I’m still kind of processing the epic amazingness that was the NKOTBSB show at Fenway Park this weekend. This was a special show for so many reasons: the show itself is so fun and exciting; it was the second warm welcome home in a week for the New Kids on the Block; it was an outdoor venue and not just that – but a historic one full of so much meaning for New Englanders and particularly Bostonians.
So the weather sucked. It rained on and off all day and it was freezing outside. It is JUNE for fucks sake! TRY AND ACT LIKE IT! But that said, it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of fans. It also served to fuel a determination in all 9 guys to perform this concert as if their lives depended on it (which – it kind of did considering how slippery the stage got!)
By the time the show started the rain had stopped and it looked like we were “in the clear” as it were. But about an hour in the rain started to fall, and then it came harder and faster and then it POURED. This was at the point where NK do their fan anthem Tonight and come out into the crowd causing mass hysteria.
This is how hard it was coming down:
Now maybe a few (crazy) people left – but very few. The rest of us pulled on ponchos and pulled out umbrellas (tip at a concert: NOT a good idea! Your fellow fan can’t see through your umbrella!) and it was almost as if the audience and the guys were all defiantly telling the stupid New England weather, “oh yeah? well BRING IT!”
Then something really wild happened during the Tonight downpour. It was as if all the crazy high energy that the show already had going for it – suddenly lifted into a whole other dimension. The New Kids turned the stage into their own playground – stripping off shirts (hell yeah!) and slip sliding down the runway stage like little boys on the first day of summer (while Joey McIntyre a.k.a “My Joey”) did an exuberant run around the bases!) It was amazing. The crowd went – and believe me this is saying something because it was already insane – but we went abso-fucking-loutely MENTAL at this point. It became like one enormous party and the energy was just astounding.
It is so hard to really explain or capture what it looked like, what it felt like – but this video is pretty great at giving at least a glimpse of it:
From that point on this concert became one for the ages. One of those “I was there” moments in the careers of both these bands. The Backstreet Boys came out next and fed off that crazy vibe and executed their flawless dance routines without a single misstep. In fact they seemed to be stomping their feet harder and making splashes to give it a real Singin’ in the Rain vibe.
I’ve been to so many concerts in my life – but there are only a handful where I’ve actually had the experience that something miraculous is happening: one that comes to mind is U2 in 2001 in the Boston Garden when I looked around during Where the Streets Have No Name and every single person was moving in a way that made it look as if the building itself was in motion – an actual breathing organism feeling the music along with us.
This show achieved that sensation. By the time the New Kids appeared on top of The Green Monster to start off the finale – I am pretty sure the park had turned itself inside out into a whole other world of it’s own! A world where we the fans could literally, LITERALLY see these guys dreams coming true before our very eyes. I really cannot imagine what a thrill it must have been for all of them – to not only play this particular show – but to do it in the most spectacular fashion – with rain pouring down in sheets and thousands of soaked to the bones fans screaming as if they would never stop.
The show started true to form in Fenway Park – with a starting line-up that really brought home the magnitude of what it means for a band to get to play a concert there:
(about minute 4 is when the intro video starts and then the line-up)
I often explain my fandom to people by comparing it to the fanaticism of sports fans. Bands are my teams, and I have never been more proud to be on Team Boy Band than I was on Saturday night.