Joey McIntyre Talks Palms Residency, NKOTBSB and More
Thu, 03 Feb 2011 16:41:24
Joey McIntyre is just full of surprises.
This February, he's got a ton of tricks up his sleeve for his Las Vegas residency at The Lounge at The Palms, "One Too Many At Midnight". Alongside longtime collaborator Eman, McIntyre will perform an intimate, stripped-down acoustic set of solo material, New Kids On The Block favorites, modern covers, and so much more. If there's one thread through the diverse setlist, it's McIntyre's explosive stage presence, endless charisma, and entrancing voice. He's an inimitable, inspiring, and incredible pop performer that can do anything, and these gigs shows that. Nodding to Frank Sinatra, McIntyre's got a classy, clever show in store, and it's not to be missed.
Over cheeseburgers at a chic Beverly Hills spot high above the city, Joey McIntyre spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about the Las Vegas shows, his upcoming NKOTBSB tour, playing acoustic, taking a cue from Frank Sinatra, and so much more.
When did you come up with the idea for this Las Vegas residency at The Lounge at The Palms?
Well, I never really took putting a show together seriously [Laugh]. When I thought of putting a one-man show together, I figured it would be on Broadway or more of a theater piece. I've always got ideas swimming in my head. I'm working on this other project that's more of a traditional one-man show. Then, Eman and I have been spending time together because we both have kids who are the same age and we're buddies. It's that age-old feeling where you're like, "Let's get the band back together." Our band is just two people. He's on guitar, and it's an acoustic thing. We made this happen almost eight or nine years ago when we touring and promoting an album. We realized that what we did and how we reacted to each other and the crowd really worked well. There's a lot of freedom in terms of where you can go when it's acoustic. You can't have that freedom if you don't have someone like Eman who's an amazing musician. He loves to do it, and he also loves the challenge of not knowing where to go and what's coming next as a musician and as a performer. We really love doing that. We decided to do a couple shows. We did two shows in New York last October at Joe's Pub [The Joseph Papp Public Theater]. It's this cool little cabaret place. I actually saw Norah Jones there before she blew up. We also did one show in San Francisco as well. It was a blast! It had been so long but we wanted to do it again. For the last show, we went on at midnight and played until two in the morning. It was very intimate and up close and personal. There's an anything goes feeling. What you see is what you get. We're not holding anything back. There are poignant moments. There are nice moments. There are sweet moments, but there are very irreverent, crazy moments as well. All of that stuff was on YouTube. A friend of ours at The Palms saw the stuff and said, "This is perfect for this lounge we have!" A week later, we flew into Vegas, talked to them, and decided to try this out. It's perfect for what we do. The room has about 200 seats. It's right off the lobby. It's old school, but in a new way. It's at The Palms, which is a very young hip spot. It's cool to play at a place like that in Vegas.
Is it particularly fun to have no boundaries on stage like this?
It's amazing! We live for those moments that happen on their own. Our job is to recreate them every night as if they're happening for the first time but we know every show has moments of their own that just happen. That's the beauty of having the freedom we have. We can just flow off each other.
What's the set list like?
I'm doing something from all of my albums. I'm doing some New Kids On The Block songs. We want to do some cool covers and unexpected songs. We actually did Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." I didn't change the words either [Laughs]. We want to do great songs. When Frank Sinatra did covers, they were covers of great songs and current songs at the time. They did songs that were great at the time. We want to do current standards.
Does playing acoustic allow the crowd to get closer to you?
If you're willing to unplug, it definitely says that you're confident in your talents and people don't get to see that very often. You see beyond it. I only did six dates for Here We Go Again. It was great, and it was intense. That's a big operation. This is more compact.
Did you see any shows like this as a kid that were particularly inspiring?
I think there's a connection to live theater. It's great when you've got all the bells and whistles and pyro in the stadiums or arenas, but there's also nothing like the magic of just a voice and one instrument. The clarity of that is really fun.
You've got the big arena show coming up with NOTBSB.
I'm really having it all [Laughs].
Was the chemistry instant between all of you guys [New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys]?
It was! We're having a blast. We've all been doing it for awhile, and we know it's a great opportunity. You can have a good time. We did the AMA's together and New Years Eve. It's going to be fun!
Will you be seeing Joey in Vegas or on NKOTBSB?
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