Monday, June 20, 2011

Blast from the Past...NKOTB

How was your weekend?  Oh mine was alright.  Nothing special...JUST WENT TO CHICAGO TO SEE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK IN CONCERT (again)!!!!! 

While I gather my thoughts try to put them in logical formation to fully convey the awesomeness that was my weekend, let's take a trip down memory lane.  The year was 2008, the month November.  Annette's 30 something birthday.  NKOTB was out on their first comeback tour after 15? years away.  I schemed with her husband and convinced him that he should give her tickets to that concert for her birthday.  He did and had a very romantic weekend in Omaha planned for them that starred the NKOTB concert followed by a stay in a jungle themed hotel suite.  But then he got a terrible case of the flu 2 days before the show and guess who she asked to go with her?!?  ME!  ME! ME!  And that my friends was the start of something beautiful.  (P.S.  We did NOT use the jungle themed hotel suite.)  Read all about it here, keeping in mind that this was long before I was a "real" blogger.  I've come a long way since then...or not. 

November 12, 2008
Just preparing for the blog that is sure to follow after tomorrow night's experience. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. Back in the day, Spike and I were total New Kids on the Block fans, we knew the dance moves, had our favorite guy, had our rooms wallpapered with their pictures that we cut out from Tiger Beat, the works. If you were alive and a tweener or a teenager during that time then you should totally get what I'm talking about. Those who did not like New Kids are nearly unAmerican. We never got to see them in concert then, wasn't even really an option considering our fairly strict church going parents would not be caught dead taking us to a NKOTB concert, especially at our young and impressionable ages. I never thought I'd get to see them, especially 16 years later. OMGoodness. My heart has gone into irregular rhythms just thinking about it. This has got to be how the people that got to see Elvis on the revival tour or whatever it was called after he'd been on hiatus and then came back felt!

Sadly, Spike won't be going with me, definitely next time. But rest assured, I'm going with probably THE NKOTB fan of all NKOTB fans. Lucky for her she was of driving age when they were big so she actually got to go to concerts and stuff while Spike and I were probably in her bedroom on Dunham St practicing our "Step by Step" dance moves.
The moral of the story here is check back on Thursday as there are sure to be stories, unless of course Jordan and Donnie seek us out in the crowd and ask us to join them on the rest of the tour as wardrobe consultants or something. Til Thursday....

It's THURSDAY!!! And I can't even go to bed first without blogging about tonight.

Best. Night. EVER. Quit judging me I mean behind my wedding, children's births, etc. I am still in recovery mode so forgive me of punctuation/spelling errors and skipping around.
I wanted to wear a sign today that said "I'm Going to New Kids Tonight!" and thought everyone I told should share my enthusiasm. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. Instead I disowned a few friends today. How can I be friends with someone who in all seriousness said to me "Oh New Kids, isn't that the one Nick Lachey was in?" What?!? I'm done with you if you don't know at least the first names of all 5 members. HELLO if you were alive in '89 you have absolutely no excuse. I digress, somehow I made it thru the day slightly unfocused on my work or anything besides what to wear for the NKOTB concert where I was sure we would appear on the Jumbotron. That was major people.

Finally, Annette and I met up at our planned location to depart for the concert we've waited 17 years to go to. We were giddy with excitement. We listened to New Kids old and new stuff all the way to Omaha, "rehearsing" every word. I worked on our totally rad neon pink sign that was sure to get us "face time" with New Kids. I have to say, it was a stroke of genius, it said "Roses R Red, Violets R Blue, 20 Years Later We Still LOVE (actually I drew a heart here) YOU!" How awesome is that? Sure to land us on at least the Jumbotron if not on the tour buses. We arrived exactly 1.5 hours prior to showtime. We had said we would grab a bite to eat and just hang out until showtime, but who were we kidding? Who could eat at a time like that? We went into the arena, where Security promptly confiscated our hot pink sign, some bull about it being too big. HELLO, that was the point! How is Jordan going to read it from onstage if it's a measly 8 x 10? Whatev. Note to self: Next time we roll it up and put it in the back of our coat like we're wearing a back brace. I'm not kidding. So after our brush with the law we went to the turnstyles where they scanned our tickets. Except that I am beside myself by this point because we are actually in the same building as the New Kids On the Block, so I don't realize that there's a turnstyle. Instead I take a step and step OVER the turnstyle, cuz I'm Amazon tall I guess. Only when I got my knee caught in the turnstyle did I realize I should've gone THRU instead of OVER . This sent Annette and I into an immediate fit of hysterical laughter, which brought on a stern warning by another security guard that we should probably stop drinking for the night. Joke's on you mister as we hadn't even had so much as water on the trip there, so as not to have to miss a minute of the show to use the restroom. We're always thinking. Then we found our section and looked at our tickets and that's when I fell in love with Annette's husband, Jerry. Our seats were INCREDIBLE. Ummm yeah, 3rd row to the side of the stage. PERFECT! God Bless Jerry for buying his wife such good seats for her birthday and then getting the flu so that she took me instead of him! I am very anxious to sit in my fabulous seat so I climbed over a row instead of disturbing the people at the end of the row. This would mark the third incident of the night where I was reprimanded, and the show hadn't even started yet. An elderly woman masquerading as a Security Guard, whom we affectionately nicknamed Purple Heart because of the bravery and tenacity in which she did her job, yelled at me and told me it was unsafe and that if I had a bottle of beer it had better be in a cup. (Sidenote here: Apparently NKOTB has had some incidents that involved beer bottles being thrown at them by crazy fans hence the rule) Why oh why did every Security officer there think I had been drinking? I promise Dad, I wasn't. We finally got seated, by now nearly hyperventilating due to the proximity of our seats in relation to the stage. Our surrounding New Kids fans are cool and we chat with them about Purple Heart, the awesomeness of the New Kids, and take a few pics.

Then the opening acts start. The first one, oh my goodness, was Lady Gaga. I'm sure you probably have all her albums and if so I apologize for what I'm about to say. She's INSANE! She came out in this white space suit looking dress but after a few minutes rips the skirt of of it and is prancing around in white dancing briefs that were a little too tight and showing a little too much Hu Hot if you know what I'm saying. It was nearly obscene but it made us laugh and her music had a good beat as long as you didn't look at her. But really it could've been Elmo for all we cared it just didn't matter we were minutes away from seeing NKOTB. Then opening act 2 comes on, Natasha Bedingfield. She is super fantastic and didn't show off her Hu Hot so it was PG viewing. As good as she was, we were beside ourselves when she was done cuz that meant that it was TIME.

I thought one or both of us was going to throw up at this point, we were so anxious/nervous/excited/overwhelmed, that the boys who decorated our bedroom walls years ago were about to be on stage in front of us. We had discussed what to do in the event of a mecial emergency and had promised that we would not allow anyone to remove us from the arena for any reason (heart attack, stabbing, gunshot wound, whatever) until the show was over. Glad we had that talk. Finally, the lights went down. Oh my goodness, if you think 20,000 14 year old girls can scream, you should hear 20,000 soccer moms and 20 somethings. Wow! Deafening but incredible. The buildup nearly killed me, it lasted forever. Lights started coming up, the song started playing, no New Kids. I really thought my heart was going to stop. Then they just appeared, and we both lost our minds. I don't think the first 10 pictures I took once they came up out of the stage will turn out I was shaking so bad. I don't think words will do it justice, all I can say is it was a sacred moment, and we BARELY survived it.

The show began. Neither of us could stop screaming but we fit right in cuz neither could the 20,000 soccer moms. Who knew soccer moms could be so much fun? What? I can't hear you, speak up would ya? I cannot believe I am actually watching New Kids on The Block in concert. I felt 14 again. They still had all the moves, looked better than they did back then, and sounded AMAZING. Donnie told us we were a louder crowd than NY or even Boston. I bet he tells that to all the girls but it worked in making the deafening screaming even louder. They sing and dance to hit after hit, I am in awe. I never in a million years expected them to be this good after this long. These men are in their 30's and 40's for crying out loud and I was getting worn out just watching them dance. Or maybe it was from the screaming or the crazy NKOTB dancing we were trying to recreate in our row. Justin Timberlake has nothing on my Jordan Knight when it comes to moves. Song after song, we were snapping so many pictures I think we watched more of the show through our camera display screen than anything but we were just trying to capture the magic. I promise to post them soon. At one point they went offstage to do a wardrobe change (oh yeah there were many, they are that cool), and everyone is looking for them to come back on the front stage except for my very wise experienced NKOTB fan friend, Annette who spotted a circular stage with a piano on it towards the back of the arena floor. She was right and we got the first glance cuz everyone else was looking towards the front. She's so smart. They did some of their new, very hot, stuff on that little tiny revolving stage around a piano. By this time, I feel like I've just run in the Boston marathon, my chest hurts, my lungs ache, and my legs are shaky, but I was loving life. And then just when we thought it couldn't possibly be better than that, the boys jumped down from the round stage and headed towards the front stage passing right in front of us. WE WERE 3 ROWS FROM NKOTB! I got a very closeup picture of Jordan, SCORE. Sadly, they were surrounded by Security/Crowd Management and since the show was only about half over we opted not to leap into the air at them. Maybe next time.

