Concert Reviews

New Kids On The Block at the Scotiabank Arena

The New Kids on the Block returned to Toronto to feature their unique Mixed Tape tour. This show exemplified the reality of the 80s and early 90s. The formats wasn’t the usual direct supports then headliner, but rather a mix of all the popular pop artist of the times. The evening set list amalgamated New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Salt N Pepa, Naughty by Nature and surprise guest Snow. It was a literal Mix Tape evening.

The Scotiabank Arena was packed to the rafters with guys and gals eager to reminisce the days gone by. This was the third time I have covered NKOTB and it never ceases to amaze me how they can still sell out huge arenas, with hordes of fans swooning over them.

The NKOTB provide an amazingly choreographed show, with continual focus on their ever lasting vocal talents. I imagine a choreographer coaching the guys to stare at the photographers in the back of the venue to get “that shot”, since every year it’s a staple picture when shooting their show. (Not that I will complain) but it really shows the focus placed on presentation.

The venue was set with two stages flanking each ends of the arena. Each stage equipped with hydraulic risers for that extra wow factor.

The evening started off with The New Kids on the Block, high up on a riser, picture with a ghetto blaster. All dawned in white, these guys looked so youthful and well below their actual ages. The ladies certainly noticed, and well frankly I did too. They opened the evening with the song The Way.

After NKOTB performed songs such as Dirty Dancing, Block Party and Games just to name a few, the lights dimmed and Tiffany appeared on the main stage, ready to perform her hit song I Think We’re Alone Now. The crowd went wild. She sounded great, with a great stage presence. I was impressed with her that evening. A true professional.

The lights dimmed again and you could see hints of someone at stage b. The lights brightened and there she was, Debbie Gibson in all her glory. She blew me away, and had me a bit jealous of how well she had aged. There she was in a mini sequenced dress, with legs that went forever. She started to sing Shake Your Love and yup, she is still the total package.

It came back to The New Kids on the Block. They performed Valentine Girl and had a huge screen showing the “Kiss Cam” through out the audience. Fans were excited to see themselves and partook in the kissing when caught.

The lovely ladies from Salt N Pepper graced the stage with a handful of male dancers. They performed their big hits What a Man and Let’s Talk About Sex. In the background on the jumbo tron you could see the boys from NKOTB shirtless, playing up to the camera.

With no surprise, off the back of the Raptors win of the NBA championship, the New Kids played up on this monumental event, having dancers wearing raptors cheer uniforms. The crowd start chanting Raptors, Raptors. It was nice that they recognized this milestone for our city.

On the main stage, you could see a glimps of a throne emerging from the stage. This was the introduction of Naughty by Nature. Albeit a popular duo on the airwaves, I can’t say they ever caught my attention. I slightly zoned out during their performance, but thought it was fun that they made their way through the audience.

Another unexpected guest that evening was Toronto’s own rapper Snow. He performed his hit Informer. The crowd ate it up!

The guys from New Kids on the Block made their way to each ends of the arena, to mingle, sing and take selfies with their fans. Within only a few feet away, I got to witness Jordan Knight smoozing with his fans. It was a real treat to see.

Overall the show was a blast from the past. It brought us all to a moment in time where things were so innocent and pure. A fun time was had by all in attendance.

About author

Photojournalist at Live in Limbo.