NKOTB and Backstreet Boys to tour Australia as a double bill in May 2012


A LOT has changed since New Kids On The Block last toured Australia. They’re no longer kids, for a start. “You could say we are a man-band but boys at heart,” NKOTB’s lead singer Jordan Knight tells Insider, on the phone from his Boston home, to exclusively announce the group’s first tour to Australia since 1992.

As if that wasn’t boy band-tastic enough, they’ll be joined by another now man-band, The Backstreet Boys, the all-original line-ups joining forces in a double bill to tour here in May 2012.

They will play Sydney’s Allphones Arena on May 26.

“It’s really cool to join forces with those guys,” Knight says. The last time NKOTB toured Australia, this Insider was in high school and they were the biggest boy band on the planet.

The band were enjoying massive international success with hits Hanging Tough, Step By Step and You Got It (The Right Stuff). But just two years later, the band – Knight, his brother, Jonathan, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre and Donnie Wahlberg – went their separate ways.

Jonathan became a real estate agent and Wood started his own record label, producing other artists. Jordan embarked on a solo career, somewhat unsuccessfully, as did McIntyre, who also dabbled in acting.

Wahlberg was the most successful, forging a career in acting like his brother, Mark, and now stars alongside Tom Selleck in hit US television series, Blue Bloods.

They all live in different parts of the US but, having reformed in 2008, NKOTB work on their solo projects and tour together when they can.

“It’s a lot of fun, we’ve all grown over the years,” Knight, now 41, says.

“I think we are all better entertainers and it’s pretty cool to do it together and take on the world again.”

The double act was initially meant to tour here in August 2009, but cancelled the trip months out from the shows. Although there was no reason given, online forums stated the global financial crisis meant the tour was too expensive.

This time the bands say they will definitely make it.

“It’s been a bloody long time,” says Knight. “I don’t know why it’s been so long. We wanted to change that a couple of years ago and we just kind of got side-tracked, we went to Europe, we did some South America stuff and we always wanted to come back.”

He continues: “One of our best memories is going to Australia. We went in the summer time last time, it was amazing down there. “The girls were crazy and beautiful.” Those crazy and beautiful girls are now grown up, but they’ve stuck with NKOTB.

“The fans are the same, they are just a little older,” he concedes. “Before it was like braces and pig-tails, now it is just all sexy out there. We are out there with our fans and reliving memories with our fans and creating new memories with them.”

And Jordan admits the NKOTB fan base may not be growing like it used to, saying younger kids today would be far more interested in Justin Bieber than a bunch of guys in their 30s and 40s.

“The 12-year-olds of today, they’re not trying to check New Kids, they like Justin Bieber, which is normal, that is how it should be I think,” Knight says.

At 41, you’d think Jordan and his fellow boy band members wouldn’t move as well as they did in their heyday. Not so, he says. In fact, the band “loves it”.

“I think we are better dancers now than we were back then,” he says. “The dance moves come just as easily. In basketball or boxing, there’s always some new guy coming up to take you out but we can just move the way we want to move and just do something creative or whatever, it is not a sport so we are good.”

New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys play Sydney’s Allphones Arena on May 26. Tickets on sale 2pm, December 8 through TICKETEK.

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