Thursday, October 23, 2008

This One's for Me

I’m writing this so I don’t forget the little details, and as a reminder, or maybe to any who might read, an inspiration? Dreams can come true. No matter how far out they might seem.

May 16th. It was officially announced. NKOTB was on the Today show and announced they are coming back, new album out in the fall and a tour…I checked the early dates and they were as near as Chicago, but it was THE DAY BEFORE TWIN CITIES! Talk about disappointing…till the day it came out they’d be in Minneapolis. And I had friends willing to spend a bit…we decided if we were going, we were going all out and we bought the VIP package. Backstage meet and greet…and seats in the first 10 rows.

Fast forward to Tuesday, October 21, 2008. Remember, back in the day, they were my favorites. I was obsessed. Posters on the walls, t-shirts, sheets…the works. Last time I saw them I was 17…half my life ago…OK, yeah I’m old. But man, I so wanted to meet them. I would’ve done about anything for that opportunity. My biggest dream. How often do dreams come true? I mean this one we’re talking not a super attainable thing. Had someone told me 17 years ago to be patient, my day would come, I don’t think I would’ve believed it.

We got through the line, cameras checked, drink tickets in hand, backstage pass around neck, escorted to the VIP area after being given our tickets, 1st row (first 10 were guaranteed, we must’ve been the first to get in seriously), and our gift, a coffee mug and blanket. A room full of fans. Beer. Food. We were told the rules. We’d go into the room, talk a bit, pictures, then out. We were called to line up by the letter on the back of our passes…we were F. Suddenly they were coming into the room and led back to a special room off the one we were in. Within 2 beers of getting there (no idea of time!) we were in line and suddenly we were being sent into the room and there they were. Donnie was solo, so I went right over gave him a hug and said I’ve been waiting so long for this. Talked to him a little bit and then others were moving in and Joe was alone! He was my favorite. I fell for them when I saw the video for Please Don’t Go Girl, and there was a cute boy, with beautiful blue eyes…And there he was. I walked over, gave him a hug and told him that my first memory of them was that video, and the pretty blue eyes (which, by the way, for those that were fans, and liked him, his eyes are even bluer, pictures don’t do him justice!) and he smiled and batted them for me. My friends then made their way over and a story was told to him about how one of my friends used to sing one of their songs, that he was lead vocals on, sang in her sleep…then it was time for the group pic…we were lining up, I was still next to him, and he said “someone has to be in the front” and crouched down, so I crouched next to him and he held my hand and 2 pics were snapped and we were being sent out. I told him quick that I had just earned myself an opportunity to go to Boston and run…he looked impressed (OK, they have to deal with tons of fans on a daily basis, I appreciated that he actually listened and looked interested) I hadn’t had a chance to say anything to Jon, Danny or Jordan, but I had to go over to Jordan and get a hug and tell him we shared a birthday. He walked with me to the door and then it was done…So surreal…I have the memories. I looked at them. I talked to them. In a few days I’m going to have that picture to prove it, but I still can’t believe it. After I had to talk to someone. I called home and my dad answered. He knew…and I could hear in his voice even how happy he was for me. He knew what I was like then. Knew how much I loved them, and to have my dream come true…well…and he’s going to be there in Boston too. We talked about that too. I was high on life at that moment (I’d only had two beers by then, that wasn’t enough to send me over the edge!!)

We had a couple more drinks in the VIP area and then it was time to go to our seats…way, way up…we walked, and walked, and got up there…and not only were we front row, we were front row, CENTER! I had my camera…I was set.

Opening acts were OK, actually realized I recognized some of the music of the second singer (can’t think of her name ), and we headed out to get another beer and on the way out I ran into a friend (out of 13,000 people in there what were the odds of that?).

Opening finished and finally it was time. The show was over 2 hours long and they danced, they flirted, they talked to the crowd, they changed costumes…they did like they did back in the day, only a little older now, and actually, a little hotter! They played new stuff, they played old stuff, they played stuff that was part of solo projects…they were out in the middle of the crowd and they were back on stage. It was AMAZING! While I’m not so young and innocent anymore, not like I was then, but it took me back. I was there with good friends, I had something in common (5 things in common) with 13,000 people in that stadium, and it was good….If only it could’ve gone on forever. Who knew…Oh, and if only my camera battery hadn't died (it was fully charged going in, new memory card and I didn't even manage to think to record any video clips...had I known the battery might die, I would've bought a spare!!)


audgepodge said...

:) So excited for you! I saw New Kids in concert three times when I was in high school so I totally understand where you are coming from. I wish I could have seen them on this tour but I was out of town when they were in my area. I'm glad I got to live the experience vicariously through you!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I was never really a fan. My whole 6th grade class of girls went to see them except for me and 2 other girls. Oh well! I'm glad you had a great experience.

Runner Leana said...

It sounds like a fantastic experience. I'm really looking forward to seeing them in a few weeks here in Calgary! No backstage passes for me, but I think we are all going to have a good time regardless. I'm glad to hear they played their old stuff. I would be so dissapointed if they didn't play Right Stuff!