Know what I did this past weekend? I took Friday off to go see NKOTBSB with Claudia in Orlando. We went there and back in 24 hours, and I spent about 7 of those hours driving, but it was so worth it. (Warning: long-windedness below.)
We left at 10am on Friday and arrived in Orlando around 2pm. We stopped about halfway between here and there for about 10 minutes, but a couple of rainstorms slowed us down along the way. We arrived at WB’s house around 3pm (made a quick detour at Target before heading to Pereiraville), picked her up, we all went to get pedicures, and went back to her house to get ready. As we’re getting all pretty, it was storming outside, and we feared having to run in the rain to the arena. Thankfully it stopped about 10 minutes before we left Pereiraville.
We arrived at the venue as the first act was singing, a boy band called Midnight Red. We only heard about a song and half, so I’m not really sure how good they are, or if I’ve even heard their music before. About 10 minutes later, Matthew Morrison came onstage. I’m a Gleek, so I was really excited about this when I found out he was on tour with NKOTBSB. He sang a few songs he’s done on Glee, and a few original numbers as well. He ended his set with a song called Don’t Stop Dancing, in which he honors Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson and Patrick Swayze by doing some of their better known dance moves. It was great!
About 15 minutes later, the house lights were turned off, and of course the screaming began. After a lengthy intro, NKOTBSB hit the stage and opened the show with a mash up of Single and The One. Here’s a video someone posted on Twitter. Claudia and I had the sheer luck of snagging seats in the second row, at the end of the catwalk, and we are spoiled for life: best seats ever! We were even right in front of a hidey-hole underneath the stage.
The show was amazing (we knew it would be, since we’ve seen NKOTB twice before since they reunited. See here and here). BSB rocked the house as well, and being up front near the guys really allowed us to get to “know” them a bit better. For example, in spite of the tattoos and the eyeliner and the “bad boy” image, AJ McLean is a doll. He winked at us, and would wave and make little gestures to us girls. Brian is a riot, he was being silly whenever he wasn’t singing. Nick is as handsome in real life as he seems. Howie is adorable, and such a cutie. During one particular song, he brought his mom up on stage to sing to her (the other guys brought up audience members).
During Tonight, NKOTB went into the audience for the chorus part, and as Jonathan was coming back up, he was greeting some of us by the stage. I was the last hand he shook before going back onto the stage, and that was the first of of several magical moments of the evening. You know I considered never washing my hand again…
A short while later, NKOTB announced that because this was BSB’s first show back home, they had a special surprise for them. Then Shawn, Wanya and Nathan from Boyz II Men came out through the hidey-hole right in front of us. They sang Motown Philly, announced their upcoming album appropriately titled “Twenty” (this year is their 20th year of being together), and then broke into “End of the Road”. The guys joined them, and we were serenaded by all 12 of them. It was absolutely lovely.
The show’s end came way too soon. NKOTBSB closed the show with their mash up of Hangin’ Tough/Everybody, which rocks. The house lights came back on, and I was hoarse from all the screaming during the previous almost-two hours. Due to another stroke of sheer luck, we were able to get tickets to an after-party at a local club just blocks from the venue, so we walked over there, hoping for up-close encounters with any of the guys. We were there for a while, I’d say about an hour, before Jordan showed up, then Donnie. Jordan stayed upstairs in the VIP area posing for pictures and signing autographs for the fans that paid the upgraded after-party fee. Donnie was in the smaller VIP area, which also required an upgraded fee, but not as high as Jordan’s (as this doubled as a release party for his new album). We were near the bar, on the dance floor, while Donnie spoke and sang and pretty much lead a party from the VIP section. Boyz II Men came onto the VIP area as well, as did Jordan once he was done upstairs. Also in the house was Joey Fatone from NSync, so it was a 90’s boy band kind of night.
The guys left the club around 2:30am, and sped away in a shuttle bus. We waved at the bus, watched it leave, and walked back to the arena garage. We got to the front of the garage, and were pleasantly surprised by five tour buses parked inside the first floor. There were a few people waiting on the sidewalk, maybe about 15 girls, so we joined them, hoping for a glimpse of anyone. We saw Jordan talking to some people, and Jonathan get off one of the buses for a smoke (yuck). Then they both got on the bus and a few minutes later it rolled away. Then we saw Donnie get off the shuttle bus, and it seemed as if he were getting something from this bus to put in the big tour bus (aka The BabyDaddy Bus). We all shouted “Donnie, come say hi!”, and a security guard came by and said that they were about to leave so none of the guys would be coming by to say hi, but that we could stay and watch the buses roll away if we wanted to. Not even five minutes later though, Donnie ran over to us. He said there was no time to pose for pictures, but he’d say hello. And he did, he said hello to each of us and shook our hands. Then he ran back to the bus, but Lump (his adorable doggie) needed to pee before going on the road, so while one of their people took Lump out, Danny ran over and said Hi. We were able to get a picture with him, which is great because as I told him, “then I’d have to stalk you back home”.
As we were taking the picture, my camera battery died, and we couldn’t check to see if the picture came out okay. We headed to the car, drove back to Pereiraville and charged the camera for a bit as we got out of our clothes and into our PJ’s. Thankfully, the picture was perfect, and we went to sleep shortly after that, around 3:45am.
We woke up the next morning around 7:30am and packed up our things while WB made us a lovely breakfast of French Toast and bacon. I brought WB a cafetera, and showed her how to make cafe con leche, so we had that with our breakfast as well. We left Pereiraville at 10am, and drove straight for 3 hours and 20 minutes, arriving at Claudia’s house at 1:27pm.
It was a whirlwind, exciting, crazy, tiring trip, but completely worth it. We not only touched but met some of the New Kids…and it only took 21 years!