The show kept going, the crowd is singing along to every song, not missing a word. Annette and I are no exceptions, I mean after all this is what we rehearsed for. There are about 7 men there total, all of which ended up on the Jumbotron at one point or another. And now here's where I break the bad news to you....we did not make it on to the Jumbotron. I blame it on the guard who took our sign but we were too close to even see the Jumbotron so who cares? Right in front of us and to our left was a little square that stuck out from the stage, where one of the boys would almost always occupy. And one time when Joey was singing one of his ballads to us, yes, directly to us, we were waving and jumping like crazy women (just an act of course), he looked right at us, pointed and winked. I swear it. I looked around us to be sure and I can assure you he definitely intended that for us. Say what you will, but it's official Joey McIntyre pointed and winked at us. Life is good. It got even better when Jordan (my first love) sang "Baby, I Believe In You" to me just like he did in the Step by Step VHS tape. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. You know, black pants, white shirt unbuttoned all the way blowing in the wind. If I were a smoking woman, I would've smoked half a pack after that. Then the part of the show we'd been dreading all night....the end. They disappeared once and led us to believe it was the end. But of course they couldn't end the show without singing Step by Step or Hangin' Tough so 2 encores later it really was the end. I thought we were both going to start bawling. How can they be gone again after all this time? We didn't want to leave, we just sat in our seats for a few minutes soaking in the moment, trying to recover our hearing, our voices, etc. Until we got yelled at by another Security Guard, not Purple Heart, but a different, more intimidating looking one, who told us to move it that we couldn't sit there all night. What's up with that? Could he not have just let us enjoy the moment? If he doesn't understand the significance of the experience he needs to seek other employment. Some people. We stopped on the stairway to take yet another picture and to receive yet another reprimand from aforementioned Security Guard to get moving. We took one more glance back toward the stage, sighed, and trudged up the stairs.

This is the part in the story, where ideally I would be telling you what their tour buses looked like inside and how nice and down to earth they were when we met them. Again, I blame the guard who took our sign but after some reflection Annette and I both decided we just weren't ready for that, we may not have been able to physically survive. It could've been the very thing that put us over the edge to a heart attack or a stroke. We were borderline by the end of the show, it was just too risky. After watching a very entertaining rendition of the Hangin Tough dance by some drunk ladies in the parking lot we headed off to find the buses cuz that's what we do. But let me tell you those Omaha people are smart and had a security checkpoint on the road to get to the buses. Total nonsense. We could see the buses from the interstate overpass and thought about parking on the shoulder and scaling down the bridge but we both had heels on, not proper footwear for scaling bridges.

Then it was time for the afterparty. We cranked up the New Kids tunes, rehashed every detail of the concert, and drove to a Truck Stop. Party like rock stars, that's how we do it. At the Truckstop we loaded up .. party supplies: ibuprofen, caffeine, and Rolaids. This is where I'd rather be 14 with a curfew then a sleepy 30 year old with a killer headache and heartburn and no curfew. All in all, it's now 3:35 in the morning and I've still got goosebumps from the magic that was the NKOTB show and have not come down off the high. Think I'm just going to stay in my PJ's and eat bon bons all day tomorrow to get over the post show depression, it may even require retail therapy, it's too soon to say.

Hanging Tough...who's going next time?

To be continued......

1 comment:

  1. My friend....thanks for saying it was my thirty something birthday...that was nice :). We always have a good time at NKOTB...don't we? Love the trip down memory lane. Now post this to facebook and twitter so everyone can have the same experience!