Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I will make out with all the New Kids simultaneously

The day of the concert, as I mentioned before, I worked from Diane's house because we were having a pre-party. Things you need for a New Kids on the Block Concert Pre-Party:

- New Kids music
- Old New Kids VHS tapes
- Champagne
- 10-15 women in their late twenties/early thirties who are acting like they are 12/13

Not only were there a bunch of us girls, but there were even 2 boys going with us. That's a switch from 1989. They kind of hung out on the outskirts of the pre-party. I don't think they wanted to get caught up in any violent frenzy should one break out. Probably a smart idea.

One of the guys was my friend, Paul, whose friends Leandra and Matt came from 3 hours away to go with us. Leandra is a graphic designer. She designed and had these made for us:

If you can't read that it says "WE'RE LEGAL THIS TIME! NKOTB '88-'08"

Hey, Leandra, maybe you should be more awesome. The best is that she also made two in blue for the guys. Paul, of course, put his on immediately and with enthusiasm because that is just who he is. Matt reacted similarly by saying, "There is no way in hell I am wearing that."

Soon I was drunk with excitement and champagne, so it was time to go. Matt, still refusing to put on the t-shirt, walked out of the house in an effort to ignore his wife's pleas. We walked out to the car, and he was still hilariously and adamantly refusing. We met them at the arena, and as they walked up, you could see Matt in the distance. Wearing the shirt. Nicely done, Leandra. Nicely done.

The crowd at the concert was really diverse. And by diverse I mean 99% of the people there were me. It was like just being at a concert with 20,000 mes and some husbands thrown in. Our t-shirts were a big hit. We got so many compliments and laughs and were asked over and over again where we got them. There were lots of people "dressed up"-meaning wearing homemade or old NKOTB t-shirts or dressed in 80's clothes. To Meg's dismay, there were also a lot of girls with crimped hair. Ladies, it's okay as part of an 80's outfit (not according to Meg), but I don't think we've been given the okay to wear it as if it's in style, yet, k?

At this point, our giant group split up. We could only buy 6 tickets at a time, and some people wanted cheap seats (what?) so we split into 3 groups. Members of my group in the order we sat:

Kim + her unborn baby

The first thing our little group did was buy alcohol because we just wanted to drink at a New Kids concert. Especially Kim. She was like, "Get my unborn fetus alcohol right now." Then we found our seats. They were pretty good considering we were in a giant arena. We were in the lower level (not on the floor) and not close to the stage, but we were in the front row of the section. Meg said it would be a great spot for them to see us. Mkay, Meg.

Natasha Bedingfield was the opening act, and she was awesome. Really, really good. Her voice is so strong-even moreso live-and I was really happy to get to see her instead of Sweet Sensation who opened for the New Kids last time I saw them. The other good thing about Natasha was that she gave me something to focus on so that my growing excitement wouldn't cause me to explode into a million pieces which is what I felt like doing.

Then Natasha was done and the house lights turned off and we knew the New Kids were coming out and I peed. The opening started, and I remember thinking, 'Oh my God I might actually cry. Like I might be one of those women who goes to a concert and cries.' Diane took a video on her cell phone of the opening, but you can't hear anything except screaming. Mostly from me. Also I was gripping Kim's arm so hard, there's no way I didn't damage it somehow.

Then they came out, and I completely lost my mind. Lost. My. Mind. And the screaming. Oh the screaming. I remember 20 years ago going to their concerts and thinking, 'There is no way any concert will ever be louder than this.' This concert was. I swear to baby Jesus it was. The crowd was absolutely deafening. Paul and Matt later told us they were scared.

Say what you will about the New Kids music (we will come back to this in a second), but those guys know how to put on a show. Twenty years ago they went all out for their fans, and it was no different this time. The special effects were incredible, they interacted with the audience, they sounded great, they danced great and they are wicked, wicked hot. Maybe it's my age, but I swear they look better now even than they did back then.

Okay the music...I get why people might not like their old stuff. As much as it pains me, I get it. But their new CD is fan-flipping-tastic. I am obsessed. And here's the thing, we have made all our boys listen to it nonstop for the past month. Here are some of their reactions:

Drew: "Okay I will admit it: I really like this CD. I am a fan."
Tony, while in my car listening to some non-NKOTB song on my iPod: "Why aren't we listening to New Kids right now?"
Dan, after I jokingly said, "Don't you want a copy of this?": "...I mean...I'll take a copy."

Tony and Drew actually text each other lyrics from their songs. Yes, boys, I am outing you to the entire world. Deal with it. Their new style is very different and it's fun and will make you want to shake your booty. Also, to my ladies who already know all the new songs: how awesome is "Dirty Dancing"? SERIOUSLY.

