For better or worse, I go back a long way with boy bands.
When a crush of teenage fans bent traffic signs at 45-degree angles in 1991 outside a New Kids on the Block concert at the old Orlando Arena, I was there to document it for the ages: "I'm ready to puke, I'm so excited," one fan told me.
So was I. Probably not for the same reason.
In 1993, I wrote a long feature on five relatively unknown guys who called themselves the Backstreet Boys, a story that I still maintain is the first detailed profile of the group ever published. During the interviews, singers Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Nick Carter serenaded me a cappella at a table in an Italian restaurant in west Orlando.
Twenty years later, I reviewed both acts again when the highly successful NKOTBSB tour stopped at Amway Center in 2011. I pointed out in my positive appraisal that the new, second-generation version of fans are "Not Kids Or Teens But Still Believers," to borrow the tour's title acronym.
Now, New Kids on the Block are back to fan the flames of that demographic on "The Package Tour," a show that also includes veteran acts Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. When it stops June 21 at Amway Center, expect the package of no-longer-boy bands to inspire screaming that sounds a lot like 1995.
Yes, New Kids recently released a new studio album, "10," that has generated a propulsive new single, "Remix (I Like The )," but the appeal of this show is pure nostalgia. After all, this was the group that formed the template for Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync with such 1980s and early 1990s hits as "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "Hangin' Tough" and "Step By Step."
If it follows the template of the NKOTBSB production, this show might justify all the excitement.
Expect a lot of singers on the stage at the same time, a visual effect that makes the concert occasionally unfold in the style of a gala awards show finale.
When all nine members of the combined New Kids/Backstreet ensembles were in the spotlight together executing vintage choreography during the 2011 show, it looked like a teen-pop marching band. Boyz II Men was a highlight of that concert, taking the stage for a surprise cameo on "End of the Road."
That segment was too short, so it will be good to see baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman shine in a proper Boyz II Men set that might feature old favorites such as 1991's "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" and newer material from the group's 2011 album, "Twenty."
Although 98 Degrees never matched the buzz that member Nick Lachey generated as Jessica Simpson's husband after the band's split in 2002, hits such as "Invisible Man" (1997) and "Because of You" (1998) also evoke nostalgia. The group recently released a comeback album, "2.0."
With a new album also coming from the Backstreet Boys, there's no sign that boy bands are done. Slated for a July 30 release, "In a World Like This" marks the band's 20th anniversary and the return of Kevin Richardson, who left in 2006 to pursue other projects.
In August, the band's tour stops Aug. 23 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa.
I'm so excited that I'm ready to, well, never mind.
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New Kids on the Block
What: In "The Package Tour," with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21
Where: Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., Orlando