Date: July 7, 2013
City: San Jose, CA
Venue: HP Pavilion
Artist: New Kids on the Block
Opening Act(s): 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men
The stage set up for The Package Tour was incredible. All groups started at an end stage and then walked to the center of the arena and performed the majority of their set in the round.
Boyz II Men
The show started with the three members of Boyz II Men – Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues. They started their set at the end stage with “On Bended Knee.” They moved to the center stage to perform the rest of the set. During “I’ll Make Love to You” they handed out long stem roses to the fans that paid for the VIP seats around the center stage and red and white confetti fell that looked like rose petals fell from the ceiling.
They also performed “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” and “End of the Road”. While I love these songs their set didn’t get me as pumped up as I had hoped it would. That was all made up for when they closed their set with “Motownphilly”. They even performed the same dance moves as their video for the song. That was a great way to end their set.
The house lights stayed off and the video vamping for 98 Degrees immediately began. They showed the images of each member as the crowd cheered for each. Sadly Justin Jeffre got the fewest cheers. Nick Lachey, of course, got the most screams. I was never a big fan of 98 Degrees. If I had to choose a 90s boy band it would most likely be Backstreet Boys and then N*Sync. 98 Degrees was always the ‘man band’ of the 90s boy bands. They did have a few good ballads though.
They worked the center stage very well even when doing their choreographed routines with mic stands. They would face one way for a chorus, do their dance moves and then face the next way. Their dance moves seemed a bit more awkward than which is why I think they were considered more of a ‘man band’. The boy bands had the moves. But Drew Lachey obviously remembered what he learned from Cheryl Burke on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because his salsa dance moves to “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” were the best of the bunch.
During “I Do (Cherish You)” they brought up four women to sing to. Each woman had each guy sing to her during the song. It wasn’t too long before their shirts came off and they were all in white wife beater tanks for the crowd of girls and women to go crazy.
This is the third time I’ve seen New Kids on the Block. Each time has been since they reunited in 2008. The first time was so good I had to see them again. The second time was the NKOTBSB tour, which was amazing! I couldn’t resist seeing them for a third time. I enjoyed this third show so much I was tempted to go to their second Bay Area show five days later, but decided against it. If I wouldn’t have had to drive I probably would have bought a ticket. Damn Caltrain for not running after concerts at HP Pavilion.
The stage for NKOTB’s set was incredible. They started at the end stage and walked their way down to the center stage like the other acts. But the ‘special effects’ of the center stage were reserved for NKOTB. It rotated and lifted. There were five platforms that jutted out from the center allowing the guys to get even closer to the audience. Within the five platforms were individual areas that raised they guys up even further to allow the people in the second tiers a better view.
New Kids on the Block performed their classic hits “Please Don’t Go Girl”, “Cover Girl”, “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and “Step by Step” as well as new songs “Remix (I Like The)” and “The Whisper”, “We Own Tonight”, and “Survive You”. When they sang “Hangin’ Tough” and “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” they also did the dance moves from their videos. All the ladies in the audience went crazy.
They also did a few covers – George Michael’s “Faith” sung by Joey McIntyre and Prince’s “Kiss” sung by Jordan Knight. While the entire song was not sung, both Donnie Wahlberg and the audience sang the chorus of Nelly’s “Hot in Here”. Donnie would sing “It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes” and the predominately female audience shouted “I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off”.
It’s pretty well documented that Jonathan Knight suffers from anxiety/stage fright. This is noticeable because on stage he appears to be shy and a bit unsure of his next move. However, he was the last one to leave the stage because he was going around waving and touching peoples’ hands. All the guys did this, but Jonathan did it longer than the others.
The Knight brothers were my favorite back in the day. But after seeing them perform together as a group I have to say that Donnie Wahlberg is very charismatic and has great stage presence. The fact that he has the best body out of the group and his bad boy attitude are sexy too. One lady in the audience couldn’t resist Donnie when he bent down to sing to her. It looked like he was going to give her a peck, but she grabbed his head and full on kissed him – tongue and all. He appeared to enjoy it, but you could see him mouth “What the f*ck?” after the kiss. My initial thought was she had been a plant, but she looked pretty embarrassed afterwards and her friends appeared shocked that she had done it.
Admittedly I think the NKOTBSB tour in 2011 was a better show because they switched off there wasn’t a lull between ‘costume’ changes. This show was still very enjoyable and a lot of fun. I’d definitely see New Kids on the Block again.
I was in high school when New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men came on the scene. Many of their songs can take me back to a specific place and time. There is nothing like seeing the groups whose music was an integral part of your formative years. I went to bed with visions of boy bands dancing in my head.