What went down:
NEVEREST was the opening act. They are a Pop Rock act from Toronto Ontario. They get pretty solid rotation on much. They were a good fit for this tour. I missed most of their set because they started early. I like their sound, they were enjoyable, but I probably wouldn’t go to their show because I am certain I would be surrounded by a bunch of kids. I wish I’d seen their whole set though, they are a decent act and they are Canadian and I will always support a Canadian act *unless it is Bieber, I draw the line there.
Matthew Morrison was the second opening act – everyone was happy to see Mr. Shue up close and personal. There was a cute opening video with Morrison and Jane Lynch. Morrison sang:
Young Teacher/Don’t Stand So Close
Summer Rain – he brought out his ukulele which he uses to write music
Gold Digger – Morrison’s background singer got a handful of his ass on this song
My Name – a song that speaks to the duality of being Matthew Morrison and playing Mr. Shue
Don’t Stop Dancing – a tribute to his idols the triple threat actor/singer/dancers Gene Kelly, Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson. Morrison busted out moves representing each one of his idols and himself (some b-boying)
Morrison did a survey to see who was there to see the various acts and played quiet happy when the crowd cheered loudly when he asked if they were there to see him.
An introduction video showed on the screens introducing each one of the guys. Jonathan Knight, Howie Dorough, Joey McIntyre, Brian Littrell, Jordan Knight, Nick Carter, Danny Wood, AJ McLean and last but not least Donnie Wahlberg.
The nine guys rose from a platform on the stage, silhouetted in the darkness, light by a white back light. The crowd erupted into screams and cheers.
Viva la Vida Mashup feat Single and The One – NKOTBSB
Summertime – NKOTB
The Call – BSB
Dirty Dancing – NKOTB
Get Down – BSB – dance steps straight from the music video and likely early years tours, it was awesome
The Right Stuff – NKOTB – the right stuff included a lot of pelvic thrusts, Donnie has those down pat
Larger Than Life – BSB
Didn’t I – NKOTB
If You Go Away Girl – NKOTB
Please Don’t Go Girl – NKOTB
Tell Me The Meaning of Being Lonely – BSB
Ten Thousand Promises – BSB
I’ll Never Break Your Heart – BSB – they pulled fans up on stage for this song, Nick got twins, and he seemed to enjoy it very much.
Drowning – BSB
Incomplete – BSB – Nick took to the drums for this song
Step By Step – NKOTB – there was a beautiful shot of Donnie’s backside during this song, women loved it. During this performance Donnie ended up shirtless a la Hulk Hogan
Cover Girl – KNOTB – AJ ended up on stage pantless in his undies, a la that creepy guy everyone in high school remembers
Favourite Girl – NKOTB
This is How We Do it Mash-up with Games – NKOTB – Donnie got a chance to put his rapping and sexy moves on display.
Close to You – NKOTB
Tonight – NKOTB – this is when the guys went into the crowd. I would have killed to be on the floor for this, but I probably would have passed out if I’d gotten anywhere near Donnie Wahlberg
Shape of My Heart – BSB entered through the crowd and met with fans before making their way to the stage for the next song
As Long as you Love Me – BSB – nice mic stand dancing on this song, along with choreographed movement
All I have to Give – BSB
If You Stay – BSB
Random – Raspberry Parade – BSB, but this brought out Joey in tight pants and a BSB t-shirt knotted up the way girls did back in the 80s and 90s
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) – BSB feat Joey McIntyre
I’ll Be Loving You Forever – NKOTB – I sweat someone had to hit Jordan and Joey with a shot to the genitals to get them to sing that high on all of the ballads, it was impressive
I Want It That Way – BSB
Lights went out crowd changed N-K-O-T-B-S-B until the lights came up and the boys were back on stage.
We were placated by being told we were the loudest show and that they couldn’t have chosen a better place to end their tour, I’m pretty sure they would have said those words no matter where they ended.
Then the boys did their thank you’s and introductions.
BSB showed the crowd and NKOTB a video they’d made covering “Step By Step” in 1993. BSB told NKOTB that growing up they looked up to and wanted to be like them.
The band members paired off logically to introduced each other.
The bad boys – AJ introduced Donnie as “The Man, The Myth, The Legend”, someone who he looks up to, respects and aspires to be when he grows up. Donnie basically said that AJ and him shared a special bond and that they really clicked when these two groups came together.
