Live Review: New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys Heat Up the Dance

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May 29, 2011 – Women in homemade t-shirts are screaming and holding signs. You hear certain names being shouted over and over again – Donnie, Nick, Danny, Howie, and “A.J.”. Then it all starts to make sense. You’re at a New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys concert, shortened to the unbelievably long acronym ‘NKOTBSB‘ for the purposes of their summer tour together. A decade or two may have passed since these two boy bands dominated the charts, but that didn’t stop them from breaking out the hits and the dance moves that made them famous. The boys are back, and so are the ladies who will not stop screaming for them.

The Kids and the Boys didn’t just storm out on stage and get down to their business of singing and dancing acrobatics, though. Oh no, they made the ladies wait. The reaction to opening act Ashley Huff was less than warm as her DJ struggled to force one pair of hands to start clapping – a true sign that fans were holding their excitement for the main attraction. Even a swarm of backup dancers couldn’t bring her show to life.

Jordin Sparks fared better, but with no backup dancers, her presence alone isn’t quite suited to fill up a large stage. But the waiting still wasn’t over. There was a two minute opening video that seemed to run twice as long as necessary, although it did serve its purpose of building hype. Then they arrived, on a hovering platform, at the stage to begin a show that was actually quite spectacular.

Sure, the New Kids on the Block aren’t exactly “new” anymore, and the Backstreet Boys are no longer “boys”, but that doesn’t mean that these groups aren’t relevant. One look at a Justin Bieber music video reveals that today’s big names in music are taking big cues from these ’90s idols.

Smiling at fans and simultaneously switching hand gestures every half second, Nick Carter and Joey McIntyre showed that they haven’t lost their stage personalities or their synchronized dance moves. They even sounded great, though their voices can’t be expected to reach preteen levels.

For all the critics that may dismiss NKOTBSB as a fleeting nostalgia tour, their influence on contemporary pop is here to stay.

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Join Daniel Wood, of the New Kids on the Block, along with his band members and friends the Backstreet Boys, in his efforts to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Daniel had his Harley Davidson Heritage custom painted with the symbolic pink ribbon to show his support in the fight against breast cancer. Daniel also founded whose mission is to make sure the legacy of his mother, Betty Wood, lives on while using the struggle and pain she faced in her battle against Breast Cancer as a symbol to put an ending to this horrible disease. is a patented business model designed to provide Fans access to "Never in Lifetime type Prizes" while helping celebrities to raise funds to support their charitable causes. Direct expenses amount to approximately 8.5% of the minimum $10.00 transaction and 5% of the $25.00 average transaction. Leaving between 86.5 and 90% for charity after the 5% Massachusetts Charitable Gaming Tax is paid.

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Jordan Knight talks About Unfinished Business

Jordan Knight, lead singer of New Kids On The Block stopped by to chat with Hoda and Kathie Lee on The Today Show. Jordan chatted about the new tour that combines New Kids with The Backstreet Boys. The combined group will be singing on The Today Show plaza this Friday (June 3rd).

Jordan also chatted about releasing his first solo CD in five years titled “Unfinished Business.” Jordan confessed to Kathie Lee that “it’s a little strange to be having a CD come out at the same time as launching a new tour. It’s also a little hectic.” He noted “it’s always a great time because there’s so much exposure and I’m kinda riding the wave of the whole tour and everything else.”

Jordan looked handsome but very relaxed and confided “we have a day off today.” Since the band was off Jordan said he “came to put out a CD” and Joe (Joey McIntyre) flew off to LA to put out a new baby. He’s having a baby girl today.”

When asked if the kids go on tour with their fathers Jordan said “they do come and they love it” and he said that Joe’s son “he’s like four years old and I’m like his favorite now because I’m Mr. Step by Step and that’s his favorite song.” Jordan said that Joe had his song come on stage and Jordan was “showing him – Okay on that line you point out to the crowd and you have to wave your hand across” Joe’s song loved it and Jordan said “he’s got it.”

Jordan explained that his new CD took awhile to evolve and that initially he only thought about doing a few songs – maybe three – to just put some new work out there for his fans on Twitter. However, it grew to six songs and then eight songs until it was a full CD, he got a distribution deal and now it’s being released. It was kinda of an experiment. He wrote most of the songs as well.

He called the CD unfinished business because “as long as you stay positive, stay patient and stay open your life will always be unfinished.” He said life is “a work in progress.”

