As soon as I heard that New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys have joined forces to stage a world tour last year, I have been praying really hard for them to come to Manila. Wishes really do come true because several months ago, I learned that they were going to stage a performance at the newly constructed SM Arena. Problem was, the prices were a bit steep and my pals thought I was lame to want to go to a concert of aging boy groups that I worshiped in my teens. No matter, I still held out hope and finally, I convinced my college buddy Era to go with me. I was thinking I wouldn’t be satisfied until I had someone to share my excitement with at the concert so I was glad that she finally said yes. Good thing too because last night was actually the final stop of the guys’ world tour, which made the night all the more special.

SEA OF PEOPLE. This is only a small portion of the crowd waiting to enter the concert venue at the SM Arena on June 3, for the NKOTBSB’s epic concert.

So, the concert was finally a go and people were lining up near the entrance as early as 5:30pm (The concert wasn’t until 8 pm) and the lines were starting to grow longer by the minute. I was already waiting in line by 6 pm but Era was running a bit late because of traffic. Inside, I was already tensing up because I didn’t want to fall in line over again if the tickets didn’t make it by the time I reached the entrance but thankfully, Era, her friend Nena and her cousin Carlo arrived in the nick of time and we were able to enter without any hassle. It was abit of a challenge to find good seats (We bought General admission tickets) but we finally settled on seats near the side of the stage. We weren’t really expecting to see much but boy were we in for a surprise.

The concert started a bit late (around 9 pm) and the front acts kept us occupied until the Kids and the Boys were ready. We initially thought that the stage was too simple compared to other stages that they performed in in other countries but their production team really made it work. Also, their videographers were top notch so what we can’t see close up we could view on the giant screen from the back of the stage and they looked awesome.

NKOTB. The New Kids on the Block take on one of their hits at the NKOTB concert.

The crowd went nuts when the guys took the stage, and for good reason. Their performance level was world class and it seemed like they didn’t age by the way they were moving around and performing. The sound wasn’t the best but I blame this entirely on the poor sound system. It’s such a shame because the guys were hitting the notes in precision, all while doing their dance routines, which isn’t an easy task.

The greatest part is really the chemistry. These were two boy bands who took over the charts in separate times — NKOTB in the 80s and the BSB in the 90s but they really worked well together in their combined performances and their group solos. Donnie Wahlberg (who is now an actor starring in Blue Bloods), was running up and down the stage and jumping around like he was in his early 20s and Joey McIntyre, who was 15 when he joined NKOTB was as adorable as ever. Jordan Knight, the heartthrob of the group aged pretty well and so did his shy brother Jonathan and the ultimate breaker Danny Wood.

Not to be outdone, the Boys took over the stage with one of their most popular hits Get Down, and continued on with hit after hit. I initially wanted to list them all down but I was too busy enjoying the concert that I lost track eventually.

Standout performances belonged to Joey McIntyre who performed Please Don’t Go Girl to perfection while Jordan answered towards the finale with his falsetto I’ll Be Loving You Forever. Of course, Step by Step got the crowd going while almost all BSB songs which had more of a pop feel got the audiences to their feet. I swear I could hardly hear any of the opening bars of the song because of the really heavy screaming. My favorites were actually, Larger than Life, Quit Playin Games with My Heart and the phenomenal Backstreet’s Back. Nick Carter was a ham through and through and was truly fearless in diving into the crowd to be hugged and kissed and pulled any which way by adoring fans who paid a good portion of their salaries to get front row seats. He seemed to be enjoying himself the most among everybody and the guys pretty much let him have his way perhaps, because he was the youngest of the lot.

BSB. I super love Brian’s pink suit and sneakers. The BSB plays to the crowd in an energetic performance.

I was actually quite amazed that at some point of the concert, all of the guys went to the crowd to interact with them. BSB’s Nick, AJ, Brian and Howie D even got girls from the audience to sing to them. Even NKOTB went to audience to deliver a performance. This is crowd interaction at its finest, for sure.

