This is what happens when you're available on a Tuesday night, being invited to a spontaneous concert outing with not one, but three of your childhood acts performing together for one night. Ladies and gentlemen, let's take a look at the New Kids On The Block with special guests TLC & Nelly.
Let's get ready to fan the heck out of this night!
May 5, 2015
One day, my friend Brianne messaged me out of the blue wondering if I am a fan of the three acts. Not knowing what was going on, I said that I am a fan of two (not telling which ones though!) Turns out, she was inviting me to see the concert tour I had no idea that was occurring this time. I thought this was going to be quite a flashback, knowing all of my core childhood hits would be brought up on stage. And like all good concerts begin, we had to take a photo:
The first of the three was none other than Nelly. I must say, he still looks good (he finally got rid of the bandage on his face!) Opening was quite strange, as there were four women dressed in black, swinging flags towards the centre, intensifying the moment the Country Grammar would pop out on stage. Blow and behold, everyone's preteen days were alive. I'm amazed by how many people remember his lyrics, because I was just standing there, nodding my head like I'm just part of the crowd. There were certainly some moments that stood out, for example:
Backup dancer on the floor, shaking that thing
Grinding all over Nelly
To be fair, pretty sure those moves were prime back in the early 2000s (if you're reviving the classics, might as well go all out). If I have noticed anything in concerts, there is always this one person that joins the main act on stage - I think they are the hype person. No matter what genre of music, he (as it tends to be) gets the crowd pumped up, singing along with the act them self. This was Nelly's hype man:
It's Flo-Rida d":
Now don't get me wrong, Nelly performed live, but his voice is unrecognizable. Not sure when it got all raspy, or what he has done in the past, however, it didn't sound like himself anymore. Nonetheless, it didn't stop the crowd losing their mind when this song came on:
Even to this day, this song still sounds fresh. I do like Nelly's diversity, reminding me of his soft side with songs like "Just A Dream" to rather more interesting songs such as "Grill" (which was when I was losing my mind). Here are a few more photos:
Getting into his jam
And who could forget this song, the one that practically put him into the spotlight and proved that he got potential (well, at least back then):
Ride Wit Me
Not only did he perform his own songs, but he covered a few of other people's jams in a medley-styled set - that was impressive if I have to say anything. Aside from the oddball audience (I think they were there mostly for NKOTB) and the questionable dancing, Nelly gave me something I didn't expect, and that is entertainment. I would say it felt out of place, but when everyone's enjoying themselves, what's there to complain?
One more song for the crowd
And what song comes up when you hear the name "Nelly?" Well, hopefully it's not a Furtado song, but this is how he closed the set:
Hot In Here
With one part of three finishing up, it was time for the next act, and that was one of the best girl groups of all time:
It's incredible to see how strong TLC remains to this day, having the ability to perform with one less member of the group (RIP, Left Eye). The act begins with these flower petals (white fans) hiding T-Boz and Chilli underneath until the big reveal comes alive:
Blossoming onto the stage...
Hot damn, they look good
Not familiar with their earlier works, they performed a bunch of songs with such passion and groove. They look like they have not aged a day, and their outfits are on point (they stay true to who they are). I am still not over how they sound exactly the same, which may suggest that (more of T-Boz) lip synching, but you have to give it to her, considering her notes are really, really low:
Look at her busting a move
One of their earlier works is probably one of their sexiest singles, and when those horns came into play, you have no clue how happy I was to take it all in:
Like Nelly, their sound has a range from Jazz to early Hip Hop (the best kind), showcasing the career they've had through the years. I was trying to get a picture of them, but they kept hopping around, as the stage was made so everyone can see from where they are sitting. These were my efforts:
T-Boz be singing...
...while Chilli be dancing
Together, in a form of a duet
More familiar with specifically two songs, 'No Scrubs,' a song that they still play on the radio to this day, and this powerful message of inner beauty. I love how that throughout the years, this song is still relevant in today's world, letting us know that despite how one looks on the outside, it doesn't change what's on the inside:
I do think that some songs were out of place, but they did stand out on their own. For example, the dancers were doing their solos, and then it just went into this:
Red Light Special
Not really sure how that ties in, but it is a performance, after all. And finally, they ended their set with one song that has been getting all of the attention ever since it was released as a single, with the rap verse in its full glory. I did not managed to film the performance, as it was just too beautiful to see:
All of the lights up in here
Shine so bright
And now, it was time for the moment everyone's been waiting for: New Kids On The Block. For the third time (maybe even fourth?), the band has been on tour ever since they decided to comeback with new music within the late 2000s... Fortunately, they stuck with most of their older hits. If anyone knows how to make an entrance, its these kids:
What are they wearing?
An attempt to look young? Not sure what was happening, but it didn't give away from their performance, no matter how, eye-catching, their choice in wardrobe. Although I am not familiar with their earlier hits, when they were teenagers, I did really enjoy their opening:
Getting into the crowd real early
The stage was everything, I couldn't get over it
And it lights up - what more could you ask?!
Sure, their music may be a little young to perform, but it's all in good fun; not to mention, the ladies were going crazy for these five boys that stole their hearts in the 80s. Not to mention, the group looked like they were enjoying themselves (well, maybe not one member):
I think they have more energy than I had that night
And what boy band would be complete without some thrusting?
Before moving onto the next set, they showed live footage of the group changing outfits, which was actually a lot of fun, where they danced while putting on clothes and showed off some Canadian Pride d": One portion of the show that took me by surprise was this extremely long set that I decided to film for its entirety. My hand was really tired after this, but I still can't believe how much I liked this part. And by that, I mean it's all of the cheesy songs you'd be embarrassed to sing once again. Well, if you've got a lot of pride, then by all means, perform away:
Medley - quite the heartthrobs I must say
There were some goofy moments that happened throughout the show, including more Canadian pride that always gets the crowd:
Waving a flag of the nation
Strong and proud to be in Canada
And of course, interactions with the fans
There were also solo efforts by some individuals of the band, reminding the fans that if you can't get enough of them, well they've got something to show you:
Wind machines and ripped bodies
A voice that can melt butter
More wind to show off that body
Brianne's mother mentioned how one of the members use to be a scrawny little boy - and now he gets to show off to the world:
That singing ability
Solo efforts were astounding on their own, showing different sides you wouldn't expect to see while in the band. After they had their moment, they reformed and performed a finale extravaganza. This was the best part of the show, as they had a pianist play song after song, including one that took me by surprise, as one of the members wrote Marky Mark's 'Good Vibrations.' As it was coming to an end, they acted as their own hype person before saying their goodbyes, absorbing the fandom from some of the girls in the audience that couldn't contain their excitement no more.
Their last outfit was an improvement from the first
I swear, I'm still not over the staging
Whether they perform for the love of it or for the sake of making money, these boys show how to have a good time with the past. And while it was sad to see a half-house full of audience members attending the show, all three acts gave performances that were a great reminder of our yesteryears. There would have been some changes I would have made, such as a trio performance at the end, but it was pretty good to enjoy the experience with a last-minute invitation from a friend.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5