On a night where, unfortunately, the Hall of Fame’s recent new inductees Joe Jackson and Chuck Berry held their ceremony, there was perhaps no better selection than New Edition and New Kids on the Block to accompany the fans to the Class of 2018 induction. And when their performances started, who can argue that they were the best when they were playing all the hits.
Frankly, for some of us, the Hall of Fame is nothing but a great venue to see our favorite groups perform, and I can’t think of a better surprise than to sit and listen to the three generations of ‘80s and ‘90s hit-makers together. The highlight of the performances was New Edition’s “Kool What a Night,” of course, but the New Kids played “Truly Madly Deeply” just to be sure to make sure all of us were singing.
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And although it wasn’t the greatest of the New Kids’ hits, their performance of the Stevie Wonder song “You Made Me Feel” put everyone to sleep.
Flexibility is the name of the game. I can’t think of anything the Hall of Fame wouldn’t do to make it look like the performances were really spontaneous and professional. While it wasn’t the greatest of sets, there was no need to cut any of the performances short. They were so good together, and their jovial relationship on stage gave us all goosebumps.
Sports fans know all too well that the theme of the evening was basically a greatest hits collection. But for an event that never feels bigger than the moment, let me point out that this could have been The Greatest Hit Show Ever. They would just have had to add a few more new songs and collaborations to the canon. And more importantly, those new songs would have had to be tight.
Regardless, how about some of the 1987 New Edition hits? “Candy Girl,” “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Candy Girl Part 2,” “Yo! Baby” — definitely no “Can You Stand the Rain?” on this one, though.
And can we just put the 1980s song “Please Don’t Go Girl” on top of a song list and fire a marching band? Here’s “Please Don’t Go Girl” with Gary LeVox and the President Trump voice. BONUS: They did the Disney song “Goofy in Basketball Sweats” and “Please Don’t Go Girl” with New Kids. This takes some of the chill out of a barn full of shrieking adults.
On stage, New Edition was a group of brothers, brothers with suits, and probably the only group with more testosterone on stage than New Kids on the Block. Somehow, they managed to pull it off, and made it look absolutely amazing.
After their performance, the boys of New Kids on the Block showed their softer side with their performance of “You Gotta Dance.” When this was already the talk of the town, Donnie Wahlberg surprised the audience and the crowd with his entrance with an appearance and soulful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” And even without the crowd, this is a smooth performance, but something about New Kids themselves that makes them that much more special.
Will they be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year?
It’s anybody’s guess. The New Kids must be hoping to have a little bit of an experience like we had at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday. That’s bound to happen.
Here’s to the future New Kids who are making their way through life.