NKOTB brings the Mixtape tour to Boston – July 15, 2022

Boston pop group New Kids On The Block threw a massive block party on the first of two homecoming shows at the TD Garden this weekend. Joining them on tour are En Vogue, Salt N’ Pepa and Rick Astley, with a unique show format that follows the concept of old school mixtapes. The energy was electric as soon as you walked through the doors, as thousands of avid fans packed the downtown arena. 

The show would kick off with a retro 80’s style animation, introducing all the performers. NKOTB would take the stage with “Block Party” and “My Favorite Girl”, building up to one of the highlights of the night: after performing one of their biggest hits, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”, the crowd cheered and clapped for several minutes. The group was visibly emotional as they thanked fans for their support. 

They would then move on to a secondary stage in the middle of the arena, where they would perform and interact with fans in the back of the floor section. En Vogue would then take the main stage, with smash hits “Never Gonna Get It” and “Free Your Mind”. The dynamic of the two stages would be consistent throughout the show, going back and forth and into the crowd, as Rick Astley appeared on the B stage with “Together Forever”.

Back on the main stage, NKTOB would perform a medley of songs including covers of other hits, such as “Return Of The Mack”. They would then introduce Salt N’ Pepa, bringing the energy up even more. Accompanied by male backup dancers, the rappers delivered a sexy and fun performance, with “None Of Your Business” and the controversial “Lets Talk About Sex”. They would then be joined on stage by En Vogue to perform the iconic duet “Whatta Man”.

The double stage format kept the performances dynamic, while playing off the concept of putting together a mixtape with multiple artists. It also allowed the group to constantly interact with fans, who got to hug and take selfies with their favorite members. Joey McIntyre would take the B stage solo for “Please Don’t Go Girl”, making their way towards the main stage for a singalong with the crowd, with snippets of 80s and 90s hit tracks, as well as the Boston favorite “Sweet Caroline”, in honor of their hometown. 

One of the funniest moments of the evening came as they asked the audience to sing along to one last song, as the video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” suddenly started playing on the screen – successfully performing a live “rickroll”, the popular internet meme. Rick Astley would then take the main stage. Salt N’ Pepa would then take over the B stage for “Shoop”, joined by Donnie Wahlberg. 

Switching over to the main stage, it was time for a series of ballads, lead by “Baby, I Believe In You”, with a sultry, classic solo performance by Jordan Knight. The show was coming to a close, with a seamless transition from NKOTB’s “Step By Step” to Salt N’ Pepa’s “Push It”. The boys would return for “Hangin Tough”, in signature Celtics’ colors, and would then be joined by the rest of the artists to perform the grand finale together, with a final surprise at the very end. 
The almost 3 hour show is a massive celebration of pop music with a healthy dose of nostalgia. It is also a testament to the staying power of artists like New Kids On The Block, who continue to make music after reuniting. Make sure to join the party as they wrap up The Mixtape Tour.

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