How did the Backstreet Boys join up with New Kids On The Block? Jordan said it kinda just happened. He said the Backstreet Boys came to a New Kids performance at Radio City and “we invited them to sing a song onstage. But we didn’t tell the audience.” Jordan “we were singing the Backstreet Boys song “I Want It That Way” and there was a lull in the song and the curtain comes up and boom – they show up. So everybody went crazy. It took everyone one minute to get used to it. Just one minute.”

Jordan said that some people thought the bands were in competition but they’re really not and it’s been a great pairing.

Hoda told Jordan that fans had already been lining up to get into the concert on Friday and Jordan said “it’s a beautiful thing. When we came out we touched a lot of people at a tender age and they don’t forget it.” And they don’t forget their fans.

Tune in Friday to see the New Kids and Backstreet Boys perform on The Today Show.

Jordan Knight on The Today Show

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Blue Bloods :Family Business

Family Business


­­ ­BY: Shawn Malcom­

­ “I WANT MORE CARROTS!” Tom Selleck announces from his seat at the dining table. Surrounded by his Blue Bloods brood, the actor is playfully ad-libbing dialogue for a family dinner scene, which is unfolding at New York’s Pier 59 Studios for a Watch! photo shoot. As legendary lensman Patrick Demarchelier snaps away, Selleck’s onscreen daughter, Bridget Moynahan, can’t help but respond with a little good-natured ribbing. Holding a breadbasket in one hand, she glances at Selleck’s plate, which already has a generous serving of the vitamin A-rich veggie, and cracks, “You sure you need more?”

Forget carrots. It’s Blue Bloods’ artful recipe of meaty police cases and slow-simmering character development that fans can’t get enough of. Since its premiere last September, the series—which revolves around a multigenerational clan of New York City cops headed by Selleck’s commissioner Frank Reagan—has emerged as one of TV’s most arresting new dramas. A hit with viewers and critics alike, Blue Bloods stands out as a modern throwback, a show that manages simultaneously to feel both incredibly fresh and comfortingly familiar. “This is like The Sopranos [in that] it’s about a family and the family business,” says executive producer Leonard Goldberg. “Only the Reagans are the good guys [whose] job is preventing the Sopranos.” The comparison to HBO’s mob hit is apt, considering two of the first-season executive producers, husband-and-wife team Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, previously wrote for the Emmy-winning drama. The idea also fortuitously coincided with Goldberg’s unexpected return to the series world. As the veteran producer behind such classics as Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels and Hart to Hart remembers: “My longtime friend [CBS Corporation President and CEO] Les Moonves and I got to talking one day, and he said, ‘Why don’t you do a show for CBS?’ I said, ‘I’ve been out of series television for a long time. And besides, you seem to be doing just fine without me,’ ” Goldberg chuckles. “He said, ‘Come on, you can come up with a show!’ And as you know, [Moonves] is not to be denied.”

Once on the case, Goldberg found himself inspired by two formats he’d previously found immense success with: the police procedural and the family drama. “Finally,” says the producer, “I thought, Why not combine them?” A clearer portrait of the Reagans emerged when Goldberg found himself leafing through a book of Norman Rockwell’s iconic illustrations. “One in particular struck me called Freedom from Want, which is probably his most famous cover from the Saturday Evening Post,” says the producer. “It shows a family gathered around a table at Thanksgiving, the father ready to carve the turkey, and it just hit me: We should do a family dinner scene every week.”

Those meals together—during which the Reagans eat, drink and debate the often-thorny issues raised by their respective cases—have become a hallmark of the series, one that resonates deeply with fans. “People will come up to me and say,‘Hey, I had dinner with you the other night. What did you think of the meatloaf?’ ” says Len Cariou, who plays Selleck’s retired cop father. “At first I’m going, ‘What are you talking about? I’ve never met you before.’ And then it’s, ‘Oh, right. The show.’ People always want to talk about those dinner scenes because they feel real. I think they see their own families in them, and that’s cool.”

These days, the cast looks forward to breaking bread on screen together. “I sit at the table in between takes, and I just look around and feel so fortunate,” Selleck says. “Everyone is a very accomplished actor, and we all like each other, which I’m thrilled about.”

“When it comes to the dinner table, I don’t stick to the script,” reveals Donnie Wahlberg, who plays eldest Reagan son Danny. “I add a lot


WHEN THE CLOTHING FROM YOUR FIRST HIT SERIES is considered such a national treasure that it’s displayed in the Smithsonian, deciding to star in another can be daunting.