What I really liked about the performances was that they were all very well rehearsed. All the numbers had excellent blocking and choreography, that anyone could appreciate even for people like us who were at the fartherst corner. This is awesome because this shows a great respect for the crowd they are performing for because they are truly giving people their money’s worth. Also, the guys were obviously having fun on stage which really translates in their performances and infects the crowd. I am currently hoarse from all the screaming and the yelling and I probably sprained my ankle from jumping too much but I really don’t care because I had loads of fun. The guys of BSB, who have been together for 19 years (I’ve been their fan for the better part of that time) Β also had great respect for their predecessors, the NKOTB who have been together for more or less 25 years which was made clear by AJ’s speech towards the end saying that they were honored to have shared the stage with the much older group. All of them genuinely seemed to like each other because I really don’t think that any bad blood could be faked by the amount of brotherly love they projected for each other.

BADGE OF HONOR. My ticket (in middle) — my badge of honor deserves a special place in my BSB scrapbook (which I created in the 90s).

I’m glad that I watched the concert which turned out to be the final stop of the NKTOBSB World Tour. The two and a half hour long performance was not just worth every penny but is really a once in a lifetime experience for a die hard fan like myself. But even for non-fans, I am sure that they would have appreciated the technicalities of excellent live singing and dancing as well as the top notch stage effects. Every seat was the best seat in the house for the NKOTB concert. Not only did they perform all of their hits but they executed it brilliantly. Emerging boy bands would do well to study their performances to learn a thing or two about how its really done. After the lights have dimmed and the encore was over, the only thing left in my mind was — N.K.O.T.B.S.B!…N.K.O.T.B.S.B!…N.K.O.T.B.S.B!…N.K.O.T.B.S.B!

15 thoughts on “NKOTBSB in Manila: BEST. SHOW. EVER!!!

  1. NKTOB gave an awsome performance. But my first and only love will be BSB! Howie, Nick, Brian rocks! We will see them soon complete with Kevin!

    Can’t wait for them to come back! πŸ˜€


    1. I’m a BSB fan myself. πŸ™‚ I would definitely see them again if and when they return. NKOTB was great in the concert as well πŸ˜€ The guys (Kids and the Boys) were all performing like they were in their 20s and they could actually give the new boy bands a run for their money.

      Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚


  2. Very nicely put, Angelina! You noticed so many things and small details that only a true blue fan like yourself could have pointed out. This review is everything I wanted to say but can’t find the words (or the memory) to do so :))) Thanks a lot for making me tap onto my pop side haha :>


  3. I so love your article!! i can almost imagine what happened on this concert tour..they’re really great!! very well said..thank you for sharing!! great pics you got there:)


      1. Same here… i guess it’s not that easy to take out the fangirl in us when it comes to bsb…they’re one of a kind…


  4. I am so envy with you guys!! I wasn’t able to watch since affordable tickets were sold out and I came in so late at the Arena because of the traffic…but thank you for sharing this…it made me feel like I was there..NKOTBSB rules!!


    1. Hopefully, this will not be the last time that the two groups collaborate. I’m still figuring out how to post videos but I will try to do so. I took a lot of long shots and the singing was mostly drowned out by the screaming but it will give you the general feel inside the Arena that night. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for dropping in Olive πŸ™‚


  5. I’m soooo glad Manila and the Philippines as a whole got to experience NKOTBSB atleast once. I’m an NKOTB fan through and through ( I’ve been in love w/ Joey McIntyre since I was 7 years old) and after they disbanded back in 1994 I didn’t really follow any other boy bands, but I must say BSB’s style of performance complimented NKOTB’s really well! I’m really glad that both bands showed the Philippines a lot of love, wish I had flown home to see it, but I was fortunate enough to have seen 8 NKOTB shows (2 w/ BSB) during thier North American leg of their tours and since NKOTB reunited in 2008. I hope both bands return indivually or even better, together once again, w/ all the love their Filipino fans showed them, I have no doubt they will!!


    1. It was by far the best concert I’ve seen. If they return, I will try to get better seats to get the full experience. The guys were AWESOME! Have I said that already? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for dropping in Brigitte πŸ™‚


  6. You are welcome…this site is really worth dropping in…it’s exactly what I’m looking for since i wasn’t able to watch…i’ll promise to grab a ticket right away the next time they come back here…whatever it takes…


  7. NKOTBSB4eva!!! Just read in πŸ™‚ I too watched the show,I definitely wouldn’t have missed it even i was by myself! I relived my tween anad teen dreams during the show!!! I wasn’t able to see NKOTB when i was 12 in 1992 but I have seen 2 of the BSB’s concerts in manila(2006 & 2010).Still is a fan and i guess 4ever:)


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