I can't believe it took me this long to find the time to blog about the concert. Life sure can get in the way!
I was 10 when the New Kids on the block hit the big time, my parents gave me their Christmas album that year and I was hooked. My best friend and covered our rooms with posters, listened to their tapes non-stop, recorded anything they were on, watched the cartoon, read the books (both non-fiction and fiction) and went to their concert when we were in 6th grade (1991). I even met two of them (Joe and Danny) when they were visiting a member of the band Tony, Toni, Tone, who happened to live down the street from my family. They were heady times. I even bought Face the Music when it came out, despite the fact that Nirvana had by then introduced me to the wonderful world of grunge and alternative rock which was to be my main music of choice for my high school years. When the New Kids disappeared, I barely noticed, of course none of them really went away and whenever I heard about one of them doing something else, I always checked it out. I had Joe and Jordan's solo projects, watched Boomtown (starring Donnie) and saw most of his movies, watched the E! True Hollywood Story and saw Jon talk about his problems with anxiety on Oprah. Even though they were gone, they were always on my periphery.
Then came the announcement last April, the New Kids were getting back together! There was going to be a new album and a tour. I made sure to DVR their first big performance on the Today and the second they started singing "The Right Stuff" I was in tears. I was overcome by nostalgia and love for the New Kids. This was my childhood, on TV performing live after 15-years! I talked my younger sister, too young really to have cared, into going to the concert with me and bought tickets. It would be their first major show on US soil in 15 years. Sept. 23, 2008 in East Rutherford, NJ. I couldn't wait.
Finally the day was here. I left work early and drove to my sister's place in record time. The traffic for the show was already getting heavy when we got there, women in their late-twenties and early-thirties (like me) who had left the kids home with their husbands, called up girlfriends they hadn't seen in years and headed out to New Jersey were swarming to the arena. We sat through two opening acts, just waiting for them to get off stage and get on with the real reason we were here. Then....magic.
A brief movie began to play on the requisite jumbo-tron and the screaming started. I won't go into details, in part because, should some happy googler come across this before they see the show, I don't want to spoil anything, and partly because, if I did go into detail this post might never end! Suffice it to say there was a perfect mix of stuff off their new album and their old stuff. When we left, there wasn't a single song I could think of that I wish they had played and they hadn't. Even some solo stuff was thrown in. I couldn't have asked for a better night and if I could get tickets to a second show I would go in an instant.
Joe, Jordan, Danny, Donnie, and Jon were spectacular and I'm so glad they're back!
MONSTERS AND MEMORY by Eleanor Lerman
3 weeks ago