New Kids on the Block are celebrating the release of their album 10 and gearing up for the Package Tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men, so they performed at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City Thursday (April 4). It did not go so well, and this makes us sad! Jonathan Knight ditched the other four Kids halfway through the show after botching a few solo runs, and the other members sounded pitchy the whole time — but part of that is the absolutely terrible mix that was used for the stream. Oh, that’s the other thing: the whole event was streamed for all to see. Not exactly how NKOTB was hoping to kick off this publicity campaign.
Jonathan seemed uncomfortable or otherwise distracted throughout the first half of the set, and Billboard points out he has struggled with anxiety in the past and perhaps the issue resurfaced last night. Donnie Wahlberg and Joey McIntyre joked about his departure later in the set, but there was a very uneasy vibe the whole time. Their recent performance on The View was a tad lacking in the chemistry and harmonization departments, we never would’ve guessed they’d turn out a shaky, testing-even-the-most-diehard-of-stans spectacle at this stage in their comeback. We’re not saying this could put the Package Tour in jeopardy, but…the Kids may want to hunker down and work out their live kinks over the next few weeks. (And, obviously, we hope everything’s okay with Jonathan, who tweeted “I’m sorry…” after the show).
You can watch the whole stream of the show below (Jonathan’s walk-off begins at the 26:40 mark), but we’re opting to swaddle ourselves in their “Remix (I Like The)” video instead.