While I actually own and still listen to a Backstreet Boys CD, I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into when I agreed to accompany my friend, Kim, to their concert with New Kids On The Block. I was pleasantly surprised.
While I am only a few years older than the boy banders themselves, back in their heyday, I found the “Kids” to be mildly amusing; they were a “boy band” for heaven’s sake. They didn’t even play their own instruments! I do recall the frenzy over the “ohhhh ohhhh ohhh ohhh-o, hangin’ tough” lyrics, but that was about the extent of my “New Kids” knowledge. Well, that and their youngest member, Joey, was adorable.
When Kim told me that she had two tickets to the NKOTBSB (clever blend, huh?) concert, I readily agreed. Previously, Kim and I had seen David Cassidy in concert, and had a blast. My only concern this time was if we would look out of place, two forty-something women checking out the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids. I needn’t have worried; we were ALL forty-something women! Some just screamed a little louder than others…
After the opening acts were finished, both bands began their joint show around 8:30 and kept going for a full two hours. The New Kids would sing one or two of their songs, then the Backstreet Boys would belt out a single or two and occasionally, they would preform a song together. While I was swaying in my seat, singing along with one of the songs, I realized that the show was truly entertaining. I liked the way the guys made their way through the crowd while singing and then brought some lucky ladies from the audience up on stage and sang directly to them. The fire effects and pyrotechnics helped the entertainment factor, as well.
Initially, I was convinced that the show would be too “teenybopper” for me, but then I realized, these guys are all grown up! While their songs may have been written and performed twenty years ago to make the teenagers swoon, the presentation and performance were definitely geared for a more mature crowd. Whatever scant memories of innocent young singers I may have had were quickly put to rest by all the crotch grabbing and pelvic thrusting!
The members of both bands seemed to “play their parts”; for instance, Nick Carter, the youngest of the Backstreet Boys, relished his distinction as the “sexy” one. He delighted in singing the lyric, “Am I sexual?” with an aforementioned pelvic thrust. Yeah, as if there was any doubt this is the BSB who dated Paris Hilton.
A.J. McLean, another Backstreeter, fit the “bad boy” bill with his tattoos, black nail polish and scull-embossed ear piece. Not to be outdone, Donnie Wahlberg of the NKOTB, was a blend of both “sexy” and “bad boy” while gyrating in his white fedora and black “wife-beater” tank top. When he ripped off the t-shirt to expose his ripped physique, the venue erupted like Mount Vesuvius. The cameraman got a good close up on Donnie’s impressive abs; you don’t get a body like that by eating cookies!
Jordan Knight of NKOTB had a Donny Osmond-esque look about him; that instantly made him my favorite. Not only could Jordan still sing beautifully, but that man can move.
Joey McIntyre, the previously mentioned “cute” New Kid, completely impressed me with his vocals. His perfect pitch on “Please Don’t Go Girl”–a song I am certain he has sung a million times–sounded so filled with genuine emotion that I almost cried. Almost. His voice was amazingly powerful.
All in all, the men of these bands put together a fantastic show. I enjoyed myself so much that I even chose to ignore the incorrect grammar in the BSB song, “All I Have To Give”. Usually, I grit my teeth when I hear “Does his gifts come from the heart?”, but I had so much fun, I was even able to sing the line. Out loud.
As I looked around from my seat, my arms in the air, swaying back and forth to “Hangin’ Tough”, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. The ladies in the audience were singing, clapping, dancing, and really indulging in the whole experience. When I would happen to spot a man or two in the crowd, they were sitting stoically, like they all had lost a collective bet. It was appropriate, for them at least, that “Hangin’ Tough” was the encore.