[ NKOTBSB ] NKOTBSB – Sunday 29th April 2012 – The O2 Arena, London

Boyband fever is taking over the world at the moment with British talent such as The Wanted and One Direction topping the charts in the US. 26 years earlier though it was New Kids On The Block that ruled the world before handing their boyband crown over to Backstreet Boys in 1996. New Kids On The Block called it a day in 1994 leaving it 14 years until they reunited. Backstreet Boys on the other hand have been going since 1993 and have taken one hiatus in their careers in the early 00’s before Kevin Richardson decided to leave the group. Carrying on as a foursome the group has had limited success since.

In 2010 New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys performed together and after receiving a positive reaction they formed super-group NKOTBSB and set off on tour together in 2011. A collective greatest hits featuring two newly recorded tracks was released and now NKOTBSB are taking their show across the world. Last night we caught the boyband legends as they performed the last date of the UK leg of their tour.

Nostalgic was definitely the best way to describe the NKOTBSB show. As we piled into The O2 Arena along with a largely female audience, the excitement was bubbling as people began to take their seats. For some fans they were seeing both groups for the first time whilst others had clearly been fans since the beginning. We were somewhere in-between remembering both groups as part of our childhood and shaping our idea of what good pop music should sound like.

Arriving on stage at 8pm NKOTBSB performed on an elevated platform which lowered down allowing them to move around their impressive stage. As Coldplay’s Viva la Vida played NKOTBSB performed a mash-up of their songs Single and The One. Immediately the super-group hurtled down the long catwalk stage towards the circular stage at the rear. For some fans the sight of their idols was too much with screaming and tears a key feature of the night making it really feel like the 90s.

From that point on the two boybands alternated on the stage for the first part of the show. Surprisingly this worked very well with the crowd getting into the rhythm of the show with ease. At the end of each song the lights went down and it actually became fun trying to figure out where the boybands would enter onto the stage. From NKOTB we heard hits such as their 2008 comeback Summertime, The Block’s Dirty Dancing and classic You Got It (The Right Stuff). Backstreet Boys selected The Call, early hit Get Down (You’re The One For Me) and Larger Than Life as their first songs of the evening.

After alternating for the first third of the show the boybands then took it in turns to perform longer sets consisting of several tracks. This also gave them opportunity to utilise The O2 Arena to the fullest. Backstreet Boys entered into the audience to find girls to take on stage and sing I’ll Never Break Your Heart whilst NKOTB ran up-and-down the arena stairs singing Tonight and hugging their adoring fans.

Read full review on Entertainment-Focus.com.

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