NKOTB aspiring to 'world-class show'

Joey McIntyre says group is sticking to basics

DETROIT -- Joey McIntyre promises New Kids on the Block fans will see "a big show" when the group hits the road next month to promote "The Block," its first set of new material in 14 years.

"This is, I think, a classy show, and we want to make it a world-class show," McIntyre said. But, he adds, "there's not gonna be any Ferris wheels or ... trapezes, not too many tricks. We're sticking to the basics. We're working with great lighting and sound and video, but as a stage, I think, it's simple. It's us and we believe it's gonna come from us whether people are entertained."

McIntyre said audiences will "definitely hear all their old favorite songs" as well as material from "The Block," including the singles "Summertime" and "Single," with McIntyre covering Ne-Yo's parts on the latter. NKOTB will be joined by four dancers, but he also points out that fans "know us as dancers, too, and we're dancing our asses off. We're not pulling out stools and sitting down and singing our hits. We're not jumping around like we used to but we're dancing up a storm and we still feel like the five hardest-working kids in show business."

NKOTB has finished rehearsals for the moment to allow the group to do interviews and make appearances to promote "The Block," released Tuesday. The group reconvenes around Sept. 15 in Toronto for three days of tech rehearsals before the tour starts on Sept. 18 at the Air Canada Center.

McIntyre said NKOTB will play a month of dates in Europe in 2009 and is also eyeballing Asia, Australia and New Zealand, with early rumors about more North American dates next summer. "We just want to keep everything in front of us instead of too far ahead of us," he explained.

He's equally cautious about the long-term prospects for the NKOTB reunion. "We really don't know," McIntyre said. "The challenge is, how do you keep it fresh and how do you keep it new? I guess we could tour every two years and make a new album, but it's not gonna be stock. We want to push the envelope and do something that challenges us and is new to us. But first the question this time around was 'Can they come back?' and I think we have. Now it's like, 'What are they gonna do next?' and ... we'll see."