“It’s pretty hard to beat the kind of success that [Magnum, P.I.] was,” admits Tom Selleck, who became one of TV’s biggest stars in the 1980s as the charming aloha-shirted, Detroit Tigers-capped title character. “You go, ‘Oh my God, they’re going to compare this to Magnum.’ But you’ve gotta fight that. Actors can be defeated if they don’t take risks.”


­­ If playing widowed police commissioner Frank Reagan initially felt like a gamble, it now looks like yet another smart move in an enduring career that has spanned not only TV but also film and Broadway. As the soulfully commanding man who watches over his family and New York City with equal devotion, the actor has earned some of his most glowing reviews to date.

Executive producer Leonard Goldberg says the goodwill audiences have felt for Selleck since his Magnum days only enriches their viewing experience. “[Selleck is] such a reassuring presence that I think people wish [Frank] were the police commissioner of their city,” Goldberg says. “He just brings that feeling of, ‘It’s gonna be tough, but in the end everything’s gonna be OK.’ ”

Like the Reagans, the Selleck family was a particularly close bunch. “My big brother, Bob, and I fought all the time,” the actor says, “but there was no doubt that if there was trouble, we were inseparable.”

The actor also admits to drawing on his late father while playing Frank. “I had a very good dad—I was lucky,” he says. “When I’m a little lost, stuff he said comes to mind, and it really grounds me in this character.”

Major research hasn’t hurt, either. While preparing for the role, Selleck spoke to former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton and the current one, Raymond Kelly. He also pays close attention to every detail—no matter how likely the audience is to see it. Onscreen, “I’m carrying a gun that Frank’s grandfather would’ve carried,” he reveals. “I made sure it was made in the ’30s.” And like his character, the role of family man is of utmost priority to Selleck. Thanks to an arrangement struck with producers when he signed on to Blue Bloods, the actor spends half of each month at home with his wife of 23 years, Jillie Mack in Los Angeles and dotes on his two grown kids. “I’m a little more consistent than any actor probably should be,” he says, breaking into a laugh. “My life’s kind of boring.”


RETIRED NEW YORK CITY POLICE CHIEF HENRY REAGAN may be one gruff granddad, but he’s got nothing on the man who plays him. Just consider Len Cariou’s blunt response when Blue Bloods producers asked

him to come in for a third audition. “I said, ‘Go [expletive] yourself,’ ” Cariou recalls with a laugh. “I told my agent, ‘There’s nothing they could possibly throw at me that I couldn’t do, and if they can’t figure that out from what they’ve already seen, there’s no point in pursuing it.’ ”


­­ It’s hard to argue, considering Cariou’s illustrious career. Since making his Broadway debut in 1968, the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native has become an icon of the theater world, winning a Tony (for the original 1979 production of Sweeney Todd) and racking up two other nominations, not to mention a 2004 induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Along the way, he’s also shared the big screen with luminaries as diverse as Elizabeth Taylor and Johnny Depp, taken direction from Oscar winners Clint Eastwood and Alexander Payne, and earned an Emmy nomination for his turn as Franklin D. Roosevelt in HBO’s Into the Storm. In the end, it didn’t take a third audition for Blue’s executive producer Leonard Goldberg to realize that only an actor of Cariou’s stature could play opposite a TV powerhouse such as Tom Selleck. “Len is used to commanding the [room],” says Goldberg, “and we needed someone who had that kind of strong presence.” But not even the 71-year-old actor, married for nearly 25 years to actress-turned-author Heather Summerhayes, was prepared for the recognition that comes with a hit series. “Fifteen million people see this show every week,” he marvels.

“That’s more people than have ever seen me onstage—just in one week!” Now that’s nothing to swear about. of lines. Part of it is I like to keep things snapping along but the other part of it is Danny. It’s not enough for him to just say his point; he wants to keep antagonizing. So it works because neither one of us likes to play it safe.”

There was nothing “safe” about Blue’s inaugural family dinner. In fact, it was a major source of anxiety for all involved, because it was the very first scene shot on the very first day of work—and apart from Wahlberg and Moynahan, who’d worked together previously on another pilot, the actors were strangers. “Here we’re playing people who’ve known each other all their lives, but we had no relationship between ourselves,” Selleck says. “I go, ‘My God! How can we shoot this the first day?’ Basically, I said, ‘Hi, I’m your father,’ and we went to work. It was a little scary.”

