Friday, September 26, 2008

New Kids enjoying reunion tour

Here is an article from The Barrie Examiner

New Kids enjoying reunion tour

(AP)-- Donnie Wahlberg might look and act tough, but he's a softie underneath.

The resident bad boy of New Kids on the Block said he has cried tears of joy while performing for thousands of screaming fans on the reunited band's arena tour, which began in Toronto last week.

"We've had old banners being held up, new banners being held up, people singing the old songs, partying with the new songs, bras thrown onstage with women flashing us," Wahlberg said. "Husbands holding their wives and singing along to the songs with their wives in their arms ... I don't like to overblow the significance of anything, we're a pop group after all, but there's something really magical that's happening every night. I've been moved onstage on more than one occasion."

That admission coming from Wahlberg -- known for his macho posturing and hip-hop swagger -- might surprise the New Kids' hardcore devotees, who wouldn't expect him to weep and then talk openly about it. But Wahlberg said he's matured over the years.

Right now, he feels validated by the resurgent fandemonium -- after all, it's been a lifetime since the band last performed to crowds like this.

"I'm not some guy that is desperate, you know?" said Wahlberg, an actor whose film credits include Righteous Kill, The Sixth Sense and the gory Saw flicks. "I didn't, like, need to go and do this to make money and stuff like that. I got a good career. I got plenty of things going on in my life. It's not like I needed this to bail me out of any mess or anything. It's just right. It just felt right. We did it for the right reasons and the reward is to share this with the fans and to see that they're so dialled in."

Fourteen years after disbanding amid dwindling popularity and burnout, the New Kids -- Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre and brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight -- are reclaiming some of the magic from their heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they made teenage girls swoon on a regular basis.

One of the most successful boy bands ever, the New Kids were the prototype for hysteria-inducing groups like the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and the Jonas Brothers. Millions of young girls obsessed over the New Kids, persuading their parents to buy them concert tickets, pillowcases, notebooks, lunch boxes, dolls and on and on.

Some of those girls, now in their 20s and 30s, have held on to that merch -- and still harbour fond memories of brash Donnie, pretty boy Joey, chiselled Danny and the hair-gelled Knight siblings.

But they're no longer kids. In the years between 1994 and 2008, the men -- now in their 30s -- have experienced marriages, divorces, children, and hit-or-miss solo careers. Wahlberg has had a well-received detour into acting. McIntyre had high-profile stints on Broadway in Wicked and on TV in Dancing With the Stars. Jonathan Knight, who has suffered from crippling panic disorder, chucked showbiz to work in the real estate business. Jordan has pursued a solo career.

The reunion began a year ago after Wahlberg heard music for the song Click Click Click and sent it around to the other guys. That song became the first of 13 tracks on The Block.

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