It’s been six years since audiences experienced the rating-breaking three-part mini-series, The New Edition Story. I still remember my excitement walking into an advance screening of Part 1 on a cold January night. One of my favorite scenes occurs in this part when a young Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins are supporting a pre-teen Bobby Brown in a talent show. The local Boston-based group, The Untouchables, is performing a cover of Philly soul group Blue Magic’s “Spell” before Bobby takes the stage. After hearing another cover version of the song in Michael Bivin’s documentary, The Hustle of 617 Biv, I decided to feature it for Slow Jam Saturday.
Concert Review : Joey McIntyre @ The Birchmere
Blockheads were out in full force on Monday, July 31st, when Joey McIntyre, youngest member and the second lead vocalist of pop icons New Kids on The Block, performed at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. McIntyre previously had a successful Vegas Residency with Debbie Gibson, and following the success of his Carnegie Hall appearance earlier this year, Joe decided to take his show on the road.
The concert, known as “Solo Joe,” began on time at 7:40, with Joe appearing in a casual black ensemble. Guitarist Sean Thomas accompanied him. Joe started his performance with a rendition of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, which he seamlessly merged into U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name.” He then proceeded to perform “Here We Go Again” from his 2009 EP of the same name.
During the night, McIntyre interacted with the audience by sharing stories and acknowledging Blockheads who had attended his previous shows. I commend Joey for understanding his audience, which helped him choose the right songs for his set list. Although McIntyre has released five solo albums, they did not sell well. Therefore, his set list mainly consisted of covers from popular artists like Elton John, George Michael, and The Eagles.
McIntyre has always had a strong voice, allowing him to make the covers his own while keeping the vibes of the original song. McIntyre also took time to show off his piano skills which was a treat. Naturally, McIntyre found time to dip into the New Kids catalog, performing “Tonight,” “Where Do I Go From Here,” “Single,” an energetic take on “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” and, of course, the sentimental “Please Don’t Go Girl.”
For the most part, it was a great night out. However, I did have one minor gripe. The Blockhead nation is one of the strongest fandoms around, so I would’ve loved to hear Joe do snippets of the deep album cuts like “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “Funny Feeling,” and “Close To You.” Given how many Blockheads were in attendance, those songs would’ve gone over like gangbusters.
Nevertheless, Solo Joe is a nostalgic trip down memory lane from a highly underrated vocalist. Dabbling in movies, music, and an active social media presence, McIntyre shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and I recommend seeing his show when it’s in your town.
Final Grade: B+
More reviews to explorer
R&B fans were elated this past summer when R&B legend Raphael Saadiq announced he had reunited with Tony! Toni! Toné! for a fall tour. The tour kicked off this past Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, with twenty-five planned stops. I plan on attending the Oxon Hill, MD, stop this coming Monday.
The year was 1981, and a music legend in the making, Prince was slowly crafting his musical royalty legacy. Before releasing his fourth album, Controversy, Prince introduced the band The Time to the world with their self-titled debut album.