“It wasn’t smart of us as producers to put that scene first,” Goldberg admits with a laugh. “Normally you start off with a very small, unimportant scene just to get everybody, including the crew, used to shooting together. But that’s just the way the schedule worked out.”

The situation could easily have been disastrous. But much to everyone’s relief, “it all just fell into place,” marvels Green. “There was really good chemistry right away.”

Avital component to that chemistry is the man who presides at the head of the table. From the start, Goldberg envisioned Selleck in the role, but the Emmy-winning actor—who’d brought to life one of TV’s most beloved characters in Magnum, P.I.—had reservations about returning to the weekly series beat. While he was a fan of Green and Burgess’ pilot script, Selleck was already content working on the big screen and on CBS’ Jesse Stone movies. What’s more, he and his family were based in California, where he owns a 60-acre working ranch, and Blue was set to shoot on location in either Canada or New York. (Ultimately, the East Coast locale won out.) “I said, ‘There’s a quality of life issue here,’ ” remembers Selleck. “On Magnum, my priorities were out of whack. The show was 90-hour workweeks, nine months a year, and ever since then, I’ve always asked, ‘What about the family?’—no matter how good the job is.” Goldberg remained undeterred. “What we had going for us,” he says, “was a wonderful script and a wonderful part.” Surprisingly for someone of Selleck’s stature, the fact that the role wasn’t the show’s sole lead turned out to be another advantage. “He wasn’t looking to do ‘The Tom Selleck Show,’ ” Goldberg says. “He wanted to be part of a strong ensemble. That, to me, was very impressive.”

Ultimately, producers sealed the deal by pitching Selleck a compromise: The actor’s shooting schedule would be compressed so that he would still be able to spend half of each month at home in Los Angeles. Given that, “it wasn’t hard to commit,” Selleck says. “I love the work. This show is very character-driven in a television world right now that isn’t, and I think that’s why people are staying home to watch.”


BRIDGET MOYNAHAN HAS MORE THAN A LITTLE IN COMMON with Blue Bloods’ Erin Reagan-Boyle. Like the tough-as-nails prosecutor she plays, Moynahan grew up the only daughter in an Irish-American clan and now juggles a high-profile career with single motherhood. Still, the actress was originally hesitant about accepting the role.

Concerned about the long hours away from her 3-year-old son, Jack—as well as the possibility that the series would shoot in Canada, rather than on the East Coast, where she has family—Moynahan demurred when producers first sent her the script. Thankfully, co-star Donnie Wahlberg, who’d shot a cable pilot with the actress in 2008, refused to take no for an answer.


­­ “I called Bridget and said, ‘You’re doing this!’ ” Wahlberg says. “I begged her—and I sold her on the fact that it would shoot in New York, even though I had no clue it would. I said, ‘Look, if it’s Canada, you can walk into the makeup trailer every day and slap me in the face.’

“Fortunately,” he adds with a laugh, “it didn’t come to that. I wouldn’t want her slapping me too much—she’s a tough girl!”

Moynahan comes by it honestly. Raised in Longmeadow, Mass., with two brothers, she was a self-professed tomboy who competed in both soccer and basketball. But she was also a 5’9 1/2”-stunner who at age 18 moved to New York and eventually landed on the covers of Elle and Vogue. Undeterred by the many­ models who’ve tried—and failed—to make the transition to acting, she studied the craft and wound up with a star-making turn as Mr. Big’s wife, Natasha, on Sex and the City. “[Executive producers]Michael Patrick King and Darren Star took a chance on me,” she says. “It was really supposed to be a nothing role but luckily, it developed into something people still talk about.”

A string of big-budget films—including The Sum of All Fears opposite Ben Affleck, The Recruit with Al Pacino and I, Robot co-starring Will Smith—also had fans buzzing. But it’s her current co-stars who seem to have become true-Blue friends.

Take Tom Selleck, whom she fondly calls “Dad” even when the cameras aren’t rolling. (“There are times that Dad is like, ‘You said that just like my [actual] daughter would!’ ” Moynahan says.) And as any sister would, she’s prone to giving onscreen siblings Wahlberg and Will Estes a hard time. “Unfortunately,” she says with a smirk, “I think I protect them more often than they protect me.”


ONE OF NEW YORK’S FINEST ISN’T FEELING SO FINE AT THE MOMENT. “I have a sore throat,” Donnie Wahlberg says between coughs. “I haven’t really been getting much sleep.”

That’s the price a guy pays for having not one but two full-time careers. While Wahlberg clocks long hours on the Blue Bloods set daily, he often spends nights and weekends rehearsing for a summer reunion tour with New Kids on the Block. ­­­

­­ Still, the double-threat insists he’s hangin’ tough. “I love being busy,” he says. “With acting, I’m an employee, and with New Kids, I’m sort of my own boss. To go back and forth, it’s a great balance”—one he felt confident he could maintain. That’s why, despite the inevitable lack of ZZZs, Wahlberg didn’t waffle when he was offered the part of Danny Reagan, the tightly wound detective who’ll do whatever it takes—even shove a perp’s head in a toilet—to solve a case. “There was a certain fluidity to the way he was written,” says the actor. “While he was a serious and intense character, he read to me like he was gonna be a lot of fun to play.”

But it was the pilot’s family dinner scene—which reminded Wahlberg of his own Boston-bred brood that included nine kids, including fellow actor Mark—that really sold him. “It was reminiscent of my life as a kid and the conversations we had,” says the entertainer, who himself is now the father of two sons, ages 17 and 9. “I was more the peacekeeper in my real life, trying to avoid arguments. But I know there’s always that sibling like Danny who will go a little too far.”

Wahlberg’s insight convinced producers that he had the right stuff for the gig and that, after a number of failed series, he’d finally found a perfect fit. Says executive producer Leonard Goldberg: “Remember how many pilots George Clooney did before ER? Then when he did [that show], you went, ‘Well, of course he’s a star.’ I think that’s what Blue Bloods is [for] Donnie.”

Whatever the benefits, Wahlberg believes he wouldn’t have been ready for them before. “I think it took my whole career to be in position to play this guy,” says the actor, who previously turned in critically acclaimed performances in The Sixth Sense and the short-lived TV drama Boomtown. “I think I’m a better actor now, because I have a better sense of confidence.I have a good grasp of playing the character and not letting the character play me.

“There have been a few moments in life where I look at where my career is and wouldn’t change a thing,” he continues. “This is one of those times. I’m in the sweet spot.” Being bicoastal continues to be an adjustment. “The work is very consuming so when I’m in New York, I miss my family but when I’m in L.A., I miss the show,” he admits. “And when I come back [to the set], I go, ‘Who is this guy I’m playing?’ because I’ve been away two weeks. But those things will smooth out as time goes on.”

And make no mistake: Selleck would like to be racking up frequent-flier miles for many years to come. “Frank is a role I’ll always love,” he says. “I think the character has a limitless ability to grow and change and get more interesting, so I hope I can play him for a long time.”

As Blue prepares to wrap up its remarkable first season, the rest of the ensemble is feeling similarly gratified by its success. “Hit shows don’t come along every day,” Wahlberg says. “We all know we’ve got something pretty special here.”


WITH HIS ALL-AMERICAN LOOKS, Will Estes has often been called upon to portray men in uniform, be it an embattled member of the U.S. Navy in the film U-571

or a high school football star-turned-Vietnam vet on the TV series American Dreams. Still, he cops to getting a singular kick out of carrying the badge of Blue Bloods’ impressionable rookie, Jamie Reagan. “It harkens back to when you’re a kid playing cops and robbers,” he says. “There’s an excitement to catching bad guys that never goes away.”


­­ But what if the bad guys are members of your own tight-knit clan? That’s a possibility the youngest Reagan, a Harvard grad who opted to forgo a lucrative legal career in favor of joining the family biz, has been forced to consider since embarking on a top-secret investigation into his brother Joe’s untimely death. Finding someone who could handle the multifaceted role was the producers’ “most difficult” casting task, says executive producer Leonard Goldberg: “He had to be a strong enough actor to carry the whole mystery [of what happened to Joe] on his shoulders, and you had to believe that he had the smarts to go to Harvard.”

To do his role justice, Estes visited New York precincts and talked to real cops on the beat. Focus like that has likely helped the actor—who landed his first series at the tender age of 11—avoid many of the pitfalls that often plague child stars. “I think one of the biggest tricks,” he says, “is to engage in other things that have nothing to do with acting.” Throughout his career, Estes has taken his own advice. “I took a class on solar panel installation,” reports the actor who, shortly before moving out East for Blue, fit his Los Angeles home with the energy-efficient panels. “When I got my first power bill, it was, like, $3.95. I was excited about that.”

Review: NKOTBSB tour comes to Mohegan Sun

Whoever came up with the concept for the NKOTBSB tour must have loved the musical Chicago.

“One jazz killer is nothing these days, but two …”

That was the idea behind the cleverly monikered NKOTBSB tour, and boy, was it a good one. Each band — New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, for those keeping track — has been making few waves within the last few years, but put them together and you have a girls' night waiting to happen.

The headliners started very late — 44 minutes after the second opener finished. But once they came out, all was forgotten. They appeared, appropriately, high atop a riser, looking down at an expanse of cheering fans.

It was an expertly calibrated show: a nonstop, 2 hour-15 minute killer, with very little downtime between songs and almost no banter. Even the ‘encore’ began less than two minutes after the last song ended, and there was recorded noise going on in the background.

The show was rife with boy band clichés: I counted 8.25 crooners (Jonathan Knight was mostly absent due to a knee injury- he hobbled out for a cameo), 1 shirt ripped off, 4 girls pulled on stage, 8 sparkly sports jerseys, 6 costume changes and 2 slow songs sung while sitting on stools. And the crowd absolutely ate it up.

The New Kids brought the house down with a falsetto-ed out version of “Please Don’t Go Girl” and “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Forever” as well as “The Right Stuff,” “Step by Step” and “Cover Girl,” with the classic dance moves to match. Their closer, “Hangin’ Tough,” had almost every person in the nearly full arena waving their arms in the air so hard that you could feel the bleachers swaying.

The Backstreet Boys ripped through “The Call,” Larger than Life,” and “Everybody.” They broke down the “old-school Backstreet Boy way” into 4-part harmony at the end of “I’ll Never Break Your Heart” and closed pre-encore with “I Want It That Way.”

Both groups held up vocally. The Backstreet Boys were mostly clean, while the New Kids suffered through a few slushy spots. But New Kids Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre got the night’s two vocal glory moments and killed them.

The dancing was the biggest difference between the two. The New Kids were professional and knew how to play to the crowd, but their dance moves lacked any fire. The Backstreet Boys brought far more attack. Nick Carter bounced around the stage life an over-sugared 7-year-old, while A.J. McLean And Howie Dorough showed off crisp moves.

It was interesting to see that there wasn’t much overlap between the groups’ fanbases. The few years separating the New Kids’ and the Backstreet Boys’ reigns seemed to put quite a distance between the two groups of fans. But the whole crowd reacted for the bigger hits no matter whose they were.

True to the title of the tour, the show wasn’t separate sets from New Kids and the Backstreet Boys. The groups alternated back and forth on faster songs and did a slow-song mini-set in the middle of the show. It could seem a bit schizophrenic at times, but it was a smart move: each group’s fans didn’t have time to get bored while the ‘other one’ was on. Swapping back and forth also kept the energy up, as one group would start the second the other finished.

And crowd was an interesting mix itself. For every stage-rushing superfan, there were plenty of groups of friends singing along for nostalgia’s sake. And that’s what made the show work as well as it did: it was fun for both people who live for the New Kids or the Backstreet Boys and those who just wanted to relive a time when they did.

Opening Knight

A New Kid’s ‘Unfinished’ business

By Lauren Carter
Sunday, May 29, 2011
‘HIGHER’ LOVE: Jordan...
Photo by Ted Fitzgerald

‘HIGHER’ LOVE: Jordan Knight rehearses at the Dance Complex.

Strolling down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge last week, New Kids on the Block superstar Jordan Knight seems less like a heartthrob in one of the world’s biggest boy bands and more like, well, a regular person.
His fourth solo album, “Unfinished,” drops Tuesday and a scream-worthy joint tour with NKOTB and fellow pop idols the Backstreet Boys kicks off this week (hitting Mohegan Sun Arena tomorrow and Thursday, TD Garden on Saturday and Fenway Park [map] on June 11). But you’d never know it by talking to the unassuming crooner. When asked how he stays humble amid the hoopla, Knight revealed for the first time his struggles with alcoholism.
“I stopped drinking about six years ago,” Knight said outside of the Dance Complex in Central Square, his rehearsal spot for his recent solo performance at the Kiss-108 Concert. “I was physically addicted to it. And I was like, ‘I gotta cut this out, this is ridiculous.’ I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was walking around like death, so I had to stop. It progressed and got worse and worse, and that happens without you even thinking about it or knowing it. It just happens to you. That’s what alcohol does — so I quit, thank God.”
Knight, 41, said he originally turned to alcohol because he had trouble embracing the responsibilities of adulthood. What started as a weekend habit before the birth of his first son, 11-year-old Dante Jordan, progressed to full-fledged physical dependency. Knight said he kicked drinking cold turkey after waking up with a particularly bad hangover, and hasn’t touched it since.
“That’s why I think this album is a whole lot better than anything else I’ve done besides my first album (1999’s ‘Jordan Knight’), by far,” he said. “Obviously if you’re not drinking all the time, your game is gonna be better, from your voice and your thought to your creative process.”
In addition to a newfound focus, Knight says “Unfinished” brings a danceable, age-appropriate pop/r&b mix. Lead single “Let’s Go Higher” seems to have nailed the club-ready formula while separating Knight from pop newbies.
“My whole thing was, it’s gotta be natural and it’s gotta be grown and sexy,” Knight said. “And it can’t be like I’m trying too hard. It can’t be like I’m trying to be young, and it can’t be some adult-contemporary-sounding, older stuff either. So it’s gotta be right down the middle, perfect for me, in that sweet spot.”
The title, Knight said, refers to the ability to bounce back and keep going, whether in the limelight or behind closed doors.
“ ‘Unfinished’ is kind of how I’ve been feeling over the past several years,” Knight said. “I believe that no matter how old you are, no matter how many people count you out, no matter how many hits you take along the way, your life is always unfinished in the sense that it can keep getting better, it can keep unfolding. New things can come into your life as long as you stay positive and stay open.”
NKOTBSB, with Jordin Sparks, at Mohegan Sun Arena, Monday and Thursday. Tickets: $75-$95. At TD Garden, Saturday. Tickets: $30-$90; 617-931-2000. At Fenway Park, June 11. Tickets: $34.50-$135; 1-800-514-ETIX.

NKOTBSB Bonus DVD (video)

NKOTBSB Bonus DVD from Lori F on Vimeo.

NKOTBSB Launch New Tour

NKOTBSB on The Insider 05/26/11

video by @yikes on youtube

WATCH: NKOTBSB Get Ready to Kick Off New Tour

Two of the most popular boy bands of all time, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, have combined to put on one legendary tour for their faithful fans and we were there as they got ready the day before their first tour date.

The two bands shared one stage for the first time at the 2010 American Music Awards in November and AJ McLean called the crowd's reaction to that performance "the spark" that ignited the tour's launch.

The bands have gotten well acquainted as Donnie Wahlberg revealed, saying, "We know who's got the bad hygiene habits, whose gas is the worst … We kind of know a lot about each other now."

As if the news of NKOTB and BSB uniting wasn't enough, now "Glee" star Matthew Morrison will reportedly join the tour on July 6 in Anaheim, California and continue with the band through August 7 in London, Canada, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The new NKOTBSB tour kicks off Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. NKOTBSB's first single "Don't Turn Out the Lights" is available on iTunes.

Click the video to see AJ and Joey McIntyre give a tour of their wardrobe.

new merch added to the NKOTB Store

2011 Tour Merch

New Kids on the Block Foil Burnout Girlie Tank Top

Brown burnout-style girlie tank top featuring a foil New Kids on the Block logo on the front.

New Kids on the Block Composite Babydoll

Babydoll in white featuring a black and white group photo set inside an NKOTB Tour 2011 logo.

New Kids on the Block Rainbow Babydoll

Babydoll in white featuring a rainbow colored New Kids on the Block logo and group silhouette.

New Kids on the Block Red Flock T-Shirt

Red t-shirt featuring the names of each group member printed in block lettering on the front.

New Kids on the Block Equalizer T-Shirt

Black t-shirt featuring a New Kids on the Block logo printed on the front and NKOTB Tour 2011 dates 5/12 Miami, FL through 08/07 London, ON on the back.
New Kids on the Block Tour 2011 Poster

24" x 36" poster featuring a group photo with a New Kids on the Block Tour 2011 logo printed above them.

New Kids on the Block Blinking Ring

Open-sized blinking ring featuring a New Kids on the Block logo.

New Kids on the Block To the Point 6" Button

6" Button featuring a retro design, group photo and classic NKOTB logo.

