The biggest boybands of yesteryear, New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, took to the stage at London’s O2 Arena Sunday night for the last UK date of their NKOTBSB world tour.
The two groups stormed the stage for an all-hands-on-deck opening mash-up number, before NKOTB jumped into their 2008 single Summertime and Backstreet followed with The Call.
The groups played tag-team for most of the evening, allowing time for the all-important costume change. Nearly all the boyband wardrobe clichés were present – there were white suits, black suits, fedoras, glittery t-shirts, army fatigues and some baggy streetwear.
NKOTB’s Donnie Wahlberg even tore off his t-shirt to reveal washboard abs and rippling biceps. The women screamed. So did some of the men.
Screaming is an essential component of boyband reunion shows, it seems. In between cranking out more than two decades of pop hits, the bands graciously stopped and posed – eyes looking skyward – for minutes on end so delighted crowds could applaud. It’s hard to not get swept up in all that energy and emotion (and muscle).
And so, when Donnie Wahlberg stretched out his sweaty hand as he passed our row – singing passionately into his mic and staring into our eyes – the ladies around me stretched out their arms to touch him. And, I’ll admit, so did I. I may have missed his hand and accidentally poked his shoulder blade, but I still feel I was a part of something special.
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