Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

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+

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Slow Jam Saturday: The Whispers, “I’m Gonna Make You My Wife”

Yesterday was the sixteenth anniversary of my marital union. In honor of this occasion, I have selected a song for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday that celebrates the sanctity of marriage. While I considered several options, such as Robin Thicke’s “Angels,” Luther Vandross’ “So Amazing,” or Myron’s “Give My All to You,” all of which played a significant role in my wedding, I ultimately decided on The Whispers’ “I’m Gonna Make You My Wife” due to its particular resonance with me.

Second Listen Sunday: B5, Don’t Talk Just Listen

For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I took a trip back to 2007 and revisited “Don’t Talk Just Listen” from the group B5. Hailing from the Peach State, B5 comprised the Breeding Brothers, Bryan, Carnell, Dustin, Kelly, and Patrick. Initially finding success two years earlier with their cover of The Jackson 5’s “All I Do,” their debut did just enough with their preteen fans to warrant a second album.

Slow Jam Saturday: Jagged Edge, Whole Town’s Laughing At Me

With the exception of a few cases, R&B groups experienced a period of stagnation in 2007. While some groups continued to tour and perform their renowned classics, releasing new music was infrequent. To commemorate this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I would like to acknowledge a notable piece from Jagged Edge’s sixth album, “Baby Makin Project,” titled “Whole Town’s Laughing At Me.”

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