Concert Review: New Kids on the Block

Mandalay Bay Events Center, July 6

The Package Tour starred pop superstars New Kids on the Block, late-?90s boy-banders 98 degrees and Las Vegas headliners Boyz II Men. And what a delightful package it was.

There is great satisfaction in knowing that 25 years ago, I was doing the exact same thing: screaming for my favorite group of all time, New Kids on the Block. And while the ?kids? are all in their 40s now, their abs don?t look a day over 21. The pelvic thrusts for which we love them kept coming on stronger with each song. I had to remind myself that I wasn?t at Chippendales.

There?s no need to talk about the music, because that?s not what this was about. However, I can tell you they were more in tune, in step and on point than they were during the Magic Summer 1990 tour (the first time I saw them). I?m pretty sure the group got over being taken seriously a long time ago—probably around the time they cashed their first check. For two hours of unadulterated escapism, several thousand ?Blockheads? would pay any amount, as evidenced by the crowd.

If a group ever loved its fans back, here?s an example: Leader Donnie Wahlberg stopped mid-song to indulge in a full make-out session with one front-row fan and then topped it off with a hearty swig from her beer. Swoon. Look for me next summer in the front row. ★★★★☆

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