Winter Classic entertainment at Fenway Park headlined by The Black Keys

Yoshiko Yap

NEW YORK — The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®, the outdoor matchup between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park in Boston on January 2, will feature performances by GRAMMY Award-winning rock band The Black Keys, legendary R&B group Bell Biv DeVoe, and renowned orchestra the Boston Pops, conducted by Keith Lockhart. The performances will be televised as part of the NHL Winter Classic broadcast on TNT in the U.S. and on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports in Canada at 2 p.m. ET.

The Black Keys will headline the entertainment for the game with a first intermission presented by Ticketmaster performance. Bell Biv DeVoe will sing the U.S. national anthem with accompaniment by the Boston Pops. In addition, the Boston Pops will perform throughout the game from a special centerfield stage. All musical performances will be produced by NHL Entertainment.

A full outline of game presentation plans for the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will be announced in the coming days.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2023 edition marking the 15-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo. The game will be the 14th NHL Winter Classic®, the 36th NHL regular-season outdoor game, and the first of two NHL regular-season outdoor games scheduled for the 2022-23 season. For a complete history of NHL regular-season outdoor games, click here

About The Black Keys

Formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001, The Black Keys are singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. They have been called “rock royalty” by the Associated Press and “one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet” by Uncut. Cutting their teeth playing small clubs, the band has gone on to sell out arena tours and has released 11 studio albums. The band has won six GRAMMY Awards and a BRIT, among other worldwide accolades, and headlined festivals in North America, South America, Mexico, Australia and Europe.

The duo received two more GRAMMY nominations in 2022, bringing their career total to 16, this time for Best Rock Album for Dropout Boogie, and Best Rock Performance for the single “Wild Child,” one of the biggest hits of their career to date. On release, Dropout Boogie was the band’s sixth consecutive top 10 debut on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., its fifth consecutive top 10 album in the U.K., as well as top 20 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. An Album of the Year in Mojo and Uncut amongst others, Rolling Stone called it “some of the stickiest alt-boogie of their career,” while Classic Rock proclaimed, “Exhilarating. Rock’n’roll in 2022 doesn’t get any better than this.” In the words of the NME, “This pair are masters in capturing that timeless flair and spirit. They’re the embodiment of a band set for good times.”

About Bell Biv DeVoe

Boasting their “hip-hop smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop-feel-appeal to it,” Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD) spun off from New Edition following the parent group’s tour in support of 1988’s Heart Break. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe, all original members of New Edition, started fresh with a more street-oriented approach to contemporary R&B. The sound of their debut album, Poison, was quite unlike anything in New Edition’s adolescent pop-R&B repertoire. Multiple tracks including the title and “Do Me” track topped the Billboard R&B/hip-hop chart, reached number three on the Hot 100, and eventually went multi-platinum. The album itself went on to sell over four million copies in the U.S. and spawned WBBD: Bootcity!, a 1991 remix album. 

The second BBD album, Hootie Mack, came in 1993 and achieved gold status with U.S. sales over half-a-million. All three members participated in a New Edition reunion, but the trio returned in 2001 with their third studio album BBD. All six members of New Edition celebrated the group’s 30th anniversary in 2011, and they accepted a Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award the following year. In 2017, BBD returned with Three Stripes, released the same week BET aired the first episode of the mini-series “The New Edition Story.”

About the Boston Pops

For more than 135 years, the Boston Pops has entertained audiences in Boston and beyond, with Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leading the orchestra since 1995. It all began in 1885, thanks to the vision of Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson. Four years earlier, in 1881, he founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra, calling its establishment “the dream of my life.” From the start he intended to present, in the warmer months, concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day. From a practical perspective, Higginson realized that these “lighter” performances would provide year-round employment for his musicians. The “Promenade Concerts,” as they were originally called, were soon informally known as “Popular Concerts,” which eventually became shortened to “Pops,” the name officially adopted in 1900. The following year the orchestra performed for the first time in its new home, Symphony Hall. Not only is this performance space acoustically outstanding, it was also designed, at Higginson’s insistence, so that the rows of seats for Boston Symphony concerts could be replaced by tables and chairs for Pops concerts. To this day, patrons sitting at the cabaret-style tables can enjoy food and drink along with the kind of musical entertainment only the Boston Pops can provide. 

There were 17 Pops conductors, beginning with the German Adolf Neuendorff, that preceded Arthur Fiedler, the first American-born musician to lead the orchestra. In Fiedler’s nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor (1930-1979), he established the Boston Pops as a national icon. When John Williams (1980-1993) succeeded Arthur Fiedler, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 52 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history. Williams continued the Boston Pops Orchestra’s prolific recording tradition with a series of best-selling recordings for the Philips and Sony Classical labels, broadened and updated the Pops repertoire, and entertained audiences with live orchestral accompaniment to clips of memorable movie scenes, many featuring iconic music from his own film scores. 

Having led over 2,000 Boston Pops concerts in his tenure to date, Keith Lockhart (1995-present) has created programs that reach out to a broader and younger audience by presenting artists-both established performers and rising stars-from virtually every corner of the entertainment world, all the while maintaining the Pops’ core appeal. He has made 81 television shows, led 45 national and four overseas tours with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, led the Pops at several high-profile sports events, and recorded twelve albums. Lockhart’s tenure has been marked by a dramatic increase in touring, the orchestra’s first GRAMMY nominations, the first major network national broadcast of the July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular from the Esplanade, and the release of the Boston Pops’ first self-produced and self-distributed recordings.

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