A cynic could argue Wednesday's '90s pop Cerberus at Xcel Energy Center - Nelly, TLC, New Kids on the Block - was nothing more than a hollow Spotify playlist, three faded megastars joining forces for a Clinton-era karaoke party before their fanbases gravitate toward casinos. There might be grains of truth to that, but they're irrelevant.
Tony Nelson New Kids on the Block May 20 at Xcel Energy Center
Make what you will of the artistic merit of each act (only TLC shines in that area), and yeah, there's little in the way of career vitality. The only thing that truly mattered last night was the audience response. A packed house of mostly shrieking females weren't coming from a dishonest place and, from the looks of it, neither were the entertainers, each of whom yielded fan-forward sets designed for maximum nostalgic resonance. And goddamn, did they deliver - especially New Kids on the Block. If truth in art is the ideal, the emotional tidal wave that surged through the X made for an undeniable masterpiece.More »