**So I'm going to apologize in advance. I'm prolly gonna swear a lot, and sound like an ghetto potty mouthed trucker in a second. I generally am really well at censoring myself, but somehow I think on this blog I may not be able to. We'll see. If that's not your thing, it's cool, you don't have to read.Thankfully (or maybe unthankfully) it tends to be pretty crickets around here, so that may be a good thing.**
I drank the New Kids on the Block kool aid waaaaaay back in the day. My little fourth, fifth and sixth grade self loved them. If I was older I totally would've tried to groupie that. I wasn't bat stir crazy, but I cop to having a couple posters, a water bottle, bracelet, and all the trading cards I could convince my parents to buy me. Oh, and yes, I got up on Saturdays to watch that Saturday AM cartoon. It was heaven. People were haters, but haters are always gonna hate. I loved them, and no one could tell me otherwise! When they broke up, I was crushed. (If I got the wrong flavor icee in the cafeteria I was crushed lol.. you know how it is when you're young.)
Fast forward to 2008 when my trapped little teeny bopper fangirl self found out they reunited and there was going to be a new CD! Whoop! Being older, with more of a stable financial mean about me (ie. I worked, and didn't have to beg my parents for allowance or an early birthday present) I was all up on that shit! The Block was by far the best CD they have ever done. It was NKOTB, but older, wiser, more settled and in charge. It was sexy, danceable, and it also had this softer side to it at the same time that came from growing up and experiencing life and heartbreak. The guys were older, more mature, and let me say yummier then ever.
The reunion tour? Freaking amaze balls. I saw them on the reunion tour opening night Toronto, and it was incredible. Incredible! All five guys were excited, and having fun, and performing, and moving the crowd, and it was the best freaking night ever.
I was two months pregnant the night of that concert, and I didn't get to see them again until the NKOTBSB tour. I hope you understand that even though I drank the NKOTB kool aid, I full on triple heart love double exclamation point BSB. I am bat shit crazy for those guys. This tour was a panty dropping must in my opinion. I can't say more then it was awesome. So awesome, I saw it three times. (Buffalo, Toronto, and London, Ont.) I dealt with crazy Canadian Toronto traffic and funny money and all sorts of Canada adventures and Matt Morrison (I don't hate if you're a gleeker) because both groups made it worth it. Damn dream/fantasy come true!
Fast forward a couple years later. I just don't know how to say this...while I'm still drinking the kool aid and I love them, I'm also really disillusioned as well. Maybe it's age, and with age comes wisdom, but WTF people?
I have seen the Package tour twice now. Why is it I am seeing a mashup of both the reunion tour and the NKOTBSB tour? Rising circular stage? Check. Joe singing please don't go girl for 15 minutes? Check. Guys coming out into the stands during "Tonight?" Double check. Guitar heavy version of "Covergirl?" Triple check. "We will rock you/hanging tough" finale complete with Boston hockey jerseys/baseball jerseys? Check, check, and check. Same dance moves, Donnie ripping off his tank top and Jordan sticking his hand down his pants, all check! I'm shelling out decent money for these tix, I want a different show then I have seen the past two tours! Put some effort into it boys, give us something new. Generally, a new tour means a new show experience, not freaking deja vu! Not only that, but you have a new damn CD out, why am I hearing "Step by Step" and "Right Stuff" for the 100 millionth time? Sing some newer stuff! The new CD is not half bad. It's not The Block, but it's not horrible. Hell, do something from the Block beside "Summertime" and "Dirty Dancing!" Do something, anything else!
