My time as a middle-schooler was not the best years of my life. I didn't care much about school, felt a lack of connection with my parents, felt like most people didn't like me for reasons i didn't understand. Although this is par for the course as a tweener, i had the added challenge of being the minority among a majority. It is only in hindsight that i see this was related to being korean-adopted, even though my 12 year old self would deny it (being korean, adopted, different in any way). My parents would gently ask me if i felt frustrated because i looked different than my classmates--at a time that i truly believed i was just another frustrated white 12 year old girl. I tried so hard to blend into my surroundings by getting perms, wearing the right clothes and listening to the right music--including New Kids on the Block--just like all the other 12 year olds.
And so when i heard NKOTB were touring again, i felt uneasy. Seeing all the now 30-something year old white women swoon for NKOTB brought it all back.
Then my brother won suite txts for me and a friend. And with reluctance, i went to their concert last night.
We started the night at the Liffy--my intentions were to get a good buzz going to be able to stomach these feelings of inadequacy from years ago come rushing back to me. It was bursting at the seems with 30 something yr old women, some dressed circa 1989, all a chatter with excitement. I looked around feeling 12 again.
Before the concert began, Jordan invited us to text them and the text would be shot up on the big screen while they got the stage ready. Typical texts said, "We've been waiting 15 years! We totally love yoU!!!!'" and "Jordan, will U marry me??? OMG!!!" We tried to text, "NKOTB wants you to vote Obama," but we were too old to figure out how the hell to text.
The concert was almost exactly the same as the one i saw at the met so many years ago. Same songs, same synchronized dancing, same wind blown open shirt solos. There was a random photo montage of very random people who have died on the big screen--including heath ledger (seriously. Random). And a very strange song with a very whorish woman dancing in the middle of their new kids circle with lots of tight crotch shots up on the big screen. And there was a moment when donnie (ah hem, my favorite) cried (shot: Tear streaming down cheek) because he was so overwhelmed by our...loudness.
At one point, one of them commented that a lot has changed in 15 years, and suggested perhaps 15 years was too long. To which, our small group yelled, "NOPE. We're good with 15 years." He then told the crowd that 2 things he has noticed in 15 years is that we can all drink now (seriously. Lots and LOTS of drunk women), and some of 'us' had bulging bellies we were rubbing. To this, one of our small group yelled, "ACTUALLY, we're just older and fatter now!!!" And then, he asked us to go home and give our husbands 15 years "worth of loving," you know, after having seen NKOTB tonight. Most of the crowd cheered at this suggestion; Our small group looked at each other in disgust.
With hesitation, i say overall a good time was had by all. I was surprised how the songs brought back some of the bad inadequate feelings i had in middle school, but some of the good as well (giggling with good friends).