrics: “Didn’t I blow your mind this time? Didn’t I? Didn’t I do it baby… didn’t I do it baby?” OH. YOU DID, BABY.
It was like poetry in the form of five late-30-something grown men skilled at synchronized dancing. It was, in a word, MAGICAL.
“STOP. AND OBSERVE OUR MAGNIFICENCE.”
I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING THERE.
So yeah. They’ve gone on a few tours since, and their current tour includes Philly-natives Boyz 2 Men. They played here Saturday night, and there was no way I couldn’t NOT go. And lo, it was good. I didn’t bring my camera this time, from a combination of fear it would get confiscated upon entry and desire to just experience the force of their boyband skillz without being behind a camera (I did snap one lone Instagram). They played all the hits. There was hip-thrusting. A rendition of “Hot In Here.” And! And! At the very end of their TWO HOUR set, Boyz 2 Men came back out and they all sang “Motown Philly” together. It was a trip!
At the risk of being judged for this: the New Kids are hot. If anything, they’re hotter at 40-something than they were at 20. Observe:
Maybe it’s the suits. But Donnie was shirtless for a good portion of the concert, so it’s clearly more than the clothes. A swagger that comes with age? I’m like an inch away from using the “a fine wine” analogy, somebody stop me.
Today is Tuesday, and even though we’re three days removed from the concert, I have not left the haze of New Kids music (Jamal will tell you all about it). Herewith, the first single from their new album, “10.” The video is delightful and the song itself is pretty great. And they’re in suits! It’s fantastic.
I love these guys. Always have, always will. And I don’t care who knows it.