Well last night was the night my wife has been anticipating for a few weeks now. We attended the New Kids on the Block concert at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City. Me, being the loving and caring husband that I am, purchased a pair of tickets for my wife as a birthday gift. While not a fan, nor really knowing any of the music, outside of the few pop hits that play on the 80’s station from time to time, the overall concert was not too intolerable; the guys put on a good show for being older and no longer “kids”. The atmosphere, however, was definitely something to write home about. If I had a warning sign to post, it would say “Eighties flashbacks ahead”. Overall, my wife had a great time and got to relive some childhood memories, which was my goal.
A few weeks ago when the concert was announced I immediately purchased the tickets for my wife who attended the first concert in Shreveport, some twenty years ago. She like other girls in our age group attended the concert in the “boy bands” height of popularity. She loved it, she sang and danced and carried on like the other four thousand plus screaming women. She was much more dignified in her celebrations than most other women who attended, thankfully. The scene was a sight to behold. Four thousand screaming women and a handful of unenthusiastic guys watched as the group sang and danced their way through about two and a half hours of songs both familiar and obscure to me.
The opening act called the Jabbawockeez, a dance group, put on a thirty minute show of dancing and theatrics that amped up the crowd somewhat. The “all-male dance troupe” as described in the wiki article, told a story through dance and was actually more entertaining than I thought they would be. They danced to tunes ranging from Jungle Boogie to a medley of Michael and Janet Jackson tunes. The masked dancers got the crowd warmed up and made sure the NKOTB fans had plenty of time to consume more fruity drinks to justify their behavior.
Intermission allowed me to get a look at the swelling crowd of new kids fans. Wow, there were many women who were in most cases ten or more years too old and several pounds too heavy to be wearing the attire of their youth. Leg warmers, fishnet stockings, blue jean jackets, massive I heart boy band member buttons and twenty year old, ratty concert tees seemed to be the apparel of the masses. Some of the fans went to the extreme with all of the above, while some more subdued outfits included home-made shirts that featured the boys and or lyrics to their songs.
Once the new kids hit the stage, the screaming intensified. All around me they screamed for each song, each dance move and each gratuitous crotch shot displayed on the big screen. The fans became teens again, singing and dancing and screaming “I love ____ (insert member here)”. The less than sold out crowd seemed to know every word, but for the most part I was lost. I will admit that while the guys are pushing forty now, they put on a decent, energetic show. Unfortunately for me, I got several looks as I seemed to be the only one in my section that did not know the words or hand gestures for each song. OH AND WOMAN IN SECTION 122, ROW L, SEAT 5, THROWING ROCK HORNS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AT A BOY BAND CONCERT. And with that out of my system, now I can press on.
While there I ran into or saw several friends and acquaintances of my youth, including a friend from my elementary through high school years that sat right beside us. She had missed out on the first go around and was making up for it by attending this time with her sister in law and niece. While she will remain nameless she was one of the few that remained dignified during the show.
By the final song and following encore of Hanging Tough, I had a pounding headache and ringing ears but overall the experience was somewhat enjoyable from the people watching standpoint and my wife was stress-free and worry-free for a few hours. All of the above was bearable because it made her smile and made her a very happy woman. I would do it all over again, just for her.