New Kids on the Block members Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood,...

New Kids on the Block members Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Joey McIntyre perform at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Leave it to the New Kids on the Block to take an old form and turn it into something that suits them perfectly. There’s a reason the Boston group has been hangin’ tough for more than three decades.

Though the New Kids’ “Mixtape Tour” has a decidedly throwback name in the age of streaming and playlists, the hit-filled show at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum Sunday night seemed modeled after the revues of more than a century ago, when numerous singers would join forces to perform on the same bill.

Unlike most concerts, the “Mixtape Tour” incorporates special guests — Merrick native Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Naughty by Nature and Salt-N-Pepa — into the New Kids’ set, which bounced effortlessly from new songs like the current single “The Way” to their classics including “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” which Donnie Wahlberg gave a new chorus of “All that I needed was New York.”

“This band would never have happened without Long Island,” Wahlberg said, adding that the tour was born out of the band’s show at Westbury Music Fair. “Long Island, thanks for growing up with us.”

And the New Kids gave their guests plenty of time to shine on the tour’s cassette-shaped stage. Gibson did an upbeat medley of her hits “Out of the Blue,” “Shake Your Love” and “Electric Youth” in her first appearance, kicking off her heels when one came loose and delivering some fierce dance moves barefoot. Later, she delivered some of her ballads, including “Foolish Beat,” where her piano-playing marked the only time a live instrument was used all night, and the still-sweet “Lost in Your Eyes” with New Kid Joey McIntyre.

It’s a tribute to the pacing of the “Mixtape Tour” that the energy never really drops off and that fans are never more than a few minutes away from a New Kids sighting. The show also includes the hallmarks of a great mixtape, moving from the ballad “Please Don’t Go Girl” into a Salt-N-Pepa jam, or from Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” to Gibson’s “Foolish Beat.”

With that kind of energy, the “Mixtape Tour” is one that will likely enjoy repeated plays.

Top Stories