New Edition bringing R&B hits to Kent June 22

Johnny Gill admits traveling the concert circuit at age 46 with the older version of New Edition can get a bit tiring as they bounce from city to city.

New Edition will perform at 9 p.m. Friday

New Edition will perform at 9 p.m. Friday

Johnny Gill admits traveling the concert circuit at age 46 with the older version of New Edition can get a bit tiring as they bounce from city to city.

Gill said he might even “take me a rest” as he sits on the bus heading to the next stop as part of the 30th anniversary tour.

But come concert time, Gill, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell are all about pumping up the crowd with their R&B hits from the past and now.

New Edition performs at 9 p.m. Friday, June 22 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

“It's like pandemonium,” said Gill, during a phone interview last week as the group traveled to Fresno from San Diego, about crowd reaction at the concerts. “The energy is high from the beginning to the end.”

New Edition started the tour in December in Los Angeles.

“It's been wonderful, we're having a great time,” Gill said. “It's something the fans wanted to see and something we wanted to do.”

All six original members are on the tour. The two-hour concert will include group hits “Candy Girl,” “Cool it Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and “If it isn't Love.”

Solo hits will include “My Prerogative” by Brown; “My My My” by Gill; and “Sensitivity” by Tresvant.

Gill joined New Edition in 1987 to replace Brown, who left for a solo career. Gill began his solo career in 1983 and last year released “Still Winning,” his first solo album in 15 years.

Fans seem to be eating up the chance to hear the six sing as a group as well as their individual songs.

“It's a night of great entertainment,” said Gill, who lives in Los Angeles. “You get all the hits from two entities in one. You get bang for your buck. You have the individual success and our collective success as New Edition.”

The concerts attract a lot of women.

“It's primarily women,” Gill said. “And some guys who bring ladies. They're the smart ones.”

The group had talked for several years about reuniting for a 30th anniversary tour. They had branched into other groups and worked as solo artists as well.

“It was very challenging,” said Gill about getting all six together to tour. “Everyone was busy with family and other entities. But we talk every Sunday. It just kind of happened naturally. Our schedules cleared and it came together.”

According to reviews in other cities, Brown often takes the stage part way into the concert after the other five have sung a few songs. Gill typically hands out roses to female fans as he sings his 1990 charttopper “My My My.” Crowd reaction grew loud to “My Preregative,” the 1988 hit by Brown and “Poison,” the 1990 Bell Biv Devoe hit with Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe.

“We've been doing this almost 30 years,” said Gill, who has eight solo and duet Top Ten R&B hits. “We entertain.”

And the more the fans get into the concert, the more Gill and the rest of New Edition respond.

“It's been nothing but laughter and fun,” Gill said.

Who: New Edition

When: 9 p.m. Friday, June 22

Where: ShoWare Center

Tickets: $45 to $150,

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