My Tacoma NKOTB & BSB Experience July 2011

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+.

Opening Acts
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.

Highlights
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.

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About debhalasz

I am a free-lance writer, skilled in writing press-releases, profiles, web copy, articles, and album reviews. I also am a skilled researcher in all areas. I have a MS degree in Educational Pscyhology and am currently in the dissertation phase of my PhD program. My passions are second language learning, learning strategies, music, musicology, neuroscience, and neuroeducation. I am a fan of all genres of music and love learning more about both indie and major-labeled artists as well as the behind-the-scenes people who make them look so good! View all posts by debhalasz

4 responses to “My Tacoma NKOTB & BSB Experience July 2011

  • Mike

    Well written.

    As I'm sure you're aware, I too have my issues with this tour. 🙂

    Midnight Red definitely shows promise – I heard their stuff on their website and myspace. I was impressed by One Club at a Time and the Step by Step cover.

    idk about you, but it's always nice to see up and coming musicians. Those boys can definitely go far, if they keep working at it. They have the talent.

    Matt Morrison sounds awesome. That said. Moving on to the meat and potatoes.

    Not really a BSB fan, as I've said multiple times on Twitter, but this is a very valid review. The whole tour has left a sour taste in my mouth, especially where all 5 NK's are concerned.

    This tour wasn't for us. I'm sure they realize this, but they obviously don't care. For a group that claims to love the fans…

    When musicians no longer play for the fans, it can no longer be called music. Without us, nothing since the 2008 reunion would've happened.

    We get a few crumbs from them on Twitter (and before the shows – more on that a little later) every now and then. Is that enough? No, it isn't. I'm not selfish enough to ask them to devote themselves to us 24/7, but they could definitely acknowledge us a little more often…or, in some cases, acknowledge us at all. *looks at Danny* – he's not the only one guilty of this though.

    5* and ultimates? Too damn expensive and people are f'ing greedy, especially with the latter. Why are they allowed to have more than one?

    Maybe it's just bitterness on my part, but it seems like NKOTB doesn't care about us as much as the fans think they do. Other fans have had the same complaints when I've shared my thoughts.

    As I said in our conversation via DM a while back, perhaps the guys need to be reminded of who actually matters…

  • Deborah W. Halasz, MS, CAGS

    Mike,
    Thanks for the comment. Are you still going to a show?

  • Aundreaya

    Deborah, that was a very well written experience. I do agree on some accounts. I do feel as though the show was rushed and it was very hard for me with the back and forth between the bands. I also would have preferred them to do separate sets.

    I'm not much of a BSB fan, so I sat through most of their performances. I love their songs, and I've actually been to one of their concerts, but I was there to see NKOTB specifically. I don't have the same connection with BSB.

    It was hard having to go back and forth from one side of the venue to the other trying to see the guys. I must admit, being 5th row from the stage had a part in that. Had I been far back I would have loved it because normally you can't see a thing from back there.

    I felt like most of the Tacoma Dome was BSB fans, and that felt kinda awkward. It's like a competition or something. Who has the most fans. BSB were definitely more involved with their fans too.

    I can't say for certain, but from where I was sitting it looked like the right side of the stage got most of the attention. Joe spent a lot of time on my side of the stage and was actually talking to girls in front of me. Donnie also interacted with a few girls there. I think Danny was just having a bad day or something because he didn't seem too thrilled to be there at all.

    Joe saw my sign (I'll be loving Joe forever) and took notice. He winked, smiled and later when he saw me singing “I'll be loving Joe forever” to I'll be loving you forever he laughed.

    Overall I enjoyed the concert. It didn't rank even near the top of any of the concerts I've been to, but if I'd have been able to get to Vancouver I definitely would have gone.

    I think what upset me the most was that worldofjohnny made it seem like we were getting an afterparty, and without even apologizing we simply didn't get one.

    ~Lisa

  • Deborah W. Halasz, MS, CAGS

    Lisa,
    I'm glad you got your interaction with Joe. I know how incredible that is from past concerts.
    And I agree with you on the Tacoma. Maybe management decided that Donnie needed a break (not that he would listen). I think this tour was completely designed for NKOTB to get new fans — well, and I guess those younger BHs who are also BSB fans.
    I haven't given up on NKOTB, and Danny's still my favorite man, but I don't think I'll go to another show unless it's just NKOTB.

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