It’s 6:30pm on a Tuesday, I’m smushed in the vestibule of Irving plaza. Me and about 40 other members of the press, along with approximately 200 fans, are about to be let into the main event of the evening: New Kids on The Block. It was widely reported earlier in the day that NKOTB was going to be hitting the road with 98 Degrees and Boys II Men for "The Package Tour." It’s like a tour through the decades! And also a weird sexual innuendo.
I have been an NKOTB fan girl ever since I can remember. My brother hooked me up with the cassette tapes in about 1990. I would dance in my room to every hit and fawn over Jordan Knight. I had all the paraphernalia: stickers, posters, trading cards, even a Joey McIntyre doll, which my dog mauled one summer. I spent the days picking up chewed limbs from the yard and when I found Joey’s head floating in my pool—yes, that was a sad sad day.
But now, in present day, I am 27 and my heart is still racing in anticipation that I am going to be in close proximity to all five New Kids. As I made my way up the steps of Irving Plaza, the members of the press are escorted to the stage. I am on stage at Irving Plaza? There’s a platform in the middle of the venue where the boy band is going to be performing. Rumor has it that soon to be tour mates 98 Degrees and Boys II Men are also in the building. Yup.
The stage is packed with everyone wanting the best spot to get the best shot. I look to my left and I am about a foot away from a passing New Kid—Jonathan Knight, number three on my list of New kids ranked in order of hotness. I notice he has a small little ponytail on top of his head, which I am totally into. I hop down off the stage to get primo spot stage right. I am a genius and stood by the door they would be entering from. I wanted to high-five all of them as they made their way to the stage. While me and a half empty room of fans awaited the boys—now all well into their 40′s—the DJ ran through a slew of today’s hits: Bieber, One Direction, Fun, every song you unintentionally know all the words to. I was groovin.
A little after 7pm, the MC of the night, radio host Robert Samson, amped up the crowd and NKOTB made their way to the stage. 1, 2,3,4,5 boom, hit em all, HOME RUN! Itouched all the New Kids on the Block. They all exuded this energy that they have been doing this for a long ass time and can pretty much say and do whatever they want. There was no script for the evening, they just went out, rolled with it, and seemingly had a blast. They re-announced their tour as well with a new album due April 2nd. Together they went into a rendition of the gut wrenching classic "Please Don’t Go Girl"—still know every word and oh boy, did I love every second of it. They were singing to me! Two songs later, 98 Degrees is making their way to the crowd. Frankly, I could give a shit about them, they played two of their hits and boom! Boys II Men is now also in my presence. I mean, picture the most ridiculous night of your life and then imagine twelve grown ass men whose posters littered your bedroom walls when they, not you, were teenagers. I was in a constant state of jaw dropping amazement as well as WHAT THE FUCK is happening.
While the fans in the room screamed and shrieked, I couldn’t even begin to fathom what this tour will hold for America and quite possibly the world. More hip gyration? YES! More take your shirt off? YES! More touching? YES, TOUCH ME! AGAIN! I went to the reunion tour four years ago and I can honestly say that I have never screamed louder in my entire life. Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, Donnie and Danny, let their shirts flutter in the faux wind and I almost passed out. These are grown men, and thank god their fans have also gotten older and not younger. When this tour rolls through your town, its going to be 3 1/2 hours of panic attacks and heart flutters. Are you tough enough.