My sister had already gotten a phone call. I should have known this was going to happen. But my cousin’s text caught me off guard.
Cuz: “You sure you don’t want to come to the NKOTB concert with me & your sister?
Me: “What? Maybe, let me recover from this flu I have and get back to you. I mean… it’s a probably, not a maybe.”
Dazed and confused from getting blindsided with the flu this week I had no idea what was going on but was intrigued. It wasn’t just a New Kids On The Block concert, but… NKOTBSB, THE supergroup of 2011.
But this… is foreign territory to me. I know both groups, I know sprinklings of their catalogs but by no means was I a fan. Ever the hip-hop-head (backpacker, female rapper, neo-soul lover) this is out of my realm. But curiosity got me. And when presented as a “Mag Girl’s from SFC girl’s night” I thought, fine. I’ll go. I’ll just approach it as studying a culture absolutely foreign to me.
And boy did I learn a lot.
Like that there’s a reason adults aren’t supposed to wear costumes all the time.
Or that when 9 GROWNASS men who used to be boy bands do a show together the stage can look a little… Phallic….
Though skeptical, and weirded out by the generations of fans, as pointed out by the dudes, cause I can’t call them boys when NKOTB’s average age is 40 something and when a youth I used to work with said she was going and that she was a huge fan of BSB when she was 3 years old, NKOTB had been receiving all kinds of fan love for 25 years, and BSB for 18. Girls behind me screamed all the lyrics to Back Street songs and pretended to know who New Kids were. Women in front of me screamed when any of the 40+ crowded lifted their shirts and showed their “im back in shape for this tour 6 packs.” Truly fascinating.
Regarding the actual show: Here’s some facts.
- I probably know more full Back Street songs since I was in H.S. when they were out but;
- New Kids know how to put on a better show and you could more CLEARLY hear their lyrics. And besides;
- By the time the show was in full swing all I kept thinking anytime BSB came out was “shit the hell down, I know you’re all just happy to have jobs again”.
- I am a sucker for live bands with good drummers and horns, and while there was no horns section (note to NKOTBSB something to consider as y’all try and continue this ‘grown&sexy’ tour) the drummer was killing it.
And then there was this.
Now… I feel like I knew this was coming. But… Donnie Wahlberg, entertaining as it is that this Boston white boy just kind of does his own thing and has made it a point to be the swagger holder of this group… Walked out on stage in a Public Enemy shirt. Yes sir. You just won me over.
Not that I needed winning over, because that certainly wasn’t why I was there. But when I say, “I knew this was coming”- I’m really referring to the fact that I at that moment realized: “Shit, I love me some Wahlberg’s,” my affinity for Mark only becoming clear at that moment too. “I might could fuks with a Wahlberg-esq dude,” were the thoughts that followed. That said, the show went on.
Questionable outfits. More “BSB sit down!” Fuckery. Nick… whatever you are on, you need to cut that shit back. Too many rhinestones, sequins and even 4 too many satin suits (I’m looking at you BSB). Wishing they’d stop shouting out “Nor Cal” this the BAY fools.
Lots of men present with their gfs and an uber male fan (didn’t get a pic) next to one of my cousins who was waving at BSB like they could SEE him 15 rows down from the TOP of the stadium. Evidenced here:
Aside from the men in the audience & the penis stage there still was a lot of… testosterone. Way more pelvic thrusts and crotch grabs than I think you might of seen in either bands haydays- paying homage to their now ADULT fan bases- (My cousin pointed out that one of her coworkers is part of the NKOTB fan club that travels to all their west coast shows. It’s her life. She has no man, no kids, no family just that… She’s in her mid to late 30s chasing a teens dream).
But clearly, the two groups have formed a bond, a brotherhood or fraternity of sorts. Or perhaps… something else entirely and a little more homo than any one of my queer brothers and sisters may have predicted.
(via donnie wahlberg’s twitter)
(also via donnie wahlberg’s twitter… which was consulted trying to find a pic of the P.E. shirt since the nosebleeds made that sooooo hard to capture on film.)
The show ended with some weird hanging tough vs. back street’s back battle all clad in bedazzled NBA jerseys repping their home town teams (note above and the pic below). These goof balls seem to be enjoying what their doing WHILE racking in the dough.
Despite not really understanding these tribes of women and what motivates them (aside from Wahlberg swag), or the men for that matter, and really having to do some thinking about the brotherhood of NKOTBSB, I had fun immersing myself in this for a night. Would I do it again, I have no idea. Am I readily going to watch out for when tickets come up again for something like this? Hell no.