Concert Review: New Kids on the Block Still Have It, TLC Not So Much

"New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits..." Check out our full slideshow of New Kids on the Block in Phoenix.
"New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits..." Check out our full slideshow of New Kids on the Block in Phoenix.

Apparently nostalgia is one hell of a drug because there was nothing new and very few kids in the crowd during the New Kids On the Block show last night at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Since NKOTB got back together in 2008 they have made multiple stops in the Valley, so you really have to wonder what makes 35-plus-year-olds want to keep reliving their adolescent years. Maybe it's a great excuse to get away from the spouse and kids. This time around the "kids" brought TLC and Nelly along to help the crowd relive its glory days.

It was no secret that this show would be full of questionable dance moves and cheeky fun directed at the ladies, and sure, there were going to be some background vocals on tape. The biggest surprise of the night was the lackluster performance of the two remaining ladies of TLC, who should have been standing outside the arena issuing refunds for anyone who paid to see them.

Not only did they play the vocal tracks of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez but they also didn't sing any of their own parts and appeared to lip sync their entire set. Fans who were there to see them might as well have stayed home and listened the group's records, because it would have saved them some money. From the first 30 seconds of "What About Your Friends" till closer "Waterfalls" the girls were clearly a shell of what they were without Lopez in the fold.

Concert Review: New Kids on the Block Still Have It, TLC Not So Much
Jim Louvau

The NKOTB set was pretty much what you'd expect: fun for the fans, but hard to take seriously as a music fan. The guys have aged well though, Jonathan Knight's face looked like someone had roughed him up pretty bad. A few days ago he informed fans through social media that he'd been a recent tour us accident that included a broken nose that caused him to miss a couple of recent shows. Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre can still the ability to belt out the high prepubescent notes in staples like "Please Don't Go Girl" and "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)."

If you were delusional and you were expecting any sort of substance this wasn't the show for you. If you had low expectations and just wanted to forget about your mortgage for an evening you probably danced your ass off and forgot it was Tuesday and that you had to wake up at 6 a.m to go to work.

Critics Notebook:

Personal Bias: I had no personal bias.

Overheard: "This was the best concert ever, according to my 9-year-old self."

The Crowd: Soccer moms for days.

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Gila River Arena

9400 W. Maryland Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85305

623-772-3200

www.gilariverarena.com


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