PITTSBURGH - Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block fame recently brought his solo tour “Live and Unfinished” to Pittsburgh. While he was in town I had the opportunity to hang with him backstage before his show.
Knight performed at Altar Bar in the strip district to a sold-out crowd of screaming fans. Many of those fans were decked out in New Kids on the Block memorabilia, including large-sized pins with Knight’s picture on them as well as T-shirts with homemade messages that read, “We love you Jordan.”
I was surprised to see the age of fans has changed, but the excitement surrounding Knight has not. One enthusiastic fan, Melissa Rainy of Edgewood, even brought an original Jordan Knight doll to the concert that she has proudly owned for more than 20 years.
“I’m here because Jordan Knight is the greatest. I have been a fan for more than 25 years,” said Rainy, as she showed off the dress she made from New Kids on the Block bed sheets she owned as a child.
Knight was in Pittsburgh last summer for the “NKOTBSB Tour,” which featured New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys as co-headliners.
When I asked Knight how it felt to be back in Pittsburgh he said:
“It’s actually cool to do this on my own because I had a chance to see the city and everything. When you’re on a big tour, you roll into town and go into a building, you don’t see the city. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city.”
Knight, dressed in casual clothes, was really down-to-earth. He walked into Altar Bar without any security guards, carrying a black book bag. I was really impressed with how nice he was, as we were invited backstage to talk.
Knight described the energy the fans bring to each show as being the same as it was 20 years ago.
“We want to impress them. They’re getting away from everyday life. We’re here to entertain, and that’s what I am doing tonight. They are coming in and letting their hair down and almost relive the times when life was simple and New Kids first popped on the scene,” said Knight.
Off-camera we had a conversation about the insane marketing that New Kids on the Block had in the early part of the group’s career. I brought up the animated series and merchandise that flooded the store shelves. See & Be Seen’s Carly Noel was kind enough to shoot video of our interview and mentioned that she received a New Kids on the Block pillow for Easter as a kid. Knight smiled and admitted it was quite a phenomenon.
Over the years Knight has spent a lot of time away from his family while touring and confessed that it can take a toll on his personal life.
“At times it takes a toll because sometimes it goes a little out of balance. But you just have to make sure to pace yourself right. You know, this is my life; this is what I love to do. Obviously, also I love my family. You just have to watch out and make sure you keep the balance. My kids and my wife -- they know this is what I love to do. It provides them with a good life, so it’s all good, as long as the balance is there,” said Knight.
This summer, Knight is set to join the other members of New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys for the second round of the “NKOTBSB Tour.”
“We’re going international with it. We are going to Europe. We’re going to Asia. We’re going to Australia. We might even do a few dates in China, so that is going to be a lot of fun.” said Knight.