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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisThe New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys may be a decade apart, but all age barriers were broken when both boy bands joined forces as NKOTBSB in 2011 for one of the most massive tours this millennium. Apparently the Kids' Jordan Knight and the Boys' Nick Carter hit it off especially well because they're not just touring together off previous group and solo songs, but they recorded an entire new album together under the cheeky moniker of Nick & Knight.
The self-titled effort is the focal point of a three month tour, which took to Chicago's downtown House of Blues hot spot for two shows, suggesting the fellas also have respectable popularity outside of their day jobs. And after 90 high energy minutes backed by a four piece band, Nick & Knight also proved to have considerable collaborative chemistry, perhaps shared by their mutual affinity for pop, soul and dance music (usually wound around towering harmonies).
Knight is hands down the vocal treasure of the troupe, nailing so many falsettos it was hard to keep count, and while Carter isn't nearly as gifted behind the mic, his charisma is undeniable. Together they made the ladies go absolutely wild, grooving through the funky new "Just The Two Of Us," unplugging for NKOTB's "If You Go Away" and BSB's "I Want It That Way" (with Knight nestled behind the keys and Carter on acoustic guitar), plus a medley of '90s hip-hop covers stocked with Naughty By Nature, Will Smith and TLC (to name a few).
After returning to the current collection, the throbbing dance cut "Drive My Car" came across almost as contagiously as any of the oldies, while the Bruno Mars co-written "Switch" sounded like Michael Jackson reincarnated and the suave "Deja Vu" could've just as feasibly come from the lips of Justin Timberlake. Along with the gleeful nostalgia of mega sing-a-longs "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "Larger Than Life," Nick & Knight looked like they were having a blast revisiting the past, but also seemed so proud of the present that chances are this won't be the last fans see of the super duo.
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