Photo Gallery and Review: New Kids on the Block at Van Andel

Last night at Van Andel Arena, New Kids on the Block merged nostalgia with innovation. The set list was filled with ’80s and ’90s superstars, namely NKOTB, Salt-N-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, Naughty By Nature, and Tiffany, and yet the show felt entirely new and unconventional.

What kept this fresh was NKOTB’s approach (see the photo gallery and set list below). Billed as the “Mixtape Tour 2019,” the evening played out like an actual mixtape come to life. The bands entered and exited the stage in a revolving door fashion, giving you short blasts of hits from each name on the bill, with the result being a high energy, party environment.

Although they were billed as the headliners, New Kids opened the show. Kicking off the night with eight of their songs (classic pop hits like “Right Stuff” and “Games” accompanied newer tunes like “The Way”) as they worked their way through the audience and up to the second stage. From there, Tiffany appeared on the main stage, belting out her cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now,” which reached No. 1 back in 1987. This was quickly followed by Debbie Gibson, wearing a neon pink bodysuit and her signature bowler hat, who belted out “Shake Your Love” and “Electric Youth.” The night would also see lively performances from Naughty By Nature, who were accompanied by a dancing bear, and Salt-N-Pepa, who kept the audience moving with hits like “Push It” and “Shoop.”

Fans participated in the event by using an interactive app that accessed the flashlight on their phones during certain songs so they could blink along with the beat. There were also several homemade, poster-board signs and t-shirts within the crowd. One T-shirt, reading “NKOTB: Giving Me a Lady Boner Since 1988,” appeared on the jumbotron. That enthusiastic, albeit comical, fan ended up receiving a hug from New Kid Joey McIntyre, who entered the crowd, along with his bandmates, throughout the evening.

Other fun moments, including a medley sung by NKOTB of other old-school hits, like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Poison,” and Whitney Houston’s “I Want to Dance with Somebody” (which prompted Donnie Wahlberg to shout, “Sing it for Whitney!”).

The party atmosphere—amplified by Pyrotechnics, confetti and soaring stages—ended with a batch of songs from NKOTB, including two of their biggest sellers, “Hangin’ Tough” and “Step By Step.” The group’s latest single, “’80s Baby,” which features guest spots from all their tour openers, closed out the night.

Set List:
The Way
My Favorite Girl
Dirty Dancing
The Right Stuff
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
Valentine Girl
If You Go Away
Please Don’t Go Girl

None of Your Business
Whatta Man
Let’s Talk About Sex

Boys In The Band
Medley (“Poison,” “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” etc.)
Cover Girl

(Naughty By Nature)
Feel Me Flow
Hip Hop Hooray

(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
‘80s Baby (ft. all acts)