I remember it was roughly 1990. My sister and I were watching TV in my parents bedroom. This was very shortly after we came to America and I was not very well-versed in popular American culture. My sister was controlling the TV, as older sisters do, and we landed on a televised concert.

New Kids On The Block.

My sister, 2 years older than me at 6 immediately jumped off the bed and began dancing. I remember it clearly. NKOTB were on a stage, standing mics in front of them, singing a song I had never heard. But my sister clearly had. She jumped in singing and dancing right away to Step by Step.

When we were kids, we were both big on performing. We put on dance shows all the time to Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and The Bangles music. But I’d never seen a group quite like this one. I watched my sister dance around and inevitably, like many younger siblings, jumped up to copy her.

And that was the start of boy bands in my life.

It was 1990 when I first heard of NKOTB. And it was 2023 when I FINALLY got the chance to see them perform live.

I know…For someone like me, an avid 90s music fan, a big lover of boy bands (BACKSTREET FOR LIFE), and a regular concert goer, it’s somewhat unbelievable that I’ve never seen them live. But here we are!

And what a show they put on!

Sadly, I did not get to experience this with my sister, but I did get to go with my best and oldest friend, who is basically my sister. We had terrible seats, about 5 rows from the back of the venue. Thankfully it wasn’t a huge venue and we still had a great view.

The show was incredible! Just the right amount of choreography, a few “slow it down” moments, a ton of funny pokes at one another, and of course, a few perfect Joey McIntyre high notes.

The New Kids came out to a roaring crowd and started their set in the audience, which was so fun to see! Each guy had a block about 10 or so rows into the first section. They popped up in shiny red jackets that were impossible to miss and sung their hearts out while interacting with everyone around them.

They opened the show with one of their newer songs, Crash, which is a total bop. It’s one I’m less familiar with, but I LOVED it. I love how they’ve grown and matured in their music and really dig their sound. They also did a few acapella sections and that showcased their voices nicely as well.

Personally, I’m a huge Donnie fan. I love so much about him and seeing him live for the first time did not disappoint. Donnie was ALL energy, ALL the time. He was definitely the hype guy and was talkative and friendly with everyone.  He seems like such a down to earth and grateful person, full of joy and optimism. And that all showed in his performance. Of course, he’s also a tease…

As a kid, Jordan was my guy. I still remember his solo album and how the songs were fire. Jordan is the only New Kid I’ve seen live, when he did a joint tour with Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys as Nick and Knight. I have to admit, I was more interested in watching the Backstreet Boy than Jordan at that show. But this time, Jordan commanded the stage.  His voice! I did not know how high that man can sing! He rocked every song.

One of the best parts of the show was when Jordan came out alone and sat down at the piano. He played a few songs and then Joey joined him.

And Joey can sing…what a talent! I’ve always known he was talented, it seeing him live, he truly impressed me. It was nice to hear his current voice on some of their old songs.

Donnie joined the guys after that, and then Danny and Jonathan right after. They chatted on stage for awhile. Although it was fun to watch them interacting, I have to admit their onstage banter was a little awkward. It was clear it was scripted (which it always is, and Joey even mentioned it), but it was as if they missed cues at times. Once they jumped back into the songs the magic was back.

Another fun addition they had was a quick change camera. During a quick change backstage, the boys were seen on camera on the stage screen. They teased the camera a bit before coming back out.

I also loved the attention they gave to the audience. Not only did they start in the crowd, but they returned to the crowd during the show and spent so much time making sure they got to as many people as possible. It was sweet to see how important that was to them. And I’m certain the fans greatly appreciated every bit of it.

And of course, seeing Step by Step live was nostalgia at its finest, for so many reasons. I can still visualize seeing them on that tiny tv in my parents room at 4. Seeing it live was a ton better than that. It was like coming full circle.

Overall, it was an incredible night. I’m so thankful I had a chance to finally see the New Kids.