By Kat Harlton
Photos by Andrew Hartl

Sunday night the New Kids On The Block brought their boxing-themed ‘The Main Event‘ to the Air Canada Centre. The stage set up was cool, and not something I had seen there before. Set up in the style of theatre in the round, it featured a huge circle in the middle with risers that would lift the members of New Kids to various heights, and was flanked by extended catwalks on either side, which the 80’s boy band made full use of.

Full of confetti , fireworks, and shirtless choreography that would give Magic Mike a run for it’s money, it’s safe to say Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie and Danny had my inner pre-teen Kat freaking out. They performed many of their newer songs, as well as Just a Friend, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations, and Lean On Me. However it was their older material such as My Favourite Girl, You Got It (The Right Stuff.), Tonight, Games, Cover Girl and Step By Step that had this 80’s baby excited.

I was also super impressed with their love of Canada.  There was a quick change cam under the stage, showing all five members changing and Wahlberg showed off a pair of Canadian flag undies. They also took turns draping a Canadian flag around their shoulders, and reminding everyone that it was in Toronto in 2008 that the NKOTB Reunion Tour was born and that our city feels like their second home.

Wahlberg was by far the most fun to watch.  He was frequently in the crowd, exchanging hugs, taking photos, sharing the mic, and overall was an amazing performer as he gave the audience exactly what they came for.  They closed the show off with I’ll Be Loving You (Forever), before bringing out one of my personal faves Hangin’ Tough which they mashed up with Queen‘s We Will Rock You.

I also need to quickly mention the evening’s opening acts, TLC and Nelly, who also contributed to the nostalgia. There were shiny overalls and bedazzled bras, along with memorable hits and fan favorites the likes of Unpretty, No Scrubs, and Waterfalls, which featured a a shout out to Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez. The best part; however, was a guy pulled from the audience who was given a lap dance and a kiss from from Thomas during Red Light Special.

Nelly, dressed all in white and accompanied by some amazing female dancers as well as a DJ and another rapper (whose name I didn’t catch) had the crowd going for Hot In Here and Ride Wit Me.

This show was a great time.  It was a fun night and a rare opportunity to take a trip back in time with some of the 90’s biggest players.

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