For this, I have to get specific on dates…it was about 1:30am on the night/morning of May 12th/13th. I’m in my bed attempting to sleep (because let’s face it, I probably got home from work at 5ish on the 12th then fell asleep for 3 hours or so, then couldn’t go back to sleep to save my life, but I digress). Roommate is finishing up work at her job (at the time) in downtown Nashville, and it was the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Predators were in the middle of a historic run, so things were crazy for her. We had texted before I attempted to lay down to sleep to see if we were going to go to our kickboxing gym the next morning to work out before she went to work for the day and I inevitably went back to sleep (because that’s just what I do). So, I’m laying there, and I can’t sleep so I pick up my phone again to see a text message from Roommate in all capital letters saying “MARIAH MARIAH HOLY SH*T OH MY GOD” to which I frantically replied “WHAT WHAT OH MY GOD WHAT.” She screenshots an email that she had just gotten saying “congratulations, you’ve won two tickets and meet and greet passes to the New Kids On the Block Total Package Tour stop at Bridgestone Arena on May 17th.”
I sat up straight in my bed so fast that I think my pillows and blankets all fell in the floor. Long story short, she was picked as a winner for the Spotify playlist contest that they had back then, and I was going to get to be the lucky recipient of the extra meet and greet (because you know we already had tickets). Anyway…we screamed and yelled a lot via text as she got off work and made her way home, and I eventually drifted off to sleep. Believe it or not, we actually got up to go work out at 7:45 the next morning because WE HAD RENEWED MOTIVATION TO ACTUALLY GET IT DONE. LOL I’ll probably never forget walking out of my room and her walking out of her room, neither of us saying anything, but we both just started jumping up and down and flailing around like fools. We’re adults, I promise.
So anyway…fast forward to Wednesday, the day of the show. I had taken the day off of work (I’m a teacher, and hadn’t taken a single personal day all year, so I was in a very I EARNED THIS SH*T sort of mood). Roommate and a few other friends of ours had gone to the show in Cincinnati the night before, we had other friends coming to our place later to go to the show together, so we all slept in a bit. Had some Waffle House for lunch (don’t worry, we had it after the show too), got ready, laughed…it was the best. 😀 Roommate and I had to be downtown by 4ish, I think, for our meet and greet because it wasn’t part of the regular VIP meet and greet. The closer it got to time for us to leave, the quieter myself and Roommate got. That’s how you know we’re nervous about something. The car ride downtown was almost silent. LOL We got downtown, parked, and got down to the arena. We waited around until Tour Manager Lady came to get us (and by us, I mean there was a small group of us going back at that time, maybe 7 of us? It was insane.). So we start to go down to the backstage area…I mean we truly went backstage. We were behind the actual stage, then went into the dressing room/production areas. First person we see back there? Danny Wood. Eventually we had to wait in a small room for the guys to be ready because you know…New Kids time. 😀 We were in there for at least 20 minutes. During that time Victor came in to say helllo…to which I said (in my mind) HI THERE HOTTIE VICTOR. Thing I learned at that moment in time? Vic has blue eyes. I am a COMPLETE sucker for blue eyes. He said hi to everyone, then left…then I see Donnie just walk by the room we’re in…he waved and said hi…I saw Joe’s mini-me’s walking around with their mom in the hallway…then JON KNIGHT JUST WALKS IN, SAYS HI TO ALL OF US AND STANDS AT THE DOOR TALKING TO TOUR MANAGER LADY FOR 5 MINUTES. I was literally standing there saying (in my mind) WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?!
Finally, Victor comes back to get us and take us to do our little meet and greet. Like any good fangirl, I’m not trying to be first in line for this nonsense because…well, that’s too much pressure. But Roommate and I ended up being first freaking ones in our little line. *facepalm* We walked down the hall and waited for just a minute while all of the New Kids gathered. First we see Donnie and Danny again, then Jon and Joe, and then…..Jordan. Maybe it was just me, but I felt like sirens were going off, heavenly light started shining down, no one else was there and I was in the zone and focused on my main priority. I love me some Jordan. That precious, precious Unicorn. Anyway, right before we started taking the pictures, Donnie just stops and waves at us all (it was so cute), and he motioned for myself and Roommate to come on over. Now, let me just preface the entire interaction by saying that Donnie was wearing his signature sunglasses for this whole thing. First up in our little meet and greet line is Jon. We hug, exchange pleasantries, and then I move on to Joe. Joe…I can’t look Joe in the eyes, ya know why? Because with those blue eyes, it’s like I’m trying to look at Medusa and I just turn to stone. Anyway, I glanced for the shortest amount of time that I could possibly glance without making a complete fool of myself, then move on to Donnie. Donnie gives me a fantastic hug and says hi and possibly something else, but he said these things in his DDub voice…which makes me go very weak in the knees. Thankfully I stayed upright. Next…NEXT was Jordan. Now, May 17th also happens to be Jordan’s birthday…HOW did I manage to get lucky enough to be able to actually tell him happy birthday in person, ON HIS BIRTHDAY?!?! I still don’t know. He was very sweet, and gave a real hug (always a question with him), then I moved on to Danny and said hi, hugged, and all that. Next was picture time. By the time I finished with Danny, Roommate still had to say hi to him, and then get situated for the picture. Now, I had worn a shirt that I had made that basically said “Jordan Knight Over Everything” (I did a little design sort of thing, hard to explain without seeing it). Donnie looks right at me and says “You need to stand here next to Jordan.” That Wahlberg…I’m going to start saying that he was my wingman for the day. And that just shows that he took the opportunity with his sunglasses and whatnot to actually look and noticed what my shirt said. I figure if the Captain says I need to stand next to Jordan, then I need to stand next to Jordan, amiright?!?! 😀
*normally I would insert the picture here, but I’m not sure if roommate wants to be on this particular blog (we’ve both lost quite a bit of weight since it was taken, and while we love it as a whole, we don’t LOVE the way we look, ya know?), plus it’s almost 1am and I’m in a different part of the state than she is and I can’t just walk to the other side of an apartment and ask*
So pics were taken, Donnie says something to both of us in his DDub voice (I think I shivered), and then we moved out of the way so the other people could have their moment (yeah, I totally forgot about there being other people there too, lol). We had to wait for everyone to get done, and when they were and we were waiting for someone to escort us back out of the building, Donnie came over and gave everyone a hug again. I love that dude. So much. He was my first crush (at the tender age of 5), so I’ll always have a soft spot for him.
We got outside, and at that point all that had just happened to us was finally sinking in, and I was basically jumping up and down and squealing. We met up with friends at a restaurant down the block (heh), and we squealed some more, but this time with margaritas and tacos.
We finally go inside for the show, and we have pit tickets. We ended up basically in the second “row” in front of the round part of the main stage (those that saw the tour know what I’m talking about). Boyz II Men were up first, and they were fantastic, per usual. I had seen them on the first Package Tour, but also by themselves at a couple of different places, so I knew I’d enjoy it. What I didn’t know was that I would develop a crush on Nate Morris and that he would become my Boyz II Men boyfriend. 😀
Next was Paula Abdul…oh Paula. While it was cool to see her perform (and by perform, I mean dance and lip sync, because we were close enough to watch her mouth the words at the wrong time), it was kind of…boring. Spoiler alert: I ended up seeing this tour six times, and it got more boring and phoned in as we went along. Anyway, it was fun to dance around a bit while she was on stage.
Finally, it was time. My friends had warned me about the show, basically saying that I was going to die. I had done really well at not looking at any set lists or spoiling it or anything, so I was proud of myself for that. Now, if my first show had been further into the tour, I probably would have caved, but this was like, the 3rd or 4th show, so it worked for me. Anyway, I basically kind of lost it when New Kids came on stage, and then I never really got it back. AMAZING show…easily their best tour since they’ve reunited. I sang…danced…in one of my videos you can hear one of us in our group yell “I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO LOOK” because seriously, there was so much to take in.
So the show is moving along, and then finally, it was time for Jordan’s solo, which we all know by now was “Hard (Not Lovin’ U).” Roommate just kind of hit me and yelled PUT YOUR CAMERA DOWN AND WATCH, I GOT YOU! And I was so glad she did, because I think I blacked out…to this day I still can’t even come close to describing what I witnessed. At one point I know he was standing right above me with his shirt pulled up, and someone yelled SOMEONE GET MARIAH. LOL it was the best. It literally took me all of the next song to recover (spoiler alert, I didn’t figure out until about 2 shows later that the next song was “Single” because I was still recovering from Jordan).
Anyway, the day as a whole was the most fun I had gotten to have in a LONG time…it was good to release a year’s worth of stress, uncertainty, and general…issues in one night. And to do it with some of my favorite people was even better, and possibly the best part.
Other random tidbits: Chris Kirkpatrick was at the show because he lives in Nashville now. I looked over during Boyz II Men’s set and saw him standing in the pit watching. I had the urge to go say hi, but resisted. Didn’t want to be that girl, ya know? Dirrty Dawg performed live is the best thing ever…so is Happy Birthday and Popsicle (although I know quite a few people who will disagree with me on that one). Big & Rich showed up to sing “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” during the break when the guys are coming back to the main stage from the B stage. It was…odd…but we got Donnie in a cowboy hat out of it, so it was a winning situation for all of us.
Until next time…when we start true Boybandwich 2017 with the Total Package Tour in…Indianapolis!