NKOTBSB at the John Labatt Centre - August 7, 2011

This lucky evil gal was invited to be a #JLCReviewer for the NKOTBSB concert at the John Labatt Centre on Sunday night.   I can't thank them enough for the amazing opportunity!  I have been a NKOTB fan for years.  Of course, this blog also has a NKOTB history (here and here).  Unfortunately, I was never much of a Backstreet Boys fan.  I can't say that their music is terrible (because it actually is pretty awesome) but I pretty much hated them their whole boy band career because my sister loved them - and we never really got along.  When it came time to pick a sidekick for my NKOTBSB adventure, there was no question - my sister had to be there with me.  You know, so we could put this boy band rivalry to end. 

The crowds filed in single file, armed with custom-made shirts, signs and Donnie Wahlberg tattoos. Their glitter and face paint smeared from the rain.  They are the super fans ("Block Heads" and the "Backstreet Army") all together, all going crazy, all with a good set of lungs. Whether they have been fans for decades or years, the energy from the crowd was incredible.

 It was absolutely surreal. Everyone was overjoyed to be there...

(except maybe this guy)
Our seats couldn't have  been any more perfect for us.  We were close to the stage and surrounded by some of the nicest boy band fans (and one of the best little dancers) I have ever met. 

The first opening act was Neverest, a Canadian pop (rock?) band.  I had never heard of Neverest before, but apparently I have heard them on the radio or something because I recognized one of their songs.  They were a perfect fit as openers for NKOTBSB, and maybe one day we will even see a comeback concert from these guys (I'm sure I'll have an artificial hip and walker by then).

Next up was Mr. Schue--- I mean, Matthew Morrison.  You may recognize this guy from such things as the  "EVILFLU's people with weird-shaped mouths who are still kind of hot club" or from a little show called Glee.  Oh and he's not gay.  Just so you know. When he came on I was in the world's longest line to get a nice cold bevvie, but he still sounded amazing from out in the lobby. One suggestion for the JLC is to get some TVs up near the concession stands so fans can still watch the show while waiting in line *wink* (my brilliance at work). Once I switched the longest line (that I realized didn't move once while being in it) I got through pretty quickly and went back out to catch the rest of Morrison's amazingly (emotional?) set.  He ended his tour with NKOTBSB with a pretty spectacular dance number. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Schue very much.  He looks like he would be a lot of fun at a wedding - and he has a really cute little guitar ukulele.

Then it was the time that thousands of women - and five men, had been waiting for - NKOTBSB (aka boyband spectacular) rose from under the stage in a big puff of stage smoke.  The mother in me was watching them rise from the stage, 9 men on a little circular platform, hoping that none of them got their sparkly shoes too close to the edge.  

Before I get too ahead of myself here, I have to talk about this set for a minute.  This was a massive stage that gave everyone a chance to touch the hands (etc?) of their favourite boy band member.  Just think of the stage in  Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy video (ohh yes, I did go there) only with a bajillion more in their budget and complete with fireworks and pyrotechnics that made my sister and I have more heart attacks then when AJ came out in his undies.  

I really wish I could tell you every song they played, but my memory is not like it used to be back in the early 90's when I first saw NKOTB, but I do know they played pretty much all of them - well the ones that really mattered anyway. Maybe I was just a little too distracted?

There were tons of crotch grabs, choreographed hip thrusts and shirt rippage to keep these super fans screaming.  The fact that I do not have a voice today has nothing to do with me screaming though (lies).  

Because this was the end of the NKOTBSB tour (for now...) there were a lot of hijinks on the stage.  Boy bands got crazy and stuck signs on the backs of unsuspecting band mates, stole microphone stands and came out during the other band's set in skimpy clothing (to the enjoyment of many ladies in the audience).  

Things turned serious though when the guys took a moment to thank their fans.  In return the fans held up pink hearts (aww I wanted one!).  They were very appreciative and emotional. To be completely honest, I couldn't believe the dedication of some of these fans.  My sister and I decided to go to the buses after the show (I was still on a mission for a picture of a NKOTB or BSB tattoo at this point) and when chatting with some of the fans, we realized just how far they had traveled to be there that night.  When one NKOTB fan was asked what she was going to do now that the NKOTBSB tour is over (or is it...?), she simply shrugged and said "save up for the next one". 

I want to thank the John Labatt Centre so, so much for picking me to be a #JLCReviewer.  I had an amazing time, I only wish it was my permanent job (okay, maybe not if I had to sit through a Justin Bieber concert or something).  My sister and I go to spend some much needed time together and we bonded over boy bands - a 20 year rivalry put to rest.   It couldn't have been a more amazing night.

I was provided with two tickets to the NKOTBSB concert and coupons for concessions for doing this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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