NKOTB Brought Along Their Friends And The Fun To
Salt N Pepa
Danny New Kids
Jordan New Kids
June 22, 2022
One of the first boy bands from the 1980s, New Kids On The Block, brought their Mixtape tour to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse last night for some fun and a bit of nostalgia.
This time out, the Mixtape Tour consists of Salt N Pepa, En Vogue and Rick Astley along with New Kids On The Block. As an added bonus, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee from Naughty By Nature got things started with a thirty minute DJ set of 80's era songs to hype up the crowd.
In true mixtape fashion, the artists rotated on the main stage and secondary stage after playing a few songs each. Unlike a traditional concert where one act would play their entire set then the next artist would follow and do the same until the headliners.
New Kids On The Block took the stage first, much to the delight of the mostly middle aged women and their daughters. The New Kids aren't so new anymore as the youngest member, Joey McIntire will be turning fifty at the end of the year.
However, I have to give the "boys" credit, they are all in great shape, they can still dance and sing. Opening with "Block Party" the New Kids were here to indeed party. There were many crotch grabs, unbuttoned shirts, pelvic thrusts and about a hundred "Cleveland!" shouts to the audience.
It was total cheese, but the audience ate it up.
At one point, I thought Donnie Wahlberg was going to say, "Cleveland! This is for you!" just like LeBron James.
The seven song opening set also included "Dirty Dancing," "Summertime" and their first big hit, "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," which brought the mostly middle aged, female audience members screaming and dancing in their seats.
En Vogue was the next act to take the stage. Now a trio, consisting of original members Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron along with Rhona Bennett came out firing with their biggest hits, "Never Gonna Get It" and "Free Your Mind." However, Herron was seated center stage due to a large cast on her right leg.
Then appearing on the secondary stage at the end of the arena was Rick Astley. The British singer/songwriter hit the crowd with "Together Forever" and "It Would take a Strong Man" before the New Kids reappeared, in new outfits to play a medley of songs.
Next, it was Salt N Pepa's turn to delight the crowd with some old school hip hop. The first ladies of rap and hip hop proved that there should be a place for them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If Run DMC are in, Salt N Pepa should be too with hits like "Let's Talk About Sex," "Shake Your Thing," and "Whatta Man." The latter song saw Salt N Pepa be joined by En Vogue on stage to recreate the record.
It was then back to more New Kids material and more costume changes.
The highlight of the show was when En Vogue was on the second stage and tore into the acca pela intro to "Hold On," then proceeded to rock out, proving that they were the best vocal group of the evening.
The second best moment happened center stage when Rick Astley appeared to sing his biggest hit, 'Never Gonna Give You Up.' Yes, everyone in the audience got Rick-rolled, but they loved it. Astley also proved that he has a great voice by singing "Cry For Help."
More outfit changes, but this time it was Jordan Knight's turn to take center stage and sing lead on "Valentine Girl," "If You Go Away," and "I'll Be Loving You Forever."
Salt N Pepa returned to play their biggest hit, "Push It."
The trip down memory lane came to a close with all performers on stage to sing "Bring Back The Time" and a reprise of "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Review and photos by Greg Drugan