New Kids vs. Tom Petty – fair fight?

So, I was jogging in a local park during my lunch break this afternoon, listening to the radio on my horribly un-hip and outdated walkman from 2004, and I hear New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step” come on. Not only did I NOT change the station, I turned up the music! It was a lot of fun for me to listen to a New Kids song and walk down the proverbial memory lane, because – let’s face it – they aren’t exactly on heavy rotation on any of the radio stations, not even the ones that play songs from the 80’s and 90’s. When the song was over the DJ mentioned the band is back together, they have a new album and they are touring, too…heh?

I’m not gonna hate. NKOTB was the first concert I ever went to. I even wore a seemingly lifesize “Joey” button, which roughly covered two-thirds of my tween torso. But why are they back? What are they doing touring now?

When I got home I googled NKOTB. Surprisingly, they are not all angry-looking and bloated like many pop stars past their prime. They actually look good! And I also realized that this news was announced in April, so I’m a little behind the times. But I still have no desire to go see them, nor do I really want to hear anything from their latest album, and I think it’s because I just see this as a huge marketing ploy – something that will make them, their managers and their record label a lot of money.

But as I type this, two concert tickets for Tom Petty are within my view on my desk…he and the Heartbreakers are playing in Charlotte this summer. I’m going to that. Why am I not cynical about his tour? Maybe it’s not fair to compare the two.

I did a little more digging and found this article, which is really interesting and says that reunion tours should be examined on a band-by-band basis. From that perspective, you can decide for yourself whether a band is reuniting for the fans, for the band or for cold, hard cash.

What do you think of reunion tours? Are they just another marketing ploy for everyone involved to earn extra income? Do they even care about the fans? And, more importantly, who was your favorite New Kid?