Listen To Jordan Knight's New Album, 'Unfinished,' FOR FREE!

Credit: E One

HOLD THE [SWATCH] PHONE! Jordan Knight has a new album out! The “Giving It To You” singer is truly "giving it to us" from a musical standpoint — he’s touring with fellow New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB, for the uninvolved) beginning June 2nd (have you bought your tickets?!) AND has been flying solo on his latest side-hustle, album, his new album, Unfinished.It'll be out May 31 on iTunes and features the easy yet up-tempo dancey beat of The New Kids On The Block's newer albums while clearly influenced by Jordan's 1999 solo debut, "Give It To You."

Listen to Jordan's solo songs, and it's clear that Jordan's boy-bander-all-grown-up hotness and ability to create dance-pop is ALSO "Unfinished." We envision it's a lifelong work in progress, actually. "Let's Go Higher" directly references DJs and dancefloors -- a good indication that that's exactly where you'll hear his new songs. The overall flavor is grown-up NKOTB with shades of Enrique Iglesias. And even though Jordan's talking about things like "texting you right now" ("Like A Wave"), it's a more modern twist on NKOTB's chivalrous-yet-vulnerable tone that '80s fans (myself included) know and love. Jordan Girls will remember WHY we hightailed it to their concerts amongst screaming fans wearing 13 pieces of NKOTB paraphernalia/flair, including but not limited to a supersized button pin with Jordan Knight's face. We did it because we really FELT that he'd be loving us forever.

On "One More Night," a hip-hop inspired ballad, Knight teamed up with songwriter Nasri Atweh, who's worked with Justin Bieber and Chris Brown. "You have to let go and let the flow and the emotion take you instead of always following trends because if you think too much with your head it's not heartfelt," Jordan Knight told

Unfinished is available now for pre-order via iTunes and Amazon. Listen to it now on

NKOTBSB - Set List + Concert Pics


Last night marked the start of the NKOTBSB tour. I was lucky enough to be at this show and managed to scribble down the set list. I was right on top of the stage so I included some pictures as well as general tidbits for the show. Enjoy!

SET LIST Note: Some songs are shortened versions

Single / The One (Mash-up) – NKOTBSB
Summertime – NKOTB
The Call – BSB
Dirty Dancing – NKOTB
Bye Bye Love – BSB
The Right Stuff – NKOTB
Larger Than Life – NKOTBSB
Blow Your Mind – NKOTB
Valentine Girl – NKOTB
If You Go Away – NKOTB
Please Don’t Go Girl – NKOTB
Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely – BSB
10,000 Promises – BSB
I’ll Never Break Your Heart – BSB
Inconsolable – BSB
Drowning – BSB
Incomplete – BSB
Step By Step – NKOTB
Cover Girl – NKOTB
My Favorite Girl – NKOTB
Games – NKOTB
Click Click Click – NKOTB
Tonight – NKOTB
Shape of My Heart – BSB
As Long As You Love Me – BSB
All I Have To Give – BSB
If You Stay – BSB
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) –BSB
I’ll Be Loving You Forever – NKOTB
I Want It That Way – BSB
Don’t Turn Out the Lights – NKOTBSB


Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – BSB
Hangin’ Tough / We Will Rock You (Mash-up) – NKOTB
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) / Hangin’ Tough (Mash-up) - NKOTBSB

For anyone that hasn't seen the stage layout, it's pictured below (Jordan Knight refers to it as the penis stage):

To continue the penis analogy, and to help you get an idea of what you'll see if you have tickets, BSB seemed to gravitate towards the head while NKOTB mostly performed on the shaft.

"Tonight" and "Shape Of My Heart" are performed in the crowd. They go pretty deep into the sides of the audience and not just for the floor seats, they were up on the next level.

And now for pictures!

Matthew Morrison did not open at my show. It started off with this girl. I have no idea who she is tbh her name is Ashlyne Huff and I never heard of her before last night. I took some pictures of her to figure out the settings I wanted to use on my camera and because she looked like Lindsay Lohan with a bad facelift.

"Bless her heart. She tried really hard." -Arena security after her set.

Next up was Jordin Sparks.

And some NKOTBSB!

I wasn't able to take any video but here enjoy last night's performance of "Don't Turn Out the Lights" via YouTube!
This post is kind of image heavy, just so you know. Also, just a heads up, I watermarked some of the shots as well.

Source: Me and my camera and one video from YouTube.

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