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New Kids on the Block play T-Mobile Arena before NKOTB cruise

If you laughed when your little girl went through her New Kids on the Block phase and waited for the day she would grow out of it, wave “Bon voyage” when she sails off on her New Kids cruise to Cozumel.

“We’ve definitely created a different business model that’s not even business anymore,” Danny Wood said of the fan bonding that will come on the ninth NKOTB Cruise in October. “It’s very interactive. Fans can connect with us. We don’t hide.”

And as they dance up to next year’s 30th anniversary of their “Hangin’ Tough” album, another tour also proves the New Kids still have arenas full of fans who never outgrew them. This time, they share Sunday’s T-Mobile Arena bill with Boyz II Men, their 2013 tour mates, and with 1988 contemporary Paula Abdul, who hasn’t toured in 25 years.

“I was a fan of hers. One of my favorite songs is ‘Straight Up,’ ” says Wood, who is 48 to Abdul’s 54.

Wood and his Block-mates — Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntire, Jordan and Jonathan Knight — just released a five-song EP, “Thankful,” which lets them hit the road with new music for the third time in nine years.

“We don’t always do it before every tour,” Wood explains. “We could kind of feel the fans want some new music.”

One way the Kids mark the passage of time is by playing Fenway Park in their hometown of Boston for the second time July 8. “We saw the Red Sox lose a lot of games there when we were kids. My kids have grown up, and all the Boston teams are winners now,” Wood says.

No offense to Las Vegas or the other tour stops, but “for us, nothing can top playing there. There’s not any other arena on the planet that can top playing there,” Wood says of the venerable ballpark.

“We never even wished or dreamed to play there. It doesn’t even seem possible. It never even entered our thought when we were young.”

Contact Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288. Follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.

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