Two generations united at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, N.Y., celebrating the end of the NKOTBSB U.S. tour. Boy band phenomenon of the ‘80s, New Kids On The Block, teamed up with their successor of the ‘90s, The Backstreet Boys, to bring women in their 20s and 30s back to their teen years. As New Kids On The Block member Joey McIntyre stated to the audience, “For some of us, it feels just like 1989 in here. For others, it feels just like 1999.” This was followed by shrieks and screams that didn’t seem possible for grown women to make. Joey is just so cute, isn’t he?
Reunion tours are a way to bring music lovers back to their youth, but this one had a particular challenge to face — how were the two groups going to please both their fans, while keeping the other band’s fans happy at the same time? The concert, which was opened by Glee star Matthew Morrison, started off with a performance by the new male super group, singing a combination of NKOTB’s “Single” and BSB’s “The One.” However, Backstreet fans couldn’t help but miss one of their very own — BSB’s Kevin Richardson was absent. The nine men present throughout the tour were all NKOTB members, Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood, and four of the five Backstreet Boys members, A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Nick Carter.
The two-and-a-half hour concert switched back between two or three song sets of NKOTB and BSB, each following each other’s lead in the genre of song choices. The show started off with up beat hits such as NKOTB’s “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and BSB’s “Larger Than Life.” The middle of the concert slowed down with The Backstreet Boys serenading fans from the audience on stage with songs such as “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and “Shape of My Heart.” NKOTB followed suit with “Valentine Girl” and “Please Don’t Go Girl.”
Having changed the Nassau Coliseum date in order to perform at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, NKOTBSB owed New Yorkers a apology for choosing Boston over New York (in their defense, NKOTB is from Boston.) Three-quarters of the way into the show, the men told the audience that they “didn’t leave Boston empty handed,” bringing out Bell Biv DeVoe to sing their ‘90s hit “Poison.” After the guest performance, NKOTBSB ended the show with their original song “Don’t Turn Out the Lights.” Minutes after, however, The Backstreet Boys came back on stage for an encore performance of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” followed by the New Kids singing “Hangin’ Tough” (performed with original dance moves!) The entire show ended with a medley of the two songs, as each band wore their home city’s basketball team jerseys, NKOTB sporting the Boston Celtics and BSB in Orlando Magic, while white paper streamers shot from the ceiling.
As the nine men gave their final bow, women screamed and jumped like they did 10 or 20 years ago. Every woman in the audience (there were no more than a handful of men there) felt exactly like she did when she was hopelessly in love with Jordan Knight or Nick Carter. Although a little older than they were when in the spot light, the men were still hot and women still swooned. Years later and it still feels the same way when there are 20,000 girls, now women, screaming for you, holding posters reading “Will You Marry Me?” Like you still got it.