Secondly, who the hell in their right mind charges $1000 for an ultimate meet and greet? An Ultimate consists of a few minutes in the New Kid's dressing room, seats inside the barricade, and an individual pic. Nifty, don't get me wrong. (Imagine all the pelvic thrust pics you could get from that view. That is definitely a panty dropping view!) But really? Honey I paid $150 to do an after party and while I didn't get an individual pic, the group pic turned out pretty damn hot. And I got a hug from one of the guys with only a little effort. And while I wasn't inside the barricade, my seats 7 rows back were just right. And did I read right that there was a $10,000 package out there for Mix Tape last year that someone bought so they could ride a damn roller coaster with the New Kids? If I'm gonna plunk down that much money, all the guys better be lying buck ass naked on a bear skinned rug waiting to make all my fantasies come true. And after they did they had better damn well invent some I didn't think of. This is a business, I get it. New Kids are here to make money as much or if not more than make music. It's how they support their families, save for college educations, etc. I GET IT. But when did it become all about the money and not about the music, or effort? (You should see some of the Ultimate pics, there was no effort on the guys parts. I'd be hella pissed that I just forked over a cool grand and one Kid is on his cell and another is yawning, and there's another making faces.) No effort in the tour, just a rehash of the past few, and no effort for the fans. Who releases three different versions of the same CD (the regular version, the ITunes version, and the Target version) where the only difference is that each has ONE song on it that isn't on the other two. So wait, you want me to buy THREE different versions of the same CD for only 3 songs? Put that shit on the same damn CD! Looking at it now, NKOTB was a money making machine back in the day. And rightfully so, with all the NKOTB merchandise that was out there. And I get that now you can't sell me a doll, or bed sheets, so you have to up your game. But come on. $10K to get on a rollercoaster? That's flat out pimping yourselves out, and you should be and can be better then that! People are paying those prices and buying that experience, so I know you're thinking "well lets keep doing it," but if the band put half as much effort into the tour as they did with charging for every meet and greet/viewing party/label anything a party and charge for it that they do then maybe this tour wouldn't be the same old same old in new outfits.
I know I sound angry, or bitter, but I think I'm just being honest. You can love a band, and drink their kool aid, and yet be honest when the career decisions and mistakes that are being made are disappointing. My teeny bopper self is disappointed at what has blatantly become a get that money ploy. My adult fan self is disappointed that what started out so great went downhill so fast, and I'm stunned that not only has no one came up with a better idea then "Lets charge $80 for the same tour we've been doing for the past two years, but we'll add in Boys II Men and 98 degrees so no one notices," but that the fans are like, "This is the best tour ever!" Honey, it's the same damn tour that you've been seeing for five years!!! (Yes, I had a great time at the show. Why wouldn't I have? I had a great time at the other tours too! And there's beer.) I'm disillusioned that the band doesn't want more for themselves, that finally they could show the world there is no negative stigma with being a boy band, and that they are back, and even better. Instead, it's turned into some weird charade where they pretend they're in it for the fans, but instead they're tripping over themselves to get to the bank and rolling their eyes at all the people who fell for it. (PS. You can run to the bank and be better then you were at the same time you know. It doesn't have to be one or the other.)
Am I still a NKOTB fan? Down to my toes. But sweet lord, get it together already. Take a vacation, take a nap, and come back in two years refreshed and excited again. Or don't come back, but stop just going thru the motions.
6/21/13 Update/Edit: I wanted to quickly make a couple comments based on things I saw or read.
One girl on Twitter said I've been to 50 million shows. Actually, I've been to 6. Three tours, 6 shows. I have been to 1 after party. I have never done the cruise, however it sounds like the crazy people watching part would be fun (do not get me started on the shit storm of insaneness I have heard about the people on the cruise.) I have never done a VIP/Ultimate meet and greet, nor do I want to. ($1000 can buy an awful lot of shoes. Or purses. Or shots!)
A comment on the blog said I wasn't a true fan, and I'm going to address that. This is not a cult, or the mob, or some backwards 5th world country where I have to think like everyone else. I am not sheep, I have never wanted to be sheep, and I do not want to follow the herd. I do not agree that being disappointed in how things are makes me less of a fan, or does not make me a fan at all. It makes me an honest one. Someone else in my defense said that if they put out a CD of shits and farts am I supposed to fall all over myself and love that too? No. I can be a fan, and still think that they are not trying their all, and instead are phoning it in. I refuse to kiss anyone's ass, and instead would rather say, hey, this kinda totally sucks. I am not a teenage girl who thinks the band is god like. I am an adult who understands that people have flaws. I am not afraid to speak my mind, or say how I really feel, and that should not and does not make me less of a fan then the next person. I'm sorry if you feel that it does, but maybe you need to reexamine...something. Life? The dictionary? IDK.
Another comment I read on Twitter was that people don't listen when people like me complain, so we have to put it in writing. Actually, I write this blog for me. I vent, I spew, I write so when I'm 80 and senile, I have a way to remember how much fun my family and I had, or what our struggles were. I really don't care if people come here and read what I wrote, because I'm not writing it for anyone else. I did not expect for one post to be as popular as it has been, however I did not write this for people to listen or pay attention to. I wrote it after looking at a bunch of the VIP pics, and was frustrated and annoyed with how the guys appeared in them. Because again, if I plunked down a grand, you better damn well fake that you are having the time of your life with me, not looking like you are bored and miserable and all around jerky diva. It's common courtesy.