Ever since I moved back to NYC in 2010, I have been a concert junkie. However, concerts are expensive so I have to be somewhat of a stan for the artist to go, but I truly enjoy the live experience of a show.
Now seeing the big headliners last year like Beyonce and Jay were great, but I’m an old school lover at heart (you know this by now I’m sure). If it popped in the 80’s, I may not remember when it first came out because my memory from age three isn’t as good as it used to be, but I love my 80’s music. Which is why it shouldn’t have been a surprise why I would be found at the New Edition concert at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 21. NE is celebrating 30 years in the industry and time has done them all well.
I literally decided to go to the show on the day of, so I went solo. I almost punked out because I kept thinking, “who will I do my ‘If It Isn’t Love’ choreography with and “who will I jump up and down with excitement and sing along the words with when one of my favorite songs come on?” As I sat on the train on my way to 34th Street Herald Square I thought this through. Then when I looked on the giant marquis at MSG and saw the sign welcoming them to NYC, my mind was made up…I’m gonna party with New Edition by my damn self!!
I was monitoring ticket sales all week so I knew they wouldn’t be sold out, but by showtime, it was a packed house. Of course that show did not start on time, but once the lights dimmed and the DJ prompted us to get out our seats to welcome our favorite black boy band of this era, I took my wedges off and was ready to dance. I felt a glimmer of disappointment when only five members walked on stage…sans Bobby Brown. I almost wanted my money back! But at the beginning of “Hit Me Off” from their 1996 comeback LP Home Again, Ralph Tresvant welcomed Mr. Bad A$$ himself to rap the opening verse. The crowd went wild.
You know they performed the goodies. After all six members did their personal introductions (I’ve been a Ronnie DeVoe fan since I was 11) they got in line and did their diddly from the “If It Isn’t Love” video that would make Beyonce’s backup dancers jealous. For these men to be in their mid-40s and been in touring since before I was born, they’re still on beat and haven’t missed a step. Performing hits like “Popcorn Love,” “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and some other songs that I didn’t recognize, they took the real 30+ crowd back to their hi top and oversized gold hoop earring days.
I didn’t even realize how successful the New Edition members were as solo acts until they each sang their hits. From BBD’s “When Will I See You Smile Again,” to Johnny Gill’s “My, My, My,” to Bobby Brown’s “Roni,” and even “Mr. Sensitivity” himself Ralph Tresvant, these men really were R&B music staples over the course of their 30 year career. To speed up the tempo, Bobby turned the crowd up with “My Prerogative.” Bobby may be a fan fave, but when you heard that first beat to “Poison,” BBD ended the show with the whole theatre doing the running man dance all the way to the exit.
The show was entertaining and even had its touching moments when some of the group members toddler children came on stage. Then Bobby Brown gave a heartfelt speech thanking fans for their support over the past two months following the death of Whitney Houston. Her ghost was in the arena because the screaming fan behind me that kept yelling “I love you Bobby!!” sounded just like Whitney.
I have no pics because my phone died and of course my professional camera was not allowed inside. So guess you’ll have to take my word for it when I say it was a great show.
Another day in
Brooklyn…Madison Square Garden, NYC.