I don't remember what order the songs were in or anything so here's a list of standout moments for me:

- They sang "The Right Stuff" as one of the first songs, and they did the same dance from the video. I turned to Diane and was like, "They're almost 40." And then we laughed really hard. Then I almost cried from how awesome it was.

- When Joey sang "Please Don't Go Girl", at one point he dropped to his knees in like a desperate, pleading type move and I swear my ovaries shook.

- At our pre-party when we were watching the NKOTB videos, one of the clips was of Jordan alone on the stage in black pants and a white button down shirt that was completely open standing in front of a giant blowing fan. It was from the "Step by Step" tour, and I vividly remember that moment from when I went to that concert back in the early 90s. Because hot damn, Jordan. He was singing "Baby, I Believe in You" but really he just made me believe in him. We all joked around like, "What if he did that again? Oh my gawd that would be hilarious." Then at the concert, he did. And I received this text from Danielle: "I just sharted". Didn't we all, Danielle. Didn't we all.

- They came down to our end and sang a couple songs on a rotating stage right in front us. It was AMAZING. They sang "2 in the Morning" and "Dirty Dancing" which are two of my favorite songs on the new album, and I, of course, could barely contain myself. None of us could. Kim yelled out, "I want to touch you!"

- They played "Games" which surprised me and Diane. It wasn't one of their biggest hits, although it was with the Okay Seriously sisters. Obviously we know every word of the rap and were just praying Donnie would do it. Then he did, and I don't know if I have words to explain what happened to us. It's like we left our bodies completely. I was screaming the rap so loud, I thought I might have a brain aneurysm. Seriously. When it was over, Kim looked at us and said, "Nice job, Seriously sisters. Are you okay?" Then I was like, "I think I just blacked out." And Kim said, "Yeah I'm pretty sure you did. Try not to fall over the railing."

- They kept telling us that they couldn't believe how loud we were. That we were louder than any arena they had been to yet-including Boston. Obviously we assumed they said this at every concert, but then our friend Olympia, after the awesomeness of our concert, bought last minute tickets to the Chicago show the next night and said they didn't say that there. We are awesome. Cleveland is awesome! Donnie said he was going to move here and Kim yelled out, "I have a guest room!" Awesome.

- Jordan came out and performed his song from his solo album years ago. I think it's called "Give It To You". Then Joey came out and sang "Stay the Same" off of his solo album. Donnie came out and sang "Cover Girl" during which I cursed all the female dancers on stage and yelled things like, "Get off of him! Your services aren't necessary here!" because I am that girl. Then obviously since Danny and Jon don't really sing solos, they came out and did some bit where a) Danny breakdanced and b) Jon had a video camera. First of all, Danny was for real breakdancing. Not like the kind of breakdancing I say I'm doing when really I'm just laying on the ground trying to do a somersault. He was awesome. And he is almost 40 and the father of 4 children. Holy crap. Second of all, Jon was pointing the camera at fans and they were showing them on the big screen. Obviously some of the camera shots were from other cameras around the arena, but whatever. This is what leads me into the greatest moment of the night...

- So they showed random shots of people on the jumbotron-including 3 guys who were in a loge with no women and who were dancing their asses off-and suddenly we saw 6 girls in a row wearing bright pink shirts. They were just staring at the screen. I thought, "Wow look-those girls have pink shirts, too." Then one of them started jumping up and down freaking out. Curiously, Meg did, too. Then one by one each girl realized they were on screen and began to freak out. Finally the last girl-the brunette who was staring at the screen like a total dumbass-caught on. And that is when I lost. my. shit. because if you haven't figured it out yet, it was us. WE WERE ON THE GODDAMN JUMBOTRON AT THE NEW KIDS CONCERT!! I honestly cannot believe how long it took me to realize it was me. I was just staring at myself like, "Huh that girl looks kind of familiar." The camera was on us for a long time. Probably just waiting for me to get it. And once I did...oh. my. God. I mean I just for real lost it. I was basically punching everyone around me. Screaming, jumping, pushing everyone, basically punching Kim in her unborn baby. Immediately we got some text messages:

From Jen: "I hate you!"
From Adrianne: "Bitches!"
From Steph after I wrote her and asked her if she saw that: "Saw what? I didn't see anything."

To all of you: I just want to say...EAT IT!!

The best part is that for the entire week before the concert, Meg was convinced we were either going to meet the New Kids or they were going to see us somehow. Christy didn't get a t-shirt and when Meg found out she said, in all seriousness, "How do you ever expect to get backstage then?" She was so sure we would somehow be seen by them that we all just stopped trying to convince her otherwise because it was pointless. Then when we were on the jumbotron, she was totally vindicated. Meg, how did you know? You are a genius.

While leaving the concert, people were actually hi-fiving us and saying, "We totally saw you guys on the jumbotron!" Yeah. We are famous.

