Boy bands go back further in human history than most people realize, as evidenced by the recent discovery of ancient Egyptian LPs titled “Baby symbol, Baby symbol, O shape.” Hum along to history with this GrouponLive deal to see The Package Tour: New Kids on the Block with Special Guests 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men at Barclays Center. For $57, you get one ticket for seating in sections 209–210 on Sunday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $70.85 value, including all fees). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.<p>
“Ladies, we’re coming for you,” purred Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block. When NKOTB appeared on the January 22 episode of ABC’s The View, Donnie had already stirred up excitement by revealing the group had a new album, 10, and a new single, “Remix (I Like The)”. But when he dropped the news of their summer tour, Sherri Shepherd almost jumped out of her “I Love Donnie” T-shirt as the studio audience’s squeals of joy threatened to knock satellites out of orbit. The thunderous bliss escalated even higher when he made the biggest of big reveals—NKOTB is being joined on the road by special guests 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men, giving the tour its apt name, The Package. Fans immediately canceled all other summer plans while trying to hide their wedding rings.
The poster boys for boy bands since 1986, New Kids on the Block left an indelible stamp on pop music and pop culture. Their bubblegum songs and airtight five-part choreography created the template by which all successful modern boy bands and Biebers abide, as did their distinct personalities. Jordan was the dreamboat, Jonathan was the shy guy, Joey was the baby, Donnie was the bad boy, and low-voiced Danny was the glue. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the Boston quintet resided in the hearts, tape decks, lockers, and Trapper Keepers of millions of fans. Hits such as “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “Hangin’ Tough,” and “Step by Step” entered radio and MTV perpetuity, and they sound even more refreshing in this modern age. That’s because, despite their good looks and media hoopla, the boys of NKOTB were expert singers who locked onto harmonies and wouldn’t cop out with auto-tuning. Although they’re no longer “new” or “kids”—as the members are now in their 40s—the distinguished gentlemen of New Kids on the Block still get their teenage kicks as their summer tour sizzles with signature moves, new jams, greatest hits, and an everlasting chemistry.
Fans of 98 Degrees have waited 12 years for the return of the mercury-raising quartet. Heirs to the NKOTB throne, the brotherly duo Nick and Drew Lachey, along with Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons, weren’t the prepackaged product of string-pulling producers. They were simply fine vocalists with a penchant for four-part harmonies that hit the big time due to their talent and ambition. In mega hits such as “Because of You,” “I Do,” and “The Hardest Thing,” the group sold more than 10 million albums before an overlong hiatus that led to solo careers and Jessica Simpson. Now that pop music has become popular again, the group has reunited for The Package and plans on belting out fan favorites while giving tastes of its upcoming album.
With more than 60 million records sold, Boyz II Men’s penchant for heart-tugging ballads and barbershop-quartet-shaming harmonies has made it one the most successful groups in R & B history. From the new-jack-swing era of Cooleyhighharmony, when Boyz were boys, through its current post-adolescent druthers for infusing Motown classics with polyphonic manhood, the members of Boyz II Men persevere by squeezing emotion out of their hearts like human toothpaste tubes filled with soul. On stage, the group dives into a bottomless trough of classics from its champion career, which includes combustible anthems such as “I’ll Make Love to You” and the seminal song “End of the Road,” which is mostly heard blaring from police megaphones during high-speed car chases.
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