NKOTB’s Total Package Tour is just what the name implies — the Total Package. R&B favorites, Boyz II Men, got the party started with their debut single, “Motownphilly.” They brought their fast-paced dance moves and slow grooves for the adoring crowd. In their set list, they played “On Bended Knee,” “I’ll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day.” The most surprising part of Boyz II Men’s set was when they rocked out to a medley of songs including “American Woman” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”
After a very brief break, it was time for Paula Abdul. This was her first time touring since 1992 but you’d never know it from watching her move. She’s still an incredible performer at 54 and it’s easy to see how she’s influenced today’s pop stars. Her set included several outfit changes, MC Skat Kat and big hits like “Cold Hearted” and “Straight Up.”
When it was time for New Kids On the Block, the screams in Music City were deafening. Fangirls stood and cheered in custom-made T-shirts as soon as the lights went down. A NKOTB video played until the Boston boyband (manband?) rose from the ground amidst smoke. Pyro and confetti kept the visual performance exciting while they sang songs like “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Block Party.”
The “Block Party” was only just beginning as the New Kids said they wanted to keep it local before introducing their first guests, Big and Rich. The country duo sang “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” while the crowd sang along. Then, Donnie Wahlberg kept the country vibe going in a black cowboy hat (a la Tim McGraw) while he stood on a flaming piano.
NKOTB did a quick wardrobe change (with a “live” camera so fans could watch) to denim on denim for a throwback medley. The medley was accompanied by a split-screen video with each member introducing himself next to a photo from over 30 years ago. When it was Joey McIntyre’s turn, a videographer flubbed it and the image was lost.
“Someone might get fired tonight because they f***** this whole thing up. I’m Joe and I keep it real,” he joked as the audience laughed.
The laughter turned to applause when they announced a surprise for Jordan Knight’s birthday. They brought out NKOTB fan Underwood to help sing “Happy Birthday” to Knight and Danny Wood — who recently had a birthday.
The night was coming to an end but the crowd was still high from Underwood’s appearance. The five-man band gave it up for Nashville to end the night, saying they’ve been coming here for 29 years. With that, they sang “Hangin’ Tough” and paid tribute to the Nashville Predators (who are still competing in the NHL playoffs).
See if the Total Package Tour is coming to your city. Full tour dates are on the band’s website.