Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportMusic.

New Kids on the Block

Lynda Moyo witnesses tears, t-shirts and tits at the ultimate boyband reunion

Written by . Published on January 19th 2009.

New Kids on the Block

Dressed in matching white with synced up dances to cheesy songs sung through Colgate teeth, a sea of 8,000 palpitating fans gathered at the MEN Arena for boy band hysteria.

But there’s a twist to this otherwise, identikit appearance. None of them are actually boys anymore and one of them now works in real estate (you can't get less boy band than that).

It’s been 17 years since New Kids on the Block last played in the UK. They are not the first pre-century boy band to come back for round two, but what makes this special is that they were the originals. They were the catalysts for the Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Take That, N Sync and every nameless, faceless and pointless boy band inbetween.

As tough guy (every boy band has a tough guy remember) Donnie Wahlberg accurately pointed out: “This isn’t just a reunion for us. You’re here tonight with a friend you haven’t seen for 15 years. You thought you’d never talk to that bitch again and here you are- at a New Kids concert.”

The re-union has been a long time coming, with Take That, Backstreet Boys and Boyzone already beating them to the post. Kicking off the show with new song ‘Single’ followed by their first song ‘The Right Stuff’, New Kids of past and present merged as though they'd never been away, although there were a few slight differences to the group.

Firstly, pre-pubescent Joey Mcintyre is now Mcintyre the man, and no longer has the Chipmunks squeaky soprano voice. This has resulted in him being unable to sing certain songs in the way we remember. Not that that mattered, as much of the crowd were more interesting in the mature New erm, Kids. As one woman in a 'Donnie-I'm legal now' t-shirt on the front row shouted “Donnie I love you!” to which he replied “I love you too baby. Look at you all grown up now. Do you see a wedding ring on this finger? I’ll meet you after the show.” Then there was front man, Jordan Knight, opening his shirt and collecting phone numbers thrown onto the stage by the dozen. If it weren't for the absence of L-plates this would have been a full-on hen party.

For the song, ‘Tonight’ the group reappeared on a separate stage in the centre of the Arena, which worked for those in the nose bleed section. The change of orientation also resulted in rows of fans standing on their seats much to the horror of the MEN law and order squad. Power hungry stewards tried to assert some crowd control but failed, walking away like defeated matadors as the stampede of frenzied females took full control of the place. One woman even lifted up her top as the camera panned the crowd. 1988 didn't have a patch on this.

In a more subdued and thought provoking moment, to the song ‘If you go away’, a slide show of those ‘we’ve loved and lost’ was shown on the screen. The lengthy footage of deceased musicians, actors, family and friends, underlined the time that has passed. Other memorable songs performed on the night include, ‘Please don’t go girl’, ‘Step by Step’, ‘Games’ and of course the popular ‘Hangin' Tough’. The tunes may be outdated but their voices aren't. These boys can sing and give any modern day boy band a run for their money. So much so that there was a moment when I almost got confused and started singing ‘Backstreets back alright’. Totally wrong song. Totally wrong group.

It was one of those nights that you'd expect to be a little disheartening, after all there's nothing worse in pop terms than a bunch of 80s has-beens taking themselves too seriously in 2009.

However, New Kids on the Block have managed to comeback with a real sense of appreciation for the fans and the support they had back in the day. They put their heart and soul into the performance, enjoying every lousy lyric and dated dance move. There was nothing desperate or arrogant about the full two and half hour set, and even the new material, although not a patch on the old stuff, shows how they're not stuck in a time warp and are genuinely grateful for every minute of their comeback.

As a result the atmosphere in the crowd was charged with female emotion, some sobbing with elation, others screaming 'I had this on 12 inch!' and lastly my own 31-year-old-sister whispering in my ear with a lump in her throat: “Jordan just winked at me.” She's waited two decades for that moment. Long live NKOTB.

Free music - New Kid on the Block

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ilovejordanknightJanuary 19th 2009.

The Hangin' Tough finale was ace, I've not had so much fun in a long time! I agree - the boys can still sing and dance, although we did spot Jon Knight watching the others for the moves at one point! Brilliant show, I felt I owed it to my 10-year-old self to scream 'I love you' at Jordan quite a bit. Loved the fact that the entire audience was 30 year old women - there must have been about three guys amongst us. Like a 1980's time machine. Genius x

SophieJanuary 19th 2009.

Spot on!

ShoeGalJanuary 19th 2009.

Great gig, and trip down memory lane. The original boy band!

LionHunterJanuary 19th 2009.

Thanks for your article! I agree -- Long Live The Block!--Lionhunter

ilovejordanknightJanuary 19th 2009.

I agree - a golden moment if ever there was one! Mildy cringy and excessively cheesy - but still golden! x

31-year-old-sisterJanuary 19th 2009.

My sista, my sista...... Great article girl. I loved almost all of it- apart from the 'Lousy lyrics' bit. They are classic lines. lol. The trip down memory lane was emotional !!!!! lol. Loved the concert. Thankyou. I noticed you failed to mention you waving your arms to 'Hanging Tough'. Also you did remember a lot of the lyrics to MOST of the songs. Lastly, if it wasn't for me blasting out my 7-inch and 12-inch records back in the days, you wouldn't have been a fan yourself. Rant over . x

Lisa WoodcockJanuary 19th 2009.

It was an amazing show shared with some fantastic friends, old and new. As Joe said to a small crowd of us after the show "Girls! You are not 15 anymore" but they certainly made us feel that way!

ilovejordanknightmoreJanuary 19th 2009.

The bit where he sang "Baby I believe in you" with an open shirt and wind machine was a moment I'll never forget

KerryMcJanuary 19th 2009.

The Original and still the best !!!!--Lets get this Mullets-- !

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Heather Buchanan

link isn't working for some reason to play the music

 Read more
Heather Buchanan

don't be such a negative troll, post your face and name. There is absolutely such a thing where has…

 Read more
Beast is back

I managed to get tickets to this event and it was mesmeric. Never seen John before but it was a…

 Read more

Going to see John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, cannot wait! Anyone unfamiliar with him have a…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord