First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY
It would be too obvious for me to slate this concert, after all I’m nowhere near the demographic for this kind of thing. But I like pop music, can be entertained by spectacle and it was in this spirit that I accompanied my wife to this show (plus Fraser Lewry went to see Justin Timberlake didn’t he!?)
Unfortunately, there was no real spectacle to be had. My preconception going in was that NKOTB are an act with no real tunes. Even by boy-band standards their contemporaries (Backstreet Boys, Take That) had the better songs up their sleeves. So how would they entertain me? Well, they didn’t much. The setlist was a mix of indistinguishable uptempo dance numbers, forgettable sloppy ballads and well-worn covers (‘Lean On Me’ – I mean FFS!). Aside from the two or three big hits nothing stood out particularly. The stage was in the round and minimal with just a few platforms that moved up and down a bit. This meant that for over 90 minutes it was just five blokes in dark suits stood at microphones and singing with a backing band (that sounded good) tucked away in the pit. A few ticker tape guns and the odd explosion does not a ‘Main Event’ make. Even my wife was checking her watch towards the end.
Nelly opened and the sound was terrible – his beats echoing and clattering around the arena, his rhymes unintelligible. TLC were second on the bill and were much more enjoyable. Some nice songs and a bit of imagination in their presentation.
Largely groups of selfie-taking ladies in their 30s and 40s and the odd bloke of the same age (like me). I’d estimate the female to male ratio was around 10:1. It was not a sold out show and there was a fair amount of people leaving during the concert, leaving whole rows unpopulated.
It made me think..
This was the band’s last show of the tour before they embark on a NKOTB cruise. I’m glad I will be remaining on dry land.