By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Until late this summer, New Kids on the Block had pretty much been reduced to a regular rotation on VH1's "Where Are They Now?" Jonathan Knight started selling real estate; Danny Wood did some work as a producer for a little while; Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre attempted solo careers; Donnie Wahlberg "starred" in The Sixth Sense and Band of Brothers. It was pretty much decided that NKOTB, and the boy band era in general, was over.
Then, almost 20 years after the act's breakthrough album Hangin' Tough dominated the Billboard charts and made the New Kids the universal object of teenage girl affection, the group announced a reunion. And the band's backing up their return with two hit singles—"Summertime" and the Ne-Yo collaboration "Single"—from their new album The Block. With that disc comes the boy band's first world tour in 14 years.
In press interviews, the former teen idols insist that theirs is no nostalgia show; rather, they see it as a chance to legitimize themselves, reconnect with fans and find success in the music industry again. Success on that front is up in the air, but, if nothing else, the guys can count on filling arenas with giddy grown women who never thought they'd get the chance to see their former objects of affection onstage, together again.
Crossover English pop star Natasha Bedingfield opens.