New Kids On The Block brought a star-studded lineup to the Enterprise Center in St. Louis for an early stop on their nationwide Mixtape Tour 2022. This throwback variety special includes support from timeless performances by 90s R&B trio En Vogue, 80s hit and Youtube phenomenon Rick Astley and hip hop’s first female superstars, Salt-N-Pepa.
Fans roared as the show started and New Kids On The Block took the stage in front of a packed Enterprise Center. The 80s and 90s heartthrobs clearly still had some diehard fans, as the crowd was full of homemade signs proclaiming which of the five boy band members the sign holder liked best. Despite older than modern pop artists, the show began with an energy that continued until the end of the night.
Confetti, streamers and screams of joy filled the air, as the quintet danced and sang.
After a few opening numbers, NKOTB tagged in En Vogue, who serenaded the crowd with R&B hits that dominated the charts in the 90s. The trio performed with an elegance and precision that only comes with truly being comfortable onstage. Shiny platinum outfits (which matched the disco ball above them) were a spectacle to behold.
Next onstage was Rick Astley, performing some of his power ballads that rose to popularity in the 80s. Younger audiences will recognize Astley from his newfound success in the age of the Internet via the popular meme, featuring the music video for his hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
Following Astley in the throwback variety show was hip hop pioneers Salt-N-Pepa. Performing some of the first rap songs ever recorded by women, this duo has been dubbed the ‘First Ladies of Rap/Hip Hop’. Performing fan-favorites like “Push It” and “Shoop”, Salt-N-Pepa injected a lot of energy and charisma into the show. While they were performing, members of New Kids On The Block travelled through the crowd of wild fans, dancing and taking selfies with as many people as possible.
The rotation of artists and songs made for a very diverse and entertaining show.
Shifting between pop hits, slow ballads and hip hop sing-a-longs really added a great deal of diversity that you don’t often get from other concerts. It was also nice to see the generational gap being crossed, as all the people who were jamming out to these bands in the 80s and 90s now brought their kids to relive the glory days of boy bands and power ballads.
All-in-all, the show was a lot of fun. The production was amazing, the music was great and the performances were extremely entertaining! The New Kids On The Block Mixtape Tour 2022 continues across the United States this summer, so be sure to catch a stop at a city near you!
Photography by Sean Rider