The boy band brought its hits to Grand Rapids Thursday along with plenty of nostalgia for devoted fans, plus appearances by Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Naughty by Nature. Review, photos.
More than 30 years after they first hit the stage, the New Kids on the Block seem to find a fresh way to get nostalgic with every tour.
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Thursday night’s near-capacity “Mixtape Tour” stop at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena was no exception, with the headliners taking the stage first to regale faithful fans with familiar pop faves followed by a succession of ’80s and ’90s acts: singers Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, and hip hop’s Naughty by Nature and Salt-N-Pepa.
For fan Tory Hudson, it made for “a fun night. It is awesome to see that these old-school acts can still put on a great show.”
It began in a darkened area with the crowd roaring before a flash of pyrotechnics revealed the New Kids on the Block on stage, elevated by a lift in front of a screen with boombox speakers.
Kicking the show off with a new song, “The Way,” that appears on the 30th anniversary re-release of “Hangin Tough,” the boy band uncorked a spectacle of lights, color and sound via two stages — a main stage, with a smaller stage at the back of the house to give fans in the nether reaches of the arena a more intimate experience.
After a set filled with pyrotechnics, smoke, stage lifts, video screens and confetti, the band — which reunited 12 years ago — closed out its encore with the new, uptempo song, “80s Baby,” that features all of the performers on the Mixtape Tour (a change from past tours when the boys have closed with “Hangin’ Tough”).
And clearly, the band’s devoted fans revel in sharing this nostalgic experience with each other, reliving those late ’80s moments.
“I love seeing the guys no doubt,” said concertgoer Kaira Williams, “but it is the community, the NKOTB fandom, that keeps me coming back.”
PHOTO: New Kids on the Block at Van Andel Arena
Photos by Anthony Norkus
EDITOR’S NOTE: The tour would only permit media outlet to take photos of New Kids on the Block.
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