NKOTB Pull Lance Bass on Stage, Urge *NSYNC to Reunite Without Justin Timberlake at Star-Studded Hollywood Gig
By Leena Tailor
Hey, *NSYNC -- New Kids on the Block want you back!
Just weeks after the Backstreet Boys called for *NSYNC to reunite, even if it’s without Justin Timberlake, New Kids on the Block joined the movement to bring the group back together during a star-studded concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
“I know I’m gonna cause problems right now, but it's been a little too long without an *NSYNC reunion, I’m just saying!” Wahlberg said as the crowd erupted in cheers. “I’m just saying! I’m just saying! And if you can’t get the fifth guy, do it with four -- we’ll still all come.”
The fun moment comes amid increasing demand for the “I Want You Back” singers to make a comeback after Bass reunited with Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone and JC Chasez to perform alongside Ariana Grande at Coachella last month. Timberlake, meanwhile, has been busy with a solo career, having recently wrapped his Man of the Woods tour.
Bass, accompanied by his husband, Michael Turchin, was one of several celebrities who came out for Sunday’s concert despite the rain, something of a good omen for the band who has previously had the skies open above them for other notable appearances, like at Boston’s Fenway Park and while announcing their 2008 comeback on Good Morning America.
Fuller House stars -- and longtime Blockheads -- Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber and Soni Bringas were also rocking out in a box, while Wahlberg’s Blue Bloods co-star, Marisa Ramirez, his brother, Mark Wahlberg, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men were also in the house. Australian songstress, Delta Goodrem, and British Revenge star, Barry Sloane, were also spotted, while Magic! frontman Nasri Atweh, who was instrumental in the boy band’s 2008 reunion and comeback, attended with bandmate Ben Spivak.
However, there was no shortage of other hits during the two-plus hour gig which featured a unique mixtape-style format, interspersed with sets from Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Naughty by Nature and Salt-N-Pepa.
Kicking things off with a career-spanning, eight-song set featuring older tracks like “Games” and “My Favorite Girl,” as well as “The Way” -- one of the three new tracks on the group’s Hangin’ Tough: 30th Anniversary Edition -- the boys then made way for Tiffany, who performed her 1987 cover hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now.” The 47-year-old singer has a long history with New Kids on the Block, whose first tour in North America was opening for the then-teenage star.
The same ballads that had fans fawning back in those early days were performed next, including “Valentine Girl” and “If You Go Away,” before the group emerged in the middle of the packed crowd to belt out hits like “Tonight” and “Boys in the Band,” while taking selfies with audience members. The Los Angeles Rams loaned out their cheerleaders for the song, which pays tribute to boy bands from the past, present and future. "I take pride in celebrating our journey and the journey of other boy bands," Wahlberg, who co-wrote the song, told ET earlier this year. "The best part of the song for me is not only to acknowledge boy bands that followed us, but to acknowledge the boy band which had the biggest influence on us, which was New Edition."
Meanwhile, Jordan Knight’s wife, Evelyn, was likely on the singer’s mind as he launched into “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” which recently turned 30 years old. “It doesn’t get old to me because the melody is so pretty that it’s nice to sing every night,” he recently told ET about the track. “I never have to go on autopilot. I can always feel it when I sing it. I think of my wife, of the people in the crowd, my mom and my kids -- it just never gets old."
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*NSYNC's Lance Bass Asks New Kids on the Block: Boxers or Briefs? (Exclusive)
And when it comes to getting older, Danny Wood’s recent 50th birthday doesn’t stop him from pulling some killer break-dancing moves throughout the tour. Meanwhile, fans of Jonathan Knight were treated to a video preview of his upcoming HGTV series, Farmhouse Fixer, while Joey McIntyre fans were in for the ultimate treat, some moved to tears, as he turned up on stage to help Debbie Gibson perform her number one track, “Lost in Your Eyes.” The song is from the singer’s 1989 album, Electric Youth, and “electric” was the best way to describe the pair’s sizzling chemistry as they got lost in each other’s eyes while standing atop a piano belting out the beautiful ballad.
“I’m doing certain songs in ways in which I’ve never done before,” Gibson, 48, recently explained to ET about the duet. She also took to social media following the performance to share how magical it felt to perform such a treasured song with McIntyre. “I have never shared this song with anyone, but - like all great partnerships, I feel like the song is better and stronger for this new life that is breathed into it night after night by the two of us,” she gushed.
The concert was part of the band's West Coast run, which also featured Friday's Anaheim show, where Bachelor in Paradise star Ashley Iaconetti celebrated her bachelorette party with Wahlberg, McCarthy and a "NKOTBRIDE" sash.
The group then headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, where 98 Degrees singer Jeff Timmons attended with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Ariahuna. Vegas-based British singer Matt Goss was also on hand as well as UFC star Tito Ortiz with his bestie, Co-Star Entertainment CEO Traci Szymanski.