I went to an NKOTB concert in Coney Island, last August 4th, thinking ‘This wasn’t planned… This will be just a warm up for the Mixtape Festival’ and, instead, I got caught in an absolutely mind-blowing time machine.
On June 6, NKOTB gave me (yeah, me) my second best birthday present: a new concert, another chance to meet them in this non-touring year, and I say ‘another’ because their performance at the Mixtape Festival – on August 6th -was the only concert in their agenda. That Monday, after having performed at Donnie’s event ‘Go Home With Donnie’, the guys came up with this idea, and they shared it like this:
A day before the Coney Island concert, Donnie said on twitter ‘Choreography will be secondary to hugs’, and with this in mind, I went to Brooklyn, taking the 1, the R and the N train, asking for directions like Dory.
The pre-party happened, the concert happened… And after the lights went out (and I thought: ‘No, no, no, I have to walk again, why the f*ck did I come in high heels’) as my chin was still sweeping the floor and my heart was still trying to rip the skin of my chest, I thought “I was so wrong” … And I still cannot believe how I could allow myself to think that they would do something unplanned. As a lifetime Blockhead, I feel ashamed for having thought that way. NKOTB at Coney Island, pulled us into an absolutely mind-blowing time machine… and I still get goose bumps when I remember the night.
Each concert is special; maybe one looked at you and you said ‘He sang that song to me!’; perhaps they sang that one song you love and you’ve never had listened live, or maybe one of them touched your hand for the first time and you’re planning on having it wrapped up until the next time you’ll see them (at least) … But this concert, this one is for the books; this is the one that will pop up in my mind first, every time someone asks ‘Have you ever been to an NKOTB concert’.
Should I start telling you about it, like ‘now, please!!!’? Ok, here we go.
Chris Lawrence opened for NKOTB
It’s a Block Party!
NKOTB’s concert started with some classics from now and then, like Remix (I Like The) and The Right Stuff (1); we had confetti (we love confetti!!!), water balls, fire! And then, a dose of the unexpected started to happen when Joey and Jordan gave us a taste of their work as solo artists, performing: ‘Here We Go Again’ (Joey, from his album ‘Here We Go Again) and ‘Let’s Go Higher (Jordan, from his album ‘Unfinished’) #ThankYouLord
After that, the rest of the band came back to the stage to perform ‘One song’, and to introduce the first –and unanticipated- guest of the night: ‘Naughty By Nature’. Up next, NKOTB appeared with ‘Cyclone’ t-shirts and performed three more classics: ‘Step by Step’, ‘Cover Girl’ and ‘Games’… And after that, a blast from the past: lights went off and suddenly, without any introduction, a girl showed up … a woman behind a huge smile: the amazing Tiffany.
I get goose bumps as I’m writing this… I couldn’t shake the butterflies out of my belly, I got tears stuck in my throat and I felt I had pimples in my forehead, big hear and pink flour all over my clothes: I was a teen again, I literally felt that way.
If you’re from the 80s-90s, you’ll know what I mean… But if you’re a Blockhead, you’ll get the feeling even more. Why? Because Tiffany –with her huge success at the time- was the one who said something like ‘Ok, these guys can open for me’… and just like that, the first pop-band was born along with a Block Nation of Blockheads. #Epic
While we were trying to catch our breath, Rob Lewis, the maestro, appeared on stage to let the magic kept coming: Joey performed ‘Please Don’t Go’ and the Chicago Children’s Choir showed up to make the evening even more emotional, companioning Joey while he sang ‘Five Brothers And A Million Sisters’, Donnie as he sang ‘I Need You’ from NKOTB’s second album, and finally Jordan while he lead ‘I’ll be loving You’ inviting the rest of the band back on stage. #MindBlowing
The Choir left the stage, and after Joey said a few words about the night, the New Kids On The Block sang ‘Tonight’.
Was it over? No Sir. ‘Nice & Smooth’ showed up, and NKOTB joined them to give us a performance we’ll never forget: ‘Dirty Dawg’ … When do we EVER get to hear that song, live?!? #JesusPlease!
The night ended with the New Kids On The Block and all the guests on the stage, singing Hangin’ Tough…
… And as we were waiving, singing along, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘Did all of that just happened? The solos? Tiffany? The Choir? Rob Lewis? Dirty Dawg!?! At the seashore in Coney Island!!’ …
… It did…
Coney Island, this sacred place for Block Nation, became on August 4th a seventh heaven.
Each concert… Each concert is special; maybe one looked at you, sang your favorite song or another touched your hand… But this one, this one is for the books; this is the one that will pop up in my mind first, every time someone asks ‘Have you’ve ever been to an NKOTB concert’ …
… That, until the next time I’ll see them, because that’s what NKOTB do: they go epic, again and again…
(1) Set list on next page