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Review: New Edition dig deep for classic hits at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa

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It's been a long time since all of New Edition -- Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill -- took the stage together. But the prospect of seeing these onetime teenyboppin' legends back onstage, performing all their biggest collective and solo hits, was enough to draw a crowd of 3,841 to the Tampa Bay Times Forum Friday night.

An aging Brown, the group's shady, controversial superstar, struggled to keep up with the rest of the crew most of the night, though as Sean Daly writes, "his midrange growl still has sexy bedroom edge to it." 

Their sparkly R&B hits (Cool It Now, Mr. Telephone Man) are about loves lost and found, and all these years later, the men can still deliver them with earnest gusto, if not the same prepubescent high notes.

The group's success is now very much overshadowed by Brown's smudged aura, most recently a DUI arrest and a tense interview with Matt Lauer. But give NE credit for slyly playing into Brown's rapscallion ways, keeping him off the stage for a few opening songs (including the still-shimmering If It Isn't Love), and then finally bringing him on to a wild ovation, a tease that left some wondering if he would be a no-show.

Click here for Sean's full New Edition review. And after the jump, get more of Daniel Wallace's photos of New Edition in Tampa.

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[Last modified: Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:38am]

    

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