One of the summer’s big nostalgia-driven tours kicked off Tuesday (May 28) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, when New Kids On The Block unwrapped The Package Tour with the help of Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. One night wasn’t enough for NKOTB, so their stay in Connecticut will last for three nights.
The huge production lives up to the hype, and last night the audience were brought back to the 80s and 90s. Boyz II Men opened up the show and proved they still have the voices that vaulted them to superstar status in the early 90s. They wrapped up the opening set with their first single “Motownphilly,” making sure everyone in the arena was on their feet.
The Package Tour kept the party going with 98 Degrees taking the stage almost immediately after Boyz II Men. Nick Lachey and the boys kicked their set off with one of their biggest hits, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).” 98 Degrees’ set featured all their hits and closed with their latest single, “Microphone.”
When New Kids On The Block finally took the stage they opened with “We Own Tonight,” the lead track from their new album 10. Donnie Wahlberg peeled off articles of clothing while confetti poured from the ceiling. Pyrotechnics continued to light up the arena all within the first few songs. While the group toured a good portion of their catalog, they were accompanied by a live band that easily filled the venue.
The band was invited down to the “in the round” stage in the middle of the floor for an acoustic set that allowed each member to shine. The highlight of the unplugged songs was a seamless transition from George Michael’s “Faith” to “Kiss” by Prince mixed in with L.M.F.A.O’s “Sexy And I Know It” and then Nelly’s “Hot In Herre.”
As the tempo picked back up, all five members followed up on something they teased earlier in the day and took a journey into the crowd. Though it was hard to keep track of the guys as they were swallowed up by a sea of fans, they powered through “Tonight” and managed to make their way back to the stage with the help of a huge security force.
The opening night of the tour came to a close with an encore everyone knew was coming: “Hangin’ Tough.” As the confetti returned, NKOTB showed off their special Boston Bruins jerseys with “617 Boston Strong” on the back.
The Package Tour continues Wednesday and Friday night at Mohegan Sun.
NKOTB’s Setlist, 5/28/2013, Mohegan Sun:
“We Own Tonight”
“You Got It (The Right Stuff)”
“Didn’t I Blow Your Mind”
“If You Go Away”
“Please Don’t Go Girl”
“Remix (I Like The)”
“Baby I Believe In You”
“Just The Way You Are”
“Stay The Same”
“Click Click Click”
“Kiss/Sexy And I Know It”
“Hot In Here”
“Step By Step”
“I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)”
– Ryan Jones, 96.5 TIC/ Hartford