DISCLAIMER: this blog represents ONLY my opinion of the Tacoma, WA NKOTBSB concert. I recognize that other people may have experienced the show better or worse than I, and this blog, in no way, disrespects or detracts from their experiences.
This was my one and only concert of the “Once in a Lifetime” tour, and I’m glad. While others have attended and enjoyed more than one show of this tour, I would have to give it a generous rating of a C+.
There were two acts to open the show. The first was an up & coming boyband, Midnight Red, produced by RedOne, who ranged in age from 16 to 18. Their songs weren’t half bad, and they had charisma. A couple of nights ago, someone tweeted that they were lipsynching because their adlib introductions were much softer than their singing. I disagree. I think they were singing on top of recorded vocals, similar to how NKOTB started in the very beginning. It was very obvious to me, though, that they were singing. The group’s appearance reminded me of Menudo, and maybe I’m just old, but I really didn’t feel comfortable with a 16-year-old grabbing his crotch and winking at me. Then again, maybe I’m just not a cougar. These guys have tons of potential, and if they keep working with RedOne, they should find much success.
The second opening act was Matthew Morrison from Glee Fame. His show started with a video clip of him singing to every song on the radio show along with co-star, Jane Lynch. The clip ended with her telling us, “Enjoy the show, losers!” Matthew, to me, reminded me of a slightly younger version of McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy. He is quite the performer! He did some covers and then introduced some songs from his upcoming album. My favorite covers were Mrs. Robinson and Gold Digger. It surprised me to see a somewhat broadway-esque version of Gold Digger, but I still loved it! He closed his show with a song he said was in tribute to Fred Astaire, Patrick Swayze, and Michael Jackson – his musical idols. After singing most of the song, he took off his earpiece and showed us his moves emulating his three heroes, including the moonwalk and crotch grab ala MJ.
NKOTB and BSB
While I hadn’t watched any spoiler videos for this show, I did see the setlist and I clicked on all the Danny and Jon pictures posted on twitter. No doubt, NKOTB looked hot and sounded amazing. Being so close to see Danny’s buff shoulders and abs… well, you know I’m a Danny girl.My problem with the show was this: it felt rushed. The back and forth performances between the two groups made it look like one group sang, ran off the stage, and another group ran on. Of course, to the groups, I’m sure it was seamless. They didn’t come on stage out of breath. I just think the show would have been better had each group devoted 45 minutes to showcasing their songs and then do their half hour mashup in the middle.
As to the Backstreet Boys, I really didn’t pay much attention to their performance. The three points that stood out to me was when one of the BSB brought his baby son up on stage, another of the BSB either jumped or fell off the stage (I say fell, but he made it look intentional), and when each BSB brought up a girl on stage to sing to. I realize that the BSB aren’t much younger than the New Kids, but the staged singing to girls brought up on stage was reminiscent of a New Kids concert circa 1991 when the guys were in their late teens, early twenties. That’s when you bring little girls up on stage and make them blush. What the BSB did was really immature and embarrassing.
Then, there was the stage. Granted I was in a wheelchair and limited in my mobility. But given the enormity of space the guys had to move and perform, I ended up missing half the show. I tried to crane my neck to see the video screen, but even then they showed only one guy at a time, and of course, they never showed Danny.
Finally, there was the limited interaction of the guys with the fans. Namely, there was none. In past shows, the guys took the time to goof off on stage and make eye contact with the audience. This time, it didn’t happen. I think the guys were so focused on getting their show done by 11pm that they forgot they had fans who were used to actually enjoying being a part of a family rather than just people in the audience. The only time I saw any New Kid smile was when Joe came in late on Don’t Turn Off the Lights Now.
Well, lest I leave my review on a sour note, I will share with you two of the few highlights of my show. I had a shirt hanging on the back of my wheelchair that gave a “twitter definition” of a blockheads. I also had 4×5 cards printed with the same. There was a curtain right in front of me that stage crew kept entering and exiting from. At one point I saw Krunchy Kevin. He gave me a quick hug and I gave him the card. I saw him reading it before he walked backstage and smiling. I hope he passed it on to the guys.
Also during the guys’ introductions of one another, Rob Lewis came through that curtain. I caught his attention as well, and he gave me a hug.
Despite it being a rather disappointing show, I will have to say the hugs helped my anxiety and seeing friends I hadn’t seen in almost three years was so heartwarming. I would have probably graded the concert slightly higher, though, if I had gotten hugs from Danny Wood and Jonathan Knight. They never saw my sign or acknowledged my tweets before the show. Danny also never saw or perhaps never acknowledged the sign I made for my friend from Malaysia. I will still hold out hope that NKOTB will make it to her country in 2012.