We had planned on going out after the concert, but all of us decided there was no way anything we could possibly do would ever be even a third as awesome as the concert itself. So not wanting to be disappointed, we just went home. The next day, I was totally depressed that it was over. Jen spent all day in bed and Diane apologized to Drew for "being distant". Awesome. For the first 48 hours after the concert, we were literally unable to talk about anything else. At all. We went to play games at Aloyd's the next day, and I think everyone wanted to kill us because we couldn't hold a conversation about anything but the concert. Since then, I would say it dominates 75% of all conversations. I have no idea if it will ever subside. Every time the boys complain we tell them that this is our fantasty football because seriously from August to February THAT IS ALL WE EVER HEAR ABOUT EVER SO GUESS WHAT NOW YOU HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT THE NEW KIDS CONCERT BECAUSE PAYBACK'S A BITCH!!

Honestly it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. I think even the best. I'm still riding high from it. I think what struck me most is how sincerely and genuinely grateful they seemed to be out there getting to do this again. They were truly touched to find out that 20 years later, we were all just waiting for them to come back and fill the void that remained when they left the first time.

New Kids, that was like the best night of my life. Thank you for coming back. I will seriously be loving you forever.


The Spillman Family Blog said...

I went to the show in Dallas on Sunday, and you described the experience perfectly. It was so beyond amazing! Our ears were ringing for hours afterward, and I was so excited that I couldn't sleep! I totally lost my voice on Monday and still sound raspy today. I'll admit that I've been to better concerts as far as musical talent goes, but this was undoubtedly the most fun I've ever had at a concert. NKOTB totally rocks--even more so after 20 years :)

Erin Jeannine said...

I love you. Not in a lesbian way, or in a stalkery way, but in a we-would-totally-be-best-friends-if-I-lived-in-Cleveland-or-you-lived-in-Southern-California way. You rule. I may die of insane jealousy because you went to the show. And because you were on the Jumbo-tron, and now if you ever see any of the New Kids (it could happen, like at the airport or something!) you can totally talk to them and tell them you are one of the Jumbo-tron chicks from Cleveland, and you won't even seem psycho. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I am going to the show in Detroit this Saturday and I'm excited. But after reading your post, I am beyond excited. I am flippin' out, trippin' out, way ecstatic!! I just wish I had an awesome shirt like yours. I almost wish I hadn't read your post yet so I could read it again for the first time. That's how awesome it was.

P.S. Not to sound ungrateful for the new kids post, because it was amazing, but I'm still kind of waiting to hear about Diane and Drew's wedding. What's up? :)

Anonymous said...

My sister and I went to the Chicago show and it was also beyond words! Seriously, you have just spoken the words of thousands of ladies out there!

urban princess said...

OK, I was excited about the upcoming SLC show, but now? Now I'm hoping it's every bit as awesome as the Cleveland show.

Yeah, where's the wedding post?

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, and yes, on ALL ACCOUNTS! Are you effing shitting me, YOU GOT ON THE TRON?!!!! I will lay your ass down by the fire and make babies with you dude. I can honestly say it was the best night of my effing life and my unborn child better make a spectacular entrance to be able to top that. At least my boy will be able to say he was at an NKOTB concert, in utero that is.
I was trying to explain this to a friend the other night at dinner as I am still riding high myself, and he was crying he was laughing so hard at how animated I got over it, a month later. Touche', well worth the wait man, well worth it.


Anonymous said...

Dammit. To clear some things up...

1) That Dirty Dancing song is god awful!!! "It's so crazy. She's like baby, I'm like Swayze" What is that as a lyric? Awful!

2) I went to the concert and I didn't see you on the jumbotron so I say you are making this up! (at least that is my story until you stop talking about that damn jumbotron)

3) I thought the show was super fun in a kicky sort of way, but I didn't have a spiritual experience like you. What's wrong with me? I haven't been normal fun Steph in months. I need you to help bring me back! I can't remember my other interests except politics. Help!!!

Dana said...

Holy SHIT that was a funny post!

Anonymous said...

The "jumbotron" thing is amazing ("jumbotron", though? They're just big screens in Britain.)

You're famous. No kidding.

Sheralee said...

Your description has made me go looking for tickets in Edmonton...Seriously...and I laughed and laughed at all my friends when they said they were going...LOL

I blame you for this...LOL

Sarah said...

Sheralee, embrace your inner 13 year old and go to the concert! It is so fun!

Ladies who are wondering about the wedding post, I promise it will happen. I mean it may be on their one year anniversary, but it will happen.

Mon said...

i still cant believe i didnt go. i kinda felt like i was there from your description.....sigh.

i think your shirts were awesome, and she could totally make a killing online selling those!

ive still not heard any new kids stuff, what, the hell?

Sara said...

I saw them twice this week and have barely slept since. They're taking over my brain.