Art is a gorgeous thing. One of the more dynamic features of the arts is its timelessness. Music comes, music goes, comes again and goes again, round and round. Here we are in 2022 and ’80s and ’90s acts are filling the seats of arenas across the nation. Some 30+ years since Rick Astley, New Kids on the Block, En Vogue and Salt ‘N’ Pepa all splashed onto the scene, the acts came together like Voltron (’80s reference) to form the Mixtape Tour, and to bring back a taste of youthfulness to those Gen Xers and older Millennials.
For roughly two hours, the walls of Atlanta’s State Farm Arena was brought back to a time that seems not too long ago, but distant enough that it paved the way for much of today’s heavy hitters. Before Destiny’s Child, there was En Vogue. Before Cardi B or Lizzo, there was Salt ‘N’ Pepa. Before the Ed Sheerans of the world, there was Rick Astley. Before the ‘NSYNC or Backstreet Boys, there was New Kids On The Block. Naturally, encapsulating this much talent under one billing was going to produce amazing results, at least that was the purpose. If so, mission accomplished.
From lighting to props, wardrobe to choreography, vocalization to entertainer idiosyncrasies, the entire presentation was a joyous occasion. The fan interaction was bottomless, the cheers were plentiful, and of course, the bangers, goodness, just came left and right. Hit after hit after hit after hit. So many classics just versed into those microphones and blasting out those speakers. It was a modern day display of yesteryear tunes in the flashiest way possible.
Naturally, with age, we slow down and the rowdiness tames. At times, the crowd lended itself to this concept. Do not get it twisted, the fanfare was that of happiness and cheers, but the noise factor could have been used a little oomph.
Additionally, there was a little downtime to fill; mainly by way of the New Kids on The Block. Despite a barrage of greatest hits, during several lapses they would run covers of other artist’s songs. This, while fun, made it seem a little more glorified karaoke, and a little less New Kids On The Block doing serious NKOTB shit.
All said and done, the Mixtape Tour is solid 8.5 out of 10. Plenty of highlights and high peaks, a pinch of filibuster and an enormous amount of playfulness to the crowd. If your idea of a great time includes a top notch show with eye-popping lighting and graphics, props, wardrobe changes and plenty of singalong ditties, then the Mixtape Tour is custom made to you. The spectacle is never gonna let you down, it has got the right stuff, a couple of hours to free your mind and shoop shoop ba-doop off your seat.