TVD Live Shots: New Kids on the Block with Rick Astley, Salt-N-Pepa, and En Vogue at the Honda Center, 5/28

The New Kids on the Block Mixtape Tour 2022 was simply incredible. The energy and excitement in the air was palpable from the moment the boys hit the stage and they never looked back. They sang, danced, and interacted with fans in a way that left everyone feeling like they were part of something special. And if that wasn’t enough, NKOTB “mixed in sets from some of the greatest artists of our youth including Rick Astley, Salt-N-Pepa, and En Vogue. If you get a chance to see this one live, don’t miss it.  

Saturday’s NKOTB Mixtape show in Anaheim was special. Their sold-out show at the Honda Center wasn’t just a nostalgia infused money grab as many might have believed. Instead, it was a carefully curated performance that appealed to the masses.  On top of the singing and dancing one might expect from a show like this, there was confetti cannons, fire, big screens, and a secondary stage right in the middle of the arena that offered a unique perspective to the thousands in attendance.  Whether you were a “Block Head” in the ’90s, or are now a child of one, there was something for everyone.

One of the things I liked most about this show was its unique “Mixtape” format. While traditional concerts typically move from opener to opener to headliner, this structure broke all of the norms and then some.  Right out of the gate, it was New Kids on the Block immediately taking the stage with 7 back-to-back songs that whipped the Anaheim crowd into an immediate frenzy. Then just when you needed to come up for some much-needed air, En Vogue quickly took the stage and dropped two fire tracks on the crowd. The 3-hour show was a nonstop ’80s and ’90s house party with rotating sets between NKOTB, Salt -N-Pepa, Rick Astley, and En Vogue all night long. It was truly a “Mixtape” for the masses.

As for the music, it was as awesome as one would expect at a New Kids on the Block show. Jonathan Knight and brother Jordan, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, and Danny Wood pulled out all the stops on classics such as “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “Hangin’ Tough,” and “Tonight” while adding their own unique twist to mixes to ’90s covers like “Return of the Mack,” “Poison,” and “California Love” (just to name a few).  In between all of this juicy goodness, a superfan rapped for the capacity crowd, a marriage proposal took place in between sets (she said yes!), and Donnie serenaded his lovely bride Jenny McCarthy who was sitting in the front row taking it all in.

There were three other incredible acts on the bill that were “mixed in” throughout the evening including Salt -N-Pepa, Rick Astley, and En Vogue. Each act dutifully crushed their respective sets with standards such as “Push It,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and “My Lovin (Never Gonna Get It).” It was as if someone dropped the 10,000+ fans into a time machine back to a time and place where all that mattered was the music. Wrapping up the evening, everyone gathered on stage together for a killer encore consisting NKOTB’s latest, “Bring Back the Time,” and a remix of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It was the perfect way to end an incredible show.

From start to finish, the energy never faltered and there wasn’t a single dull moment during the 3-hour show. If you’re looking for an event that will get your heart racing, look no further than the NKOTB Mixtape Tour. It was that good! And if you missed it this time around, don’t worry—they’ll be back soon. In the meantime, follow The Vinyl District to get the scoop on all the latest concerts—we promise you won’t be disappointed.

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