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New Kids On The Block // Live @ Riverbend Music Center // 6.21.24

Article and Photos by: Linda Carlson


Cincinnati, OH – Quite an enthusiastic crowd showed up on a hot, muggy, but thankfully rain-free night to reminisce, smile, dance and cheer for New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) on their Magic Summer Tour 2024.  The nearly all-female audience was ready to celebrate simpler, more vivacious, vicarious and carefree times.

NKOTB hit the music scene in 1984, among the first and most acclaimed boy bands of the era.  This Dorchester Massachusetts band hit their stride in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, disbanding in 1994, but thankfully for their avid fan base, not forever.

NKOTB to this day is comprised of brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood.  This lineup has remained unchanged since 1984, which in and of itself is remarkable, a testament to the bond, commitment and fun that fused these performers together for 40 years.


While most concerts involve musicians and singers, a NKOTB is more about singing, of course, and… THE SHOW!  And on this note, the band did not disappoint.  An enormous screen backdrop flashed bright, colorful, upbeat imagery, and the broad, open stage with tiered bleachers at the back formed the landscape for dancing, singing and nonstop movement.  Visuals abounded, including bursts of pastel heart confetti that certainly became keepsakes for fans.


The performance was not restricted to the designated front stage.  Scattered throughout the audience were five smaller round platform stages, one for each band member.  Each stage was encased by brightly lit pillars (for lighting and also to separate each band member from his enthusiastic fans), a separate color for each stage.  The band sang “Block Party” and “Tonight” from these mini stages, immersed in the crowd, bringing the singers directly within reach of their fans, each one completely surrounded by fans in an intimate, more personal way.




This is much more than a tribute tour.  Indeed, the band is promoting their newest album, Still Kids, released just last month, giving them even more material to share with their fans.  The band put forth a massive show (just shy of 2 hours), with solo vignette performances by each band member (and a McIntyre piano solo) sprinkled throughout:

  • Magic
  • Summer Love
  • My Favorite Girl
  • Cover Girl
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Summertime
  • You Got It (The Right Stuff)
  • Remix (I Like the)
  • Block Party
  • Tonight
  • Are You Down?
  • Where Do I Go From Here? (Joey Piano Solo)
  • Treat Me Right (Joey Solo)
  • Call It What You Want
  • Popsicle / Games / This Is How We Do It
  • Stay With Me Baby (Donnie Solo)
  • Baby, I Believe in You (Jordan Solo)
  • Never Gonna Fall in Love Again / Paradise City
  • Happy Birthday (Jonathan Solo)
  • Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) / Valentine Girl
  • Please Don’t Go Girl
  • Get Down (with DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  • Dance With You / A Love Like This / In the Night / Long Time Coming
  • Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince cover) (with DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  • Kids
  • I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)


  • Step by Step
  • Hangin’ Tough / We Will Rock You
  • Better Days

Touring with NKOTB are DJ Jazzy Jeff and Paula Abdul.  DJ Jazzy Jeff started the evening’s events with a cool set of, yes, jazzy tunes.  He joined NKOTB on stage later, as well, for a few tunes.

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Abdul next put on a 30-minute performance that featured the 62-year-old (she made a point of sharing her age with a grand smile) singing and dancing, supported by a cast of dancers who added delightfully choreographed movement to the set.  Abdul looked and sounded great!

Paula Abdul

Overall, this was a night filled with upbeat performances that brought a sense of brightness at a time when it’s really welcomed, and needed.  We could all use some positivity and carefree abandon right about now.

The tour continues through August, so there’s plenty of time to catch a show.  Check the NKOTB website (link) for a show near you.

Check the carousel below for more photos from the show.

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.