One of the most anticipated tours of the summer kicked off Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville when New Kids On The Block unwrapped ‘The Package Tour’ with the help of Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. An opening night wasn’t enough for NKOTB, so their stay in Connecticut will go for three nights.
The huge production lives up to the hype, bringing the audience 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.
Unlike most shows that will lag between acts, ‘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 pouring from the ceiling and plenty of pyrotechnics lit 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 arena.
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 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 and if you are looking for a show that will take you back and keep you on your feet, this is a no-brainer.
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