NKOTB & TLC, The Main Event Concert Review

Finally, I got to fulfill my 12-year old dreams by buying a ticket to see New Kids on the Block (and TLC ) for their show in DC for The Main Event Tour and this is a brief synopsis of my experience. Warning! There will be spoilers!

First Nelly opened for them. I was not much of a Nelly fan with the exception of the "Hot in Herre" single. He was ok but the sound quality (or maybe just his performance) made it very hard to hear anything he was saying. But his dancers were pretty good twerkers.

Ok, on to the real show I came to see starting with TLC!!!!!!

this was my 2nd time seeing them as I saw them before in 1999 when they came to the then-named Baltimore Arena (the original 4-member Destiny's Child opened for them) and was tickled to see them again. My girl Chilli, who apparently is a vampire and does not age looked the exact same as she did in 1992, same hairstyle and all and looked like she could dance all night. She also sounded great. Its obvious she loves performing and could probably dance all night.

T-Boz held her own and did fine but didn't have quite the same energy of Chilli, understandable given her known health issues and the fact that in real life, they are not still 20-somethings. But she also had more of the vocals to do which for some reason came as news to me. Like I honestly didn't realize just how much she sings. She looked great and the blonde hair was on point, as usual. I wondered beforehand how Lefteye's vocals would be handled and it was. Lefteye was there. In the spiritual sense, she was there and her vocals came in the speakers clear and true from the tracks. It was perfect and I appreciate them not replacing or even reciting her verses themselves. They remained untouched and just as they were. There was even a brief video of her talking about her favorite lyrics which provided a segue into "Waterfalls", their biggest hit. Their set was short but tight. They looked and sounded good.

Then it was time for the "main event" as the crew got out the real staging setups for the New Kids. Hood in black like champion boxers, they came out one by one as announced and hit the stage lined up. It was pretty exciting.

I won't bore with the entire set list but there were a few very new songs but mainly their old hits.

Highlights of the show included:

The Quick Change Cam - When the guys left the stage to chance clothes, we could see them partially undressing (no real nudity sadly) and getting ready to get into their tuxes for their classic throwback hits like "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind"

Coming off the stage to meet fans - they not only engaged well with the crowd but allowed some people up on stage to dance and at one point, went out in the crowd for several minutes, going up rows ans shaking hands with fans (Yeah I wished I had gotten closer seats *enter sad emoji).

Jordan's abs - O.M.G. Yeah I knew he kept in shape but my jaw was on the floor through his Michael Jackson-inspired solo of "Baby I Believe in You". I came to see Donnie but left thinking about Jordan. You can check out some of that performance here. Joey also surprised us with  a pretty cut physique. 

The 360 stage - The show was performed in the round which gave a 360 degree view and they made excellent use of it.

They admitted mistakes - Around the end and while thanking fans, I appreciated Joe admitting that through their long and rocky careers, mistakes were made that they've learned from. They didn't mention exactly what but it didn't matter. I just appreciated that admittance. It just and showed how far they'd come and had to overcome personally and professionally.

A short clip from my view:

For the true Block-head that was ride or die with the New Kids back in the late '80s and early '90s, this was an excellent show!

They could have insisted on only new songs in an attempt to try again to reinvent themselves like many child stars in adulthood tend to do but instead, they embraced and performed the same bubblegum pop music, panned by critics everywhere but that essentially won the hearts of millions of teenage girls instead of balking at their roots and how they came to be.

I had to remind myself at times that I was watching men well into their 40's. They looked amazing, all of them in great physical shape and hitting all kinds of choreography (on a moving stage no doubt). They sounded great, putting energy into every song new or old and it was obvious just how much effort they put into giving their fans what they wanted and how grateful they had the opportunity to come back and do this. Their gratitude was heard.

Lady Dulayne

Music junkie, Baltimore chick, Jedi mom, karaoke queen,'80s kid, hair and makeup fanatic, currently keeping up with a daily Greek yogurt habit.

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