Boy bands of today, take note! New Kids on the Block has cracked the code on how to turn your 15 minutes of fame into a career that spans 25 years.
The Boston quintet's two-hour show at Nassau Coliseum Saturday night was practically a clinic on staying relevant while keeping longtime fans happy. Donnie Wahlberg says the concert experience should be like a movie -- starting big, ending big, with something unexpected in the middle -- and that's exactly what the New Kids deliver. (They return to the area June 16 to play Barclays Center.)
Their opening salvo was as big as any current touring act around. For the first three songs, including "We Own Tonight" from their new album "10," Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood and brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight delivered crowd-pleasing choreography that included the occasional flash of abs and pelvic thrust on a high revolving platform, while beach balls and confetti fell and flame pots belched fire.
More impressive, though, was how they placed their music into context. The new EDM-tinged "The Whisper" merged into The Isley Brothers' "Shout," while their version of Nelly's "Hot in Herre" became "Dirty Dancing." The show's acoustic section had its own surprises, as McIntyre tackled both George Michael's "Faith" and Rihanna's "We Found Love," and Jordan Knight delivered Prince's "Kiss" in a convincing falsetto.
In one of the night's best numbers, McIntyre fell to his knees during their old-school R&B hit, "Please Don't Go Girl" -- lowering the key to match his now-40-year-old voice, but not losing any of the song's teenage desperation. "It's been 25 years," he sang, with roaring approval from the crowd. "Please don't go, girl."
Don't worry, Joey, they're not going anywhere.
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