I may have mentioned this previously, but, as a painfully awkward teenager, I was the world’s biggest New Kids on the Block fan. For real. I had all the standard tee shirts, painters caps, special editions of Tiger Beat, and pins, along with some snazzy homemade pillows (thanks, Mom!), and a giant poster of Joey McIntyre above my bed. (He may have been my un-official first kiss). At one point, I told my dad that the New Kids would be bigger than the Beatles. I don’t think he’s stopped laughing about that one, and it was a good twelve years ago.
I don’t remember if the New Kids faded out or I lost interest in them first, but either way, I refined my taste in music. I had a brief affair with NSync and OTown, went to college and listed to Dave Matthews Band like everyone else, and had a bad boy phase with Eminem. But my love for the New Kids (now adults like me, and known as NKOTB) never really ended, it just took a back seat to other obsessions (currently, O.A.R.) Come on, who doesn’t love when “Hangin’ Tough” comes on the iPod? And you know you get choked up during “Please Don’t Go Girl,” you just won’t admit it. I even met Danny Wood (admittedly my least favorite New Kid, but still a New Kid!) at the Komen Race for the Cure a couple of years ago, and may have swooned.
So, when my college roommate told me she had an extra ticket to NKOTBSB (that’s New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, together, for those who live under a rock) at Fenway, I jumped at the chance. The last time I saw the New Kids in concert I was 12, and with my mom and brother (who will lie and say he didn’t love it, but he did). NKOTB + alcohol + Fenway = perfect, right?
The concert was pretty great. Uber cheesy, but what else would you expect? I was obviously there mostly for NKOTB (not that I don’t love me a little BSB too, I’m an equal opportunity boy band lover – see OTown comment above), but I caught a ride from the party I was at during the day with some younger girls who were there for BSB, so there was a good mix of people, 99% female, in the crowd. (And yes, I drank at a party all afternoon before the concert. I’m pretty hardcore, if hardcore means 5 beers over 5 hours).
Both groups started the show together, and I don’t know what the “mash-up” (I learned that term on Glee. Maybe I should do more adult things) was, but it involved Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and I didn’t like it. I love Coldplay, and it just felt wrong. It got better from there, as both groups took turns on stage, going through all the classics. They also pulled out all the classic moves: pulling girls up on stage and handing them roses while they sang and the girls swooned, lots of shirt ripping and ab flexing, and a slightly overdramatic “Please Don’t Go Girl” by the ever-hot Joey Mac.
Then the rain came, and it came hard. I looked like a drowned rat within minutes, and was not really drunk enough to enjoy it. But the show went on, and the boys (men?) took advantage of the rain by stripping more, and using the stage as a slip and slide. I wish I had more pictures, but I was afraid of drowning my camera or iPhone. It was seriously that wet.
Oh, the NBN in the title? Naughty by Nature was there, and sang “Hip Hop Hooray” while wearing Naughty Kid on the Block tee shirts. I’m not 100% clear on why they were there, but they were awesome.
The final song of the night, performed in Bruins jerseys, was the NKOTBSB single, “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” which I didn’t think I knew, yet seemed to know all the words to. Weird. After chanting “NKOTBSB” for a few minutes (did I mention I turned into a screeching teenager sometime after the first song?), BSB sang “Everybody” and NKOTBSB sang “Hangin’ Tough” on the Green Monster, then they mashed it up (thanks again, Mr. Shue from Glee, for that helpful new term!)
Despite the rain, and lack of cabs, and running to catch the last train home, it was an awesome night. “They” say a picture says a thousand words, and I’d say this one pretty much sums it up:
For those of you not lucky enough to be there, here’s a clip of “Hangin’ Tough” from bostonherald.com. Come on, tell me that doesn’t make you want to wave your arms from side to side? (Baby put your hands up)
(Oh, and I heart Joey Mac. For Evah).