I spent my evening at the NKOTBSB concert (or for those of you living under a rock, New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys. Yeah, I did that). My lovely friend, the same that tried to get me to buy the dress on Day 28, presented me on my birthday with a ticket to go to NKOTBSB. Obviously, I freaked out and peed on the carpet with excitement.
I never got the chance to see New Kids when I was younger. Being as I was between the ages of 7 and 10 when they were popular, I was a huge fan and collected anything I could get my hands on that had Joey’s face plastered to it. I was such a fan that, when telling my father about this concert, I simply had to say, “The guys on the giant pins” for him to know who I was talking about. It was an unfilled dream that I had to see them live and squeal when they came on stage.
My friend and I being who we are could not half-ass this. We of course dressed up. And not just finding a one shoulder dress that I’ll wear next week to a wedding, but truly doing it up, side ponytails and all. We even put on purple eye shadow. We were serious.
I knew my risk would happen at this concert even though I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. Turns out a big part of is was the dressing up. No one did it! We were pretty much loners. Another risk with the dressing up was where the concert was located: The United Center (yes that is where Oprah filmed some of her final episodes). The neighborhood around the United Center is a little sketchy at night, so walking back to the car with a side pony and a neon print dress certainly draws attention.
My other risk was dancing and singing at the top of my lungs. By the end, the rest of the crowd was doing the same. But in the beginning I was shocked once more to find most people just nodding their heads or even standing completely still as the watched the Boy Band Explosion (that’s what I’m going to call it from now on. BBE) that was happening many, many aisles below us. I felt a little foolish when you combined my dancing (which was anything but sexy and smooth) with my screaming and yelling (which was totally “woo girl” style. Watch How I Met Your Mother for this reference) and my outfit (which was totally late 80’s early 90’s awesome). But I threw caution to the wind and threw my hands in the air and kept going.
Taking a minute just to give props, NTOKBSB is still unreal. Both their dance moves and they vocal chops are stellar. And, of course, Donnie Walberg’s chest and washboard abs seem to never die. I think he’s been training with his brother. There was also lots of crotch thrusting and grabbing, something I’m sure was not in the concert I wanted to go to in 1991. And booze. There would have been no booze for me in 1991.
The risk just kept getting risky as we listened their music the whole ride home, belting at the top of lungs, to which we were given both weird looks and shown off sweet dance moves by passing strangers.
I’m so glad I did not allow social norms to stand in the way of my boy crazy 10 year old self having a good time. I’m so tired right now, but also so happy about having that experience.
Oh, and bonus from this risk, I realized I love Jordan Sparks. I don’t know whether to feel ashamed (at having missed out on this for so many years) or proud (at having missed out on this for so many years).
Here is a sampling: