Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Finale: NKOTB Concert Recap

If you need to reread Part 1 and Part 2 click here and here.  I'll wait. 

OK, so we left off when we had died and gone to NKOTB heaven. 
Saint Jordan met us at the pearly gates. 

Saint Joey was there too. 
I took 685 pictures from when we left Des Moines to post concert.  Of the 685, probably about 635 of them were taken at the concert.  Whaaaaaat?!?  That's not THAT many!  However, upon reviewing the pictures when we returned to our hotel room that night we discovered that approximately only 65 of them were NOT blurry.  Listen, it's hard to capture the moment when you're trying to dance, scream, and keep from hyperventilating for 2 + hours.  Not to mention the shaky hand syndrome because the adrenaline, it was a-flowing.  The best pictures I took were of BSB (Backstreet Boys, I'm only gonna say it once), I think that explains a lot. 
This is to prove that there are A LOT of other ladies out there  Well, clearly, not as awesome but still like us in our longstanding devotion and affection for NKOTB.

They PACKED the United Center in Chicago.  The Oprah Farewell Shows didn't even do that.  Or maybe they did, I quit watching once they started planting trees "in the name of Oprah" all over the country, because BO-RING.  But I doubt it. 
 This was a single man's mecca. 

And then just when our hearts were getting used to their new faster pace, the New Kids split up and WENT INTO THE CROWD!  OUR SECTION!  But as luck would have it we got Danny.

He's great and all but let's be honest, he's no Donnie or Jordan.  Not to mention I've always kinda thought he looked like a monkey.  Although he does have very nice arms.  See it?!?  That's DANNY WOOD'S MUSCLY ARM!   The Lord works in mysterious ways and I have no doubt it was he who sent Danny rather than Donnie or Jordan to our section.  You know, so I wouldn't end up at the TOP OF THE BAPTIST PRAYER CHAIN. 

This is a strangely in-focus picture...of Backstreet Boys.  And you thought I was kidding.  I took this picture because of their gold and black ensembles.  Because...GO HAWKS!  Who knew BSB were Hawkeye fans?  We liked them more and more. 
This is Jordan Knight trying to find me, obviously. 

The concert was spectacular, just spectacular.  We were trying to explain to people just what it's like but the thing is, we can't.  It really is one of those things that you just have to be there to fully appreciate and understand the awesomeness.  Next time we go, our friend Dougie D says he wants to go solely to videotape and photo document US watching the concert.  I assure you that's a show in and of itself and would likely be the next Youtube sensation. 
At the end of the concert, both bands took the stage.

That right there is a lot of boy band awesomeness in one place.  My ears are still ringing from the decibel of the screams from Annette, Robbin and I the crowd, because this is when NKOTB and BSB fans united and raised their voices together in harmony to show their love for their boy band of choice.  It was a beautiful moment. 
And then the moment that we had all been dreading the entire concert...the end. 

See that?  It's little pieces of our heart breaking.  

The concert ended and the whole stadium cried.  Then the 3 of us, made a beeline for outside to scope out the bus situation.  We may be happily married and in our 30's and 40's but are you ever too old for bus stalking?  I think not.  We weren't the only ones with that idea.  Unfortunately, the buses were in a fenced in pit area beneath the venue so you couldn't get close to them without oh, I don't know, jumping 30 feet to your death.  And given our already fragile states we decided not to risk it.  A sign of true maturity.  We did notice however the vast amount of ladies outside smoking.  Remember, how I told you way back when how even I who hates the smell of smoke and does not smoke, needed a cigarette after seeing NKOTB perform?  Apparently, I'm not the only one.  Except that these ladies actually did light one up so the bus viewing area was about as smoky as a bowling alley on Friday night in 1983.  Gross but I completely understand. 
After giving up our dreams of meeting the guys and riding off into the sunset on their tour buses, we headed towards the main street in front of the venue to hail a cab.  Except that there were no cabs.  And as much as I tried to hail police cars (accidentally) they didn't stop!  20,000 women at a concert and not a cab to be found.  If you're familiar with the Chicago area you know that the United Center is not in the best of areas.  But not to worry I was armed with pepper spray and I wasn't afraid to use it.  I was the protector of the group because Robbin and Annette had left theirs at the hotel.  It was a responsibility I took very seriously.  We walked around, nearly got in a fight with a girl because we were on "her corner".  The corner she'd been waiting on for 30 minutes trying to catch a cab.  We let it go because really if she'd been there 30 minutes and was still standing there, it was obviously working out really well for her.  We walked and walked and walked, in our cute concert shoes mind you, and got hassled by a couple of guys but then I think they saw y mean face and pepper spray in hand and were wise enough to back off.  I mean wouldn't you?

Finally, in a move fueled by desperation, an hour and a half of walking around the 'hood, and really sore feet, we hopped on a city bus.  We really had no idea where it was going but figured it would at least get us closer to our hotel.  Have you ever taken Chicago public transportation at 12:30 a.m. on a Friday night?  You totally should!  It actually wasn't that scary because the majority of the bus patrons were women from the concert who had also been walking around aimlessly looking for a cab since the concert ended.  We took the bus to Michigan Ave where we walked along until we saw a police car cab to catch.  We only had to deal with one drunk idiot on that walk and he was harmless and tiny.  We could've taken him even without the use of pepper spray.  We finally caught a cab and when we asked him where was still open so we could get some food, he responded with "my house."  We politely declined and had him take us back to our hotel instead.  Originally, when we planned our Chicago trip we were going to have dinner after the concert at the John Hancock building in the restaurant with the view of the city. But instead we had this...
Chicago's finest at the Rock N Roll McDonald's right across from our hotel, because we're sophisticated like that.  And let me tell you something, after not eating for 10 hours, attending a NKOTBSB concert, walking around the hood for nearly 2 hours in not made for walkin' shoes, and a city bus ride, nothing has ever tasted so good.  

There was an after party featuring Jordan and Donnie right down the street from our hotel but we just weren't up for it after our ordeal post-concert.  A true sign of our age.  Besides, we could only handle so much awesomeness in on night.  I mean, NKOTB concert, Rock N Roll McDonald's AND an after party?!?  No way.  Instead we went back to our hotel, took off our cute shoes, bandaged our blisters, recapped the night and reviewed 685 blurry pictures.  And then Annette told me I was a good bedmate because I didn't hog the bed or covers, get too close, or try to spoon, and my life was complete.  But don't let that get out.  I have a reputation to uphold. 

It was an amazing night, even if we did wake up the next morning feeling like we'd been repeatedly hit by a Mac (unfortunately not a Joey Mac) truck and were walking with crutches while wearing slippers.  It took approximately 3 days to fully recover from our weekend.  And if recovery time is any indication, I think that means we had a pretty darn good time.

P.S.  Upon review of this post I realize that I may have overused the word or forms of the word awesome.  I make no apologies.  When it comes to NKOTB there are really only so many words to describe, well, their AWESOMENESS.  So there.  Deal with it.  :)

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