They’re no longer young enough to be considered new kids, but the fellas of New Kids On The Block (fondly called NKOTB by fans) are back on our block for the first time in nearly a decade and a half. These days, four of the five Kids have kids themselves. Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood are all grown up. And so are their fans. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still have the right stuff.
Seriously gratuitous references to past songs aside, NKOTB is trying to make a comeback and they know what their fans want. Classics like 1988s Hangin’ Tough and 1990s Step By Step. Those are the songs that inspired today’s 20- and 30-somethings to scribble “I heart Donnie” in their NKOTB Trapper Keepers. And the group promises to deliver. So tight roll those jeans and rock the side ponytail, tickets are still available.
New Kids On The Block
7:30 p.m. Thursday (4/2), i wireless Center, Moline, $28.50 to $65, www.iwirelesscenter.com
7:30 p.m. Monday (4/6), Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, $27.50 to $65, www.iowaeventscenter.com
Downtown Iowa City is about to be overrun with Mountain Goats, Fruit Bats, Bowerbirds and Liquid Swords. It’s not just another Saturday night on the Ped Mall. It’s part of the ambitious lineup for the fourth annual Mission Creek Festival, packing music, art and literary events into nearly every performance space, nook and cranny in the city over five days – six if you count the pre-festival party at the Mill at 9 p.m. Tuesday. The event’s biggest act hits the stage at the Englert Theatre at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when rapper GZA/Genius from the Wu-Tang Clan performs his seminal “Liquid Swords.”
Mission Creek Festival
Wednesday through Sunday (4/1 – 5), various Iowa City venues, cost varies by concert or $50 all-access festival pass, http://missionfreak.com/festival/
Like many local performance groups, the Cedar Rapids Community Concert Association, lost a favorite performance venue when the Paramount Theatre was ravaged by the Floods of 2008. The group, which has been a part of Cedar Rapids since 1930, used to play five shows a season to packed houses at the Paramount. And they miss it. So, they’ve organized two concerts to raise money for the cause. One-hundred percent of the net balcony seating revenue will be donated to the Paramount reopening fund. The first concert will present Side Street Strutters, a Walt Disney World show band. This seven-piece ensemble pays tribute to the big band music of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The April concert will feature The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra’s greatest hits. The group includes a 16-piece orchestra under the direction of trombonist Bill Tole with vocalist Nancy Knorr of the Pied Pipers.
Paramount Theatre Reopening Benefit Concerts
7:30 p.m. Thursday (3/26) and Wednesday (4/15), US Cellular Center, 370 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, balcony tickets $5 for student and $10 for adults, (319) 363-1888 or www.uscellularcenter.com
Three Other Things
Matthew Pearl, author, reads from latest novel, “The Last Dickens”
7 p.m. Thursday (3/26)
Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, FREE, streamed live at http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu
Tom Jackson, photographer
1 p.m. Sunday (3/29)
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave. SE, FREE, www.crma.org
7 p.m. Saturday (3/28)
Wesley Center, 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City, $5, www.tangovia.com