Joey McIntyre on His 'Extraordinary Night' Performing at Carnegie Hall: 'It Was Hard Not to Get Emotional'

In the summer of 1985, 12-year-old Joey McIntyre climbed up the creaky stairs of an old three-story brick building in Roxbury, Massachusetts, stood in the

middle of a bright orange shag rug and, without hesitation, sang "L.O.V.E." by Frank Sinatra — a classic he had been singing around his house for as long as he could remember.

Almost 38 years later, McIntyre, now 50, walked onstage in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City and led the audience on a joyful and emotional journey

through his musical career — which included performing Sinatra's "L.O.V.E." again like he had that day when he first auditioned in front of producer Maurice Starr to become the

fifth and final member of the boyband phenomenon New Kids on the Block. "To say I've come a long way feels like a crazy understatement," says McIntyre, who spoke with

PEOPLE the day after his debut performance at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 14th. "I remember being a kid in Maurice's living room, singing that Sinatra song in front of them, not really

knowing what it meant and where life would take us from there. And now to be on stage at Carnegie all these years later, singing it to a room filled with the love of friends,

family and fans. I'm just truly grateful for it all." RELATED: NKOTB Drops '80s Nostalgia Music Video — See the Behind-the-Scenes Pics! On this night, however,

McIntyre really understood what it meant to be there in that moment. His setlist, a rollicking walk-down-memory-lane of solo hits, NKOTB favorites, standards, show tunes and cover

songs, showcased his range as an entertainer, musical virtuoso and keen collaborator.