New Kids on the Block at Target Center, 7/20/13

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson
New Kids on the Block
with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men
Target Center, Minneapolis
Saturday, 7/20/13

A lot can happen in 25 years. People age, they grow up and get jobs and have a family, but sometimes they never grow out of their first love: Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, and Jonathan. The world of New Kids on the Block is filled with middle-aged women, choreographed dance moves, pyrotechnics, a lot of crotch grabbing, and, oh yeah, music.

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Slideshow: New Kids on the Block at the Target Center, 7/20/13

Opening the night was an all-too-short set from Philly's Boyz II Men -- no longer a quartet and now just a trio. The group sang all of their hits from "I'll Make Love to You" to "End of the Road," ending with the cheer-inducing "Motownphilly." With twice the time for their set, 98 Degrees accelerated into cheesy territory when they crossed that thin line into boy-band schtick by stripping down to white tank tops and singing to four different women/girls pulled from the audience. While they still sound good, the group's set seemed a little lackluster.

With the majority of the crowd there to see headliners New Kids on the Block from Boston, the screams were deafening when the DJ turned down the house music as the audience was directed to turn their attention toward the screen, reading along to the battle cry "Together we own the night." Arriving onstage in white tuxedos, the men of NKOTB danced and sang along to "We Own Tonight," the opening track from 10, their latest album. As canned and rehearsed as their dance moves, the young'n of the group, Joey McIntyre, asked, "Do you mind of we come a little closer?" followed by the quintet moving to the stage set in the middle of the Target Center floor.

Photo by Tony Nelson
While the "boy band" members don't play any instruments, they are excellent at entertaining by dancing and moving around onstage. When they first came out circa 1988, the group had a squeaky-clean image, later changing it up to show off their "tough" side. Knowing that it was more adults than children in the audience Saturday evening, all five did away with that clean image even more as they hip-thrusted and crotch-grabbed their way through the first few songs.

Hitting their stride, they moved into their signature dance for "You Got It (the Right Stuff)," causing the crowd to go even more crazy. Special effects included a center stage that moved in a circular motion that raised and lowered -- depending on the song -- and single platforms for each member, allowing the audience to "spend time" with each one of the band. With the costume changes, NKOTB's show could rival Lady Gaga's, perhaps just not as weird.

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