Review: Do New Kids On The Block still have the right stuff?

Review: Do New Kids On The Block still have the right stuff? Photo: courtesy of Sarina Long

June 12, 2019 02:17 PM

Sarina Long writes reviews of performances in the Twin Cities.

Minnesotans, are your ears still ringing this morning after last night's two-plus hour trip down memory lane?


It was a loud, packed arena Tuesday night as New Kids On The Block, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Naughty by Nature, and Salt-N-Pepa took the stage transporting fans back to the '80s and '90s at Xcel Energy Center In St. Paul.

Does NKOTB still have the right stuff? At times the Mixtape tour felt a little theatrical, almost like a bachelorette party at a Chippendale show. So many hip thrusts from the Boston boy band the teens in us loved 30-plus years ago.

"This tour is perfect because it really does feel like I'm listening to a mixed tape in my car riding to the mall with my best friends," Alison Major, from St Louis Park, said.

"I can remember the exact place and who I was with with every song," Joseph Nor, from Sartell, said. "It's like I was in a time machine. Man, those were fun times with my favorite people."

NKOTB opened with an eight-song set that included "My Favorite Girl" and "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," tracks from their blockbuster Hangin' Tough album from 1988.

Next up, Tiffany with her cover of Tommy James & The Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now," which dominated Top 40 radio in 1987. She seemed to struggle a bit but the crowd didn't mind as they belted out the lyrics right along with her.

Tiffany passed the baton to Debbie Gibson who appeared at a smaller Stage B at the other end of the arena. Wearing a glittery hot pink dress she sang a medley of some of her hits, including "Out of the Blue" and "Shake Your Love." The highlight was definitely her duet with Joey McIntyre on her hit "Lost In Your Eyes."

There's no doubt that Salt-N-Pepa provided the high octane energy this Mixtape tour needed. They performed three sets, including hits "Whatta Man," "Push It," "Let's Talk About Sex," and crowd-pleaser, "Shoop."

"It feels just as good singing along in my 40s as it did in 7th grade," Angela Diaz from Duluth said. "Those queens still got it!"

Naughty By Nature took the stage for a brief three-song set including "O.P.P" and "Hip Hop Hooray."

Treach took the stage wearing a #20 Ryan Suter Wild jersey.

There wasn't an encore but NKOTB ended the night with a collaboration as all of the artists came back on the main stage performing, "'80s Baby" - one last nod to the decade we were happily transported to Tuesday night.

The 53-city Mixtape tour kicked off May 2 in Cincinnati, Ohio and touches nearly every corner of the continental U.S. before it wraps up on July 14 in Hollywood, Florida.


New Kids On The Block:

The Way
My Favorite Girl
Dirty Dancing
You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Remix (I Like The)
Block Party


I Think We're Alone Now
Debbie Gibson:
Out of the Blue/Shake Your Love/Electric Youth

Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time/Valentine Girl/If You Go Away/Please Don't Go Girl

My Mic Sounds Nice/None of Your Business/Expression/Whatta Man/Let's Talk About Sex

Tonight/Boys In the Band/Cover Girl

Naughty by Nature:

O.P.P./Feel Me Flow/Hip-Hop Hurray

Debbie Gibson:

Foolish Beat/Only In My Dreams/Lost In Your Eyes




All This Time/Could've Been


I'll Be Loving You (Forever)/Step by Step


Push It


Hangin' Tough

Entire Mixtape crew:

'80s Baby

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Sarina Long

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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