Monday, January 26, 2015

Boy Bands - How do I love thee?

Boy Bands – How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Don’t laugh or judge, just hear me out.  I really enjoy good pop music.  And who does pop music better than boy bands?  The Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, NSync, One Direction.  If you are looking for good bob your head, dance around, sing at the top of your lungs, feel good pop music - look no further than boy bands.

I remember in middle school falling hard for New Kids on the Block.  I had the posters plastered all over my walls, the jean jacket with all the buttons and even the bedspread and pillow case.  I kissed those boys good night every night!  My favorites being the Knight brothers – Jonathan and Jordan.  They were my everything!

Then as I got older the grunge phase moved in.  I traded in my jean jacket for flannel shirts and Doc Martens and proclaimed my love for all things Nirvana and drummer Dave Grohl.  But inside I never lost my love for boy bands and pop music. 

Then like a gift from the heavens came a band called Backstreet Boys.  Was it true?  Could boy bands really come back?  I could once again proclaim my boy band love!  And after that the flood gates opened up and we had NSync, 98 Degrees and even Hanson – a group of brothers from my home town of Tulsa.

Now in my early teens I was a huge fan of the The All New Mickey Mouse Club and watched it and Kids Incorporated religiously after school.  There I was introduced to Justin, Britney, Christina and JC.  I wanted so badly to be on the show with them.  They had the coolest job.  So naturally I became fans of them all once they were on the radio.

However, when NSync and Backstreet Boys became big I was starting college.  It was frowned on to still be in love with boy bands.  You needed to grow up.  But that didn't matter to me.  I was going to listen to my pop music and love every minute of it.  And of course, you had to pick.  Were you an NSync fan or a Backstreet Boys fan?  I developed my loyalty to Backstreet Boys and to this day they remain my favorite boy band. 

A couple years ago my dream came true… 2 favorite boy bands toured together!  I attended the NKOTBSB concert at BOK Center in Tulsa.  It was a fusion concert of New Kids on the Block (now known as NKOTB) and Backstreet Boys (BSB).  They did a couple songs together, then one group would come out and sing 1 or 2 songs, then the other group would come out for a couple songs. They alternated all night long.  I have to say it was the loudest concert I have ever been to.  Grown women, including myself, were screaming so loud and long that it took until the chorus to figure out what song they were singing.  Worth losing my voice over?  Absolutely! 

In May 2014 my friend Sendi and I traveled to the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City to see Backstreet Boys.  I can’t tell you how excited I was for this concert.  My favorite of the group is Kevin and my favorite song is “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely".  There is one part that Kevin sings in that song and all I cared about all night was to hear that one part.  And guess what, he walked right over to my section as he sang it.  I swear he was singing it right to me!

Now, watching 40 year old men doing cheesy boy band choreography was a bit weird at times but I didn't care.  That concert was everything I had wanted and more.  They even sat down to do an acoustic set while playing their own instruments.  They acknowledged that they can’t be dancing around for the rest of their life so they are branching out and trying to make it so we will still have new music from them for years to come.  Were they the best musicians?  No.  But it didn't matter.  It gave depth to the concert and showed us a different side of them.  And, of course, I loved it!

I saw the current kings of the boy band, One Direction, in August 2014 at BOK Center in Tulsa.  I won these tickets with my friend Charity.  We searched for 4 hours in Downtown Tulsa for those tickets in a scavenger hunt given by Tulsa Pedicabs.  We walked blocks and blocks over and over again.  We were not giving up!  And we found them underneath a huge overpass.  It was totally worth the hunt.

I am not an uber fan of One Direction but I do like their music…. and who doesn't adore their British accents?  I thoroughly enjoyed their concert.  In true boy band style they knew how to work that crowd.  Those boys moved around the stage constantly, making eye contact with as many fans as possible and goofing around when it wasn't their turn to sing.  They even turned the house lights up when they talked to the crowd so they could see the entire place.  They mentioned over and over how loud it was in there.  They had been playing stadiums and ours was the only arena on the tour.  The noise level was outrageous and I even brought ear plugs.  I learned my lesson with the NKOTBSB tour. 

One of my goals is to be able to meet the Backstreet Boys one day and let them know that even when I am 80 years old I will still say how much I love boy bands…..and especially the Backstreet Boys!

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