Thanks to my fiance Marcus getting me hooked on New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) recently, I saw my first pop concert last week. The concert also featured Boyz II Men and Paul Abdul (who’ve I always loved). Here is my review of both the venue and concert.
The concert was held at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, which is also the home of North Carolina’s NHL team the Carolina Hurricanes (jersey’s were on display near the top of the arena.) If you ever go to a concert at this arena I recommend taking a cab or Uber/Lyft as getting in and out is a nightmare and parking was 20 dollars.
Security check was relatively fast and pain free (stupid me forgot to take the chain off my wallet). Getting to the concessions and merch stand wasn’t too bad, but due the size of the concert it was really packed. Although the drinks at concession are expensive. Bottled sodas were five dollars.
Finding seats was easy as arena ushers guided you to your seat. Unfortunately the seats we got, next to last row of permanent seats, had very little leg room.
Boyz II Men
While I never really got in to them I have heard their hits (which they all sung). Their show wasn’t as flashy as Paula’s or NKOTB’s, but it was still a good performance. They even joked that you might know them from the GEICO commercial (which ironically played as I wrote this).
Near the end Nathan Morris did a solo with Wanya Morris playing bass and Shawn Stockman playing guitar (had no idea they played instruments).
Paula entered the stage in style, her dancers rolled her out on silver platform with steps. She steps down wearing a gold sequin dress. She went through several costume changes during her performance.
When it comes to dancing Paula still has it after all this time. The choreography between her and her dancers was done really well. For most the show the dances interacted with the video on the screen.
During Coldhearted Snake, Paula stood in front of her dancers and they rhythmically moved their arms and it was reflected in the screen as snakes seem to shoot out their arms on the screen.
After telling her story about Gene Kelly (she created the cat in the Opposites Attract in his honor) she does little dancing the rain dance while interacting with the screen so it appears she is dancing with an umbrella and swinging on the lamppost like the iconic scene from his movie Singing In the Rain. For Opposites Attract she dances with the famous MC Skat Kat from her music video.
She also shared a story about how she became a Laker Girl, and I learned something I didn’t know about her that she is only 5’0.
New Kids On The Block
While people enjoyed Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul it was nothing compared to the roar when NKOTB came out, even Donnie Whalberg commented on how loud the Raleigh crowd was.
The crowd erupted as they raised out of the stage, which I didn’t think was big enough to accommodate that. Wearing leather/sequin coats and black pants (Danny Wood was wearing a vest to show of his big bugling biceps!) they opened with One More Night, their first single from the their new EP Thankful.
Throughout the night they sung old school songs plus some of their newer stuff, eventually taking off their jackets and only wearing tank tops. Starting with Block Party their moved off the main stage and moved into the crowd, starting with Donnie “crowd surfing”. Anyone on the bottom two rows were lucky enough to get to interact with them even if they weren’t in the floor seats. I totally missed my chance to get a selfie with Danny as girls rushed down before I had a chance to. One lucky woman got a lap dance from Donnie.
After they left the crowd the performed some songs on the secondary stage closer to the front of the arena. They put on black and white leather jackets to sing Games. We got to see Danny break dance during the song. They mingled with the crowd once more as they made their way back to the main stage.
Back on main stage, NKOTB is on fire, literally. Fire shoots up from the back and the piano Donnie stands on is also lit on fire.
Going backstage for a costume change we get to see Danny shirtless and the rest getting into jean jackets and jeans. Donnie trolls the crowd by showing different NC sports jerseys and shows the unpopular Duke (just realized he missed the Panthers, though they don’t play locally like the other teams). My boy Danny puts on a NC State jersey to wear on stage.
After the costume change we get to see Danny do a solo on Valentine, and the only live solo Johnathan Knight sings on Happy Birthday.
They then perform another song from their new EP, the very titillating Hard (Not Luv’ U). Jordan Knight teased the crowd by pulling up his tank top up, while gyrating and rubbing his sexy bod. Playing on the screen for the song were very suggestive pictures. Cucumber, eggplant, banana, hot dog, rockets launching and a champagne bottle gushing. Near the end of the song Jordan dry humps the floor.
Joey McIntyre performed an emotional solo of Don’t Go Girl on the front stage. To the shock of the crowd he is joined by his son Griffin.
Following another costume change, they come out in white pants, shirts and jackets. Joey’s package is very visible, it also show’s off Jonathan’s ass really well. Singing more of their hits they close the show out with one of their earlier songs Hanging Tough.
Throughout the night I wondered what the big cylinders on the floor were, during NKOTB’s performance I found out as they launched confetti several times throughout the arena. In addition to the fire, and confetti was literal fireworks and streamers dropped from above. Also several times they got in the center of the main stage and were raised on a platform.
I immensely enjoyed the concert and want to see Paula Abdul and NKOTB again but up close. Would love to see Paula’s dancing from a better vantage point, and get to interact with the New Kids more (especially Danny!).