The pretty boys – Nick introduced Jordan and Jonathan, the Knight brothers, because it’s a 4 to 5 ratio without Kevin. Nick said one signs really high and really low and so does the other. Jordan introducing Nick referenced the video from 1993 saying ” I knew you were small, but I didn’t know you were THAT small”. Then Jordan turned to the crowd and said but ladies “Goddamn look at him now!”
The jokers – Brian introduced Joey by saying they were kindred spirits who appreciated sarcasm and practical jokes. Joey continued on with that saying that there was only one bro-mance on tour and it was between the two of them!
Last but not least the “Forgottens” – Howie and Danny – These two are an important part of their respective groups but often probably the last name that people remember when listing the groups. Howie talked about how Danny was Rough, Tough and Buff and made a play on his name introducing him as Danny 10 inch Wood. Danny returned the favour referring to Howie as the Latin Lover and the glue that held the group together.
AJ talked about how long ago this all started, back when he still had a full head of hair. He quipped that hopefully they’d “Aged like a fine bottle of win, but none for me” (referencing his battle with alcohol and substance abuse)
The two groups came together for Don’t Turn Out the Lights it was an amazing performance bringing together the Original boy bands. NKOTB was the original, but BSB was the original of the second coming.
The groups then split a part for two songs. NKOTB finished with Hang Tough and BSB sang Everybody, both bands were wearing the NBA jersey from the cities they call home. NKOTB was wearing glitterized Botston Celtics jerseys and BSB was wearing their glitterized Orlando Magic jerseys.
They both came together one last time for a mashup of We Will Rock You with lyrics from a number of their songs.
The finale to the show was them all dancing and moving around the stage, hugging each other, thanking the crowd, holding a sign that read:
This is absolutely in my top five for concerts, I think top 2. After seeing U2 in Toronto on my Birthday I did not think that another concert could ever come close to touching that one. I was wrong. While it is like comparing apples and oranges, I am comfortable saying that U2 and NKOTBSB put on the two best concerts I have ever been witness to. NKOTBSB was phenomenal, the music, the dancing, the crowd interaction, everything was spot on. Their crew and the JLC’s crew had the media worked out perfectly. The screens, and the videographer were amazing, the shots were so clear, clearer than I’ve ever seen on screens during a show. The music balance was perfect. The instrumentals backing the show were present and loud enough, but they never overpowered the vocals. The mics were balances perfectly, they weren’t so loud that they distorted the quality, which happens often. The lyrics were all recognizable, which made it easy for everyone to sing a lot, which was perfect because there were basically two groups of fans. Some people knew the NKOTB catalogue off by heart and someone knew the BSB catalogue off by heart, but there were likely relatively few of us who knew both. So having the mics at just the right level so that the words could be made out allowed everyone to get in on the music singing along as the guys performed and taking over when prompted.
This show bridged two fan groups and two generations. I was there with two girls my age and my sister and her friends who are five years older than us. We were all up and dancing up in our seats in the 300s, singing a long and screaming (probably more me than the others). This concert brought together the two sets of fans and gave people the opportunity to see another side of the other group. My sister is my older sister, and sometimes it is like we are a generation a part, but this concert put us on even ground. We were there, side by side singing and dancing along. It was phenomenal to see my sister and her friends, all Mom’s and professionals let loose and let their inner teenager through. I had a blast at the concert and I am certain that my sister and her friends did too.
I think the one thing that made this concert what it was, was that these 9 guys looked like they truly loved what they were doing and loved who they were doing it with. When you see performers enjoying themselves that much, you can’t help but like that surround you and take you in.
I am sad to think that I almost missed out on this concert experience, but thanks to the JLC I got to be there, with five gals I love and it was a night that we will not forget any time soon. And if we are lucky we will keep images of Donnie Wahlberg in our minds and dreams for a long time to come, oh and the others too.
From the signing, to the dancing, to the hijinks, it was a complete show. It was everything you want out of a concert and I can’t imagine there was anyone there who didn’t think it was worth the price of admission.
It is amazing to me that two decades later these groups still have such power over such a large group of people. They may not go down in history as the greatest musical acts, but they are certainly going to go down in history as the greatest and the original boy bands. They defined an era and influenced the lives of so many people. Their music will live in us forever and this concert experience is not one we will ever forget.
Thank you so much to both the New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet boys and the staff at the JLC. It was a truly amazing night and I can’t wait to see any of you try to better everything that happened that evening.
For the full version of my review, all 7500-ish words check out – NKOTBSB – One Night, One Stage, Once in a Life Time