NKOTBSB hang tough at Fenway

A review of New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys at Fenway Park on June 11, 2011

, Managing Editor

Even though the Red Sox scored 16 runs on the road on Saturday, there were even more hits going on in their very own ballpark with two of the most successful boy bands of all-time, Boston’s own New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, taking over Fenway Park for the night.

Early on in the evening, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys declared, “I don’t wanna jinx it, but the rain held off just for you!” to the adoring fans. Well, he jinxed it. A little past the halfway point in the show the skies opened up and it poured for the rest of the night. Forget the delay, this was a rain that would’ve had the tarp on the field and the game called, but it couldn’t stop the two groups now known as NKOTBSB.

The ladies of Fenway can often be pegged as ‘pink hats” for their casual support of the hometown team, but when it comes to their boy bands the fans at the park on Saturday night proved to be diehards. When the rain started coming down very few headed for shelter, instead fans soaked in the rain and hit after hit.

The New Kids and Backstreet Boys are all grown up now, and so are their fans. Yet, both still display the youthful exuberance of their prime. Fits of glee and shrieks of joy filled the air with every Joey McIntyre or Jordan Knight high note and each Nick Carter or AJ McLean groin thrust.

Fenway Park is usually host to two sides competing against each other but in the New Kids and BSB’s case, the groups worked together harmoniously and both came out winners. The set was balanced evenly not only by appearance but also tempo. Both bands rocked fans with the upbeat stuff to early on (“The Right Stuff” and “Larger Than Life”) and then warmed hearts with a segment of slow jams with the New Kids belting out classics like “Blow Your Mind” and “Please Don’t Go Girl” while Backstreet followed with “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and serenaded some lucky fans onstage with “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”.

NKOTBSB answered the rain in the perfect manner as they met the elements with some of their biggest hits to keep the mood from getting soggy. The storm started right at the end of NKOTB’s longest consecutive time onstage which they capped off with the underrated “Tonight”. BSB followed with their own extended stay with mega hits “As Long As You Love Me” and “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” as the biggest highlights (bonus points for segueing into the latter from Prince’s “Raspberry Berry”).

After the sell-out crowd belted out “I Want It That Way” along with BSB, the New Kids joined them for their joint effort “Don’t Turn Out the Lights” which closed the main set.

The encore was outrageously fun except for the long introduction/lovefest that the New Kids and Backstreet Boys put on as they each donned Bruins jerseys while taking turns introducing members from the other group. Although it was hard to be angry with them after they had just brought out Naughty By Nature for “Hip Hop Hooray” just as they did last year at Radio City Music Hall when the NKOTBSB experiment began.

Back to the music, the groups performed a super mashup of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and “Hangin’ Tough” with a bit of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” from atop the Green Monster before returning to the stage to appropriately baseball slide down the long, rain-soaked runway in centerfield.

After bearing the elements for almost half of their show and giving fans everything they could ask for and more, the only other thing one could wish for from NKOTBSB was a doubleheader.

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