By Vince Lee for ChrisD.ca
Jabbawockeez (opening act, April 9, 2009)
Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew champions from season one, Jabbawockeez, rocked the stage. It’s not the first time for this dance crew to be on a Winnipeg stage, as I believe that it’s their second or third visit to the city.
Their intricate hip-hop dance style and humor, wowed the audience, while performing various routines including their famous “Apologize” dance number from ABDC, “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe, a number where they dressed up like a young Michael Jackson sporting an afro while doing their “Pretty Young Thing” number, and some other throwback 80’s dance moves. They got the crowd excited, but the crowd erupted when the Jabbawockeez danced to a short clip of “You Got It” (The Right Stuff).
NKOTB: They still have the right stuff
New Kids on the Block invade MTS Centre (April 9, 2009)
The New Kids on the Block are no longer kids, as they’ve grown a lot older, but then again, so have their fans. Hundreds of fans packed the MTS Centre last night to watch the men bring back everything that was old school.
At first, I was skeptical about the group as it’s been fourteen or fifteen years since they walked away from the spotlight – I mean, these guys definitely weren’t new, and most definitely were not kids. I believe that most of these guys are in their late 30’s, and probably soon to be 40’s. Before the concert started, I was thinking that these guys were more like the “Old Men on the Corner” than the NKOTB. However, they did not disappoint as they brought back everything that made them popular in the first place; the dance moves, the costumes, and the shirtless dancing with gratuitous booty-shaking and crotch grabbing. What surprised me the most was that Danny Wood could still breakdance and that Jordan Knight can still sing with his nothing short of perfection falsetto. His voice really hasn’t changed since 1989.
The Kids were also still able to collect a huge number of women’s undergarments, at one point Donnie Wahlberg in all fun commented to the audience before one of the songs “I’m trying to have a serious moment here, and you’re throwing panties at me”.
The New Kids, performed a song from their new album called “Grown man” with the Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls did not make an appearance (which if they did, would have blown my mind), instead left the audience with a projection of Nicole Scherzinger. For some reason, the audio didn’t sound like Nicole at all, as it was too high pitched, and didn’t quite match the frame rate. However, I’m sure that fans didn’t notice as the men strutted around making the women go crazy, for their “stuff”.
The group sang a mix of songs from their new album The Block, while spreading out all their popular hits including “I’ll Be Loving You”, “Cover Girl”, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”.
Overall, it was a great show, with stunning visual effects and remarkable audience participation. For a few songs, the Kids had a few songs on a slowly rotating stage where they were surrounded by fans sitting near the back rows on the floor. As the Kids were making their way back to the main stage, members gave hi-fives to many of the fans along the sides. They did a song from their new album called “Single” that was pretty good, however, I actually still prefer Ne-Yo’s solo version of the song.
The encore performance was the highly anticipated, and super infectious track “Step by Step”, which brought the audience to their feet. There were a few other songs for the encore, but I think for a majority of the audience, people were still singing to step by step. I think they also played “Summertime” from their new album as one of the encore songs, but again, “Step by Step” just couldn’t get out of my head. Actually, it’s still stuck in my head right now, as I struggle to write this review.
Notable mention, that during the encore, the Kids wore Team Canada hockey jerseys each with their last name on the back with a “09”. Joey McIntyre took it one step further, and took that jersey off to reveal a Toronto Raptors jersey, which was a nice touch – though you know that these guys are all about all things Boston.