The popular 80’s boy band, New Kids on the Block, returned to New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday, May 11th with their Mixtape Tour and brought along some friends. New Kids on the Block aka NKOTB shared the spotlight with popular 80’s/90’s pop and hip-hop acts Tiffany, Salt-N-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature. I would say I felt like I was back in the 80’s but I don’t know what that feels like because I wasn’t born yet. But from the reaction of the crowd, everyone felt like teenagers again screaming over Jordan Knight’s vocals, seeing Donnie Wahlberg rip his shirt off, and dancing along to songs like ”Step By Step” and “Cover Girl.”
I knew I was in for an interesting night when there was full out confetti and pyro within the first three songs of the show. To sum it up, the night was filled with popular 80’s hits, stereotypical synchronized boy band dance moves in all white outfits, and lots of neon clothing but here were some of the stand out moments of the night.
Enhanced Experience with the APPIX app
Before the show started, fans were encouraged to download a free app named APPIX. Throughout the night it enhanced attendee’s experience by letting them be apart of the show. A sign would appear on the screen to give attendees a heads up to have their phones out because an “Appix Moment” was about to take place. During one song everyone’s phone screens turned red lighting up the venue while during another song everyone’s flashes blinked and looked like twinkling stars.
An Extra Show with the Backstage Cam
During Salt N Pepa’s performance of their 1990 hit, “Whatta Man,” the screen alerted the crowd of “Breaking News.” Suddenly, members of NKOTB appeared on the screen for the Quick Change Cam. While on camera, the men goofed around while changing into different outfits.
The Fan Interaction
I’ve seen numerous artists, such as Taylor Swift, walk into the crowd during their shows. Typically artists reach out and grab fans hands and interact with them while moving from one stage to another. During the Mixtape Tour, all of the New Kids on the Block members walked into different sections of the arena and performed two songs. Donnie Wahlberg was literally 10 rows down from me dancing around, holding fans’ hands, and taking selfies. It was a pretty cool sight!
Like most shows these days, the Mixtape Tour’s stage setup included a main stage in the front and a smaller B stage towards the back of the floor. The main stage was lined up with bar-side stools where super-fans who purchased VIP meet and greets sat. They had an up close and personal view the entire night. The small B stage towards the back elevated and gave everyone seated in the back of the arena and seated in higher sections a good view of each act!
Tulane Cheer joined the Boys in the Band
To fit the school theme of the music video for their late 1980’s hit, “Boys in the Band”, New Kids on the Block brought out Tulane University cheerleaders to perform on stage with them. While the Tulane cheer team was on stage, NKOTB also played Choppa Style before leading the Who Dat chant!
The Big Finale
The night ended with a collaboration of all the artists of The Mixtape Tour – New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty by Nature, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson. Together they performed “80s baby” which was essentially a tribute to their loyal fans who’ve been following them for three decades now. “I’ve been singing this song for 30 years. Do you think I can sing it another 30 years?” Joey McIntyre asked the crowd of adoring fans who’ve been following him and his fellow bandmates for decades.
My Review of NKOTB
The show was an overall nostalgic trip for all the attendees and one big 80’s themed party full of chart-topping hits that spanned across generations! Also, it definitely kicked off Mother’s Day weekend perfectly. If you missed The Mixtape Tour’s stop in New Orleans or just want to re-live the night, you can watch clips of her performance on my NKOTB Instagram highlight and view the photo gallery below.