New Kids on the Block Return to "Today" for First Show in 15 Years

May 16, 2008 1:37 PM ET

Last month, the New Kids on the Block caused fan mayhem when they resurfaced on the Today show on a windy and rainy New York morning, and similarly dreary conditions awaited the estimated 4,000 who crowded into the show's plaza early today for the five singers' first performance together in 15 years. Surrounded by a hysterical throng of fans toting mementos of their adolescent obsession (old tour jackets, photographs, umbrellas and caps), the group played a short medley of their hits from the late Eighties and early Nineties — "Step by Step," "Hangin' Tough," "Please Don't Go Girl" and "You've Got It (The Right Stuff)" — their new single "Summertime" and a song recalling the good old days, "Tonight."

"It's a little bit like Al Roker in a hurricane," joked Donnie Wahlberg, referring to the band's somewhat awkward attempt at dancing on the wet, slippery stage. Sporting his signature half-cocked baseball cap, Wahlberg went on to say that it wasn't he who reunited the band, but "the brotherhood ... and the friendship" that remained through the years. "If the fans didn't want it, it wouldn't have happened."

The turnout, despite the soggy weather, is one of the largest in Today show history, approaching the massive numbers of fans who flocked to Bruce Springsteen's performance last September, as well as those at sets by Ricky Martin and 'NSYNC. However, a spokesperson for the show said she'd never seen fans waiting on the street more than 48 hours in advance as many die-hards did for today's New Kids show. "The story today is the fans more than it is us." said Joey McIntyre, who elicited screams when he tossed his old-school wide-brimmed hat into the crowd during his solo on "Please Don't Go Girl."

The Today show crew passed out new versions of the oversized NKOTB buttons popular in the early Nineties and white puffy painters' hats, which came in handy when the rain worsened during the performance. Anyone who dared keep an umbrella up as the group's performance time approached drew angry shouts from fans and photographers perched in the press pen. While it was hard to hear the songs playing back in the plaza, the telecast revealed a poor vocal mix and a few missed harmonies. Fans, however, did not leave disappointed. "It was completely worth it and I am so excited to go to their concert in September," said Sarah Shepherd, 25, from Long Island. "They're coming back at a time when they can really peak. Twenty years off, it's time for a reunion, and everybody's ready."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »