To become a monstrously famous boy band, all you need is: 1) a Svengali; 2) good looks; 3) catchy songs; 4) excellent timing; and 5) decent singing and dancing skills. It worked for New Kids on the Block in the '80s and Backstreet Boys in the '90s -- then they broke up, reunited, and teamed up in a brilliant flash of sentimental marketing. With NKOTBSB playing the Nassau Coliseum Sunday night, we offer a scorecard:
THEN The fifth member, brought in by manager Maurice Starr as a 12-year-old.
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THEN "I grew up just wishing the girls would really like me, and now people ask me what I feel like being a sex symbol," he told SPIN in 1990. "Are you crazy? It's dope!"
THEN With Wahlberg and Jordan Knight, one of the "Crickets," who aspired to master the studio-recording process.
NOW Still obscure, after buffing up and putting out a 2003 solo album, "Second Face."
THEN Heartthrob No. 1, with the long, thin braid and snappy dance moves.
NOW Maintains his irresistible falsetto after a solo career that began in 1999.
THEN The first to quit the band, after panic attacks onstage.
NOW Came out in January, prompting teen star Tiffany, who briefly dated him in the '80s, to quip, "[He] became gay later. I didn't do it."
THEN Surfer-haired focal point, older brother of teenybop singer Aaron, Paris Hilton paramour.
THEN The Normal One. "I watch a lot of Sports Center and play a lot of basketball, tennis, golf," he told Teen in 1999.
NOW Married and raising a son, 8-year-old Baylee, who was recently cast in a musical.
THEN The Boy with the weirdly narrow but oddly sexy facial hair.
NOW After years of struggling with addiction, checked himself into rehab in January.
THEN The Friendly One. Lived in his parents' house even as the Boys were taking off.
NOW As Howie D., put out a solo album, "Back to Me," in 2010.
Here's what the guys played July 15 at the Target Center in Minneapolis:
-- "Viva La Vida"/"Single"/"The One"
-- "The Call"
-- "Dirty Dancing"
-- "Get Down (You're the One for Me)"
-- "You Got It (The Right Stuff)"
-- "Larger Than Life"
-- "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"/"Valentine Girl"/"If You Go Away"/"Please Don't Go Girl"
-- "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"/"10,000 Promises"/"I'll Never Break Your Heart"/"Inconsolable" / "Drowning"/"Incomplete"
-- "Step By Step"
-- "Cover Girl"
-- "My Favorite Girl"/"Games"/
"Click Click Click"/"Tonight"
-- "Shape of My Heart"
-- "As Long As You Love Me"
-- "All I Have to Give"/"If You Stay"
-- "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)"
-- "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)"
-- "I Want It That Way"
-- "Don't Turn Out the Lights"
-- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
-- "Hangin' Tough"
-- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"/ "Hangin' Tough"
WHAT CRITICS SAY
"It was apparent that the New Kids had more of the right stuff, with everything from 'Dirty Dancing' to 'You Got It (The Right Stuff)' and 'Step by Step' eliciting screams that sounded a lot like 1989."
"The nine-piece group began the concert with a mash-up blending the New Kids' 'Single' with the Backstreet Boys' 'The One' while backed by the melody of the recent Coldplay hit 'Viva la Vida.' It came off as a mix between an 'American Idol' opening number and something those 'Glee' kids might effortlessly throw together."
-- Kevin Joy, Columbus Dispatch
"Given the size of the crowd and its reaction, you could argue that this tour was a bona fide comeback. But instead of a return to the present, this night felt and sounded a lot more like a reason to revisit and romanticize long-gone adolescences and childhoods."
-- Timothy Finn, Kansas City Star
WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, Nassau Coliseum
INFO $29.50-$89.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com