Review – NKOTBSB @ Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN 6-21-11
Jun 22nd, 2011
Category: Backstreet Boys, Bridgestone Arena, Concert Reviews, Nashville, New Kids On The Block, The, NKOTBSB, Written Reviews
There is nothing more exhilarating than going to a concert where you know every word to every song. When it was announced that New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys were merging into supergroup, NKOTBSB, I just about lost it. When a press release went out that the NKOTBSB tour would stop in Nashville, I officially lost it.
I mean, the NKOTB reunion a few years back had me throwing bras on stage and taking bus trips to Vegas for a quick boy-band fix. I don’t even want to get into the stories I have from Backstreet’s glory days. Let’s just say this occasion marked my 17th BSB concert, not including Nick and AJ’s solo shows. BSB is my Phish.
My sister and I may have been ticketless upon drop off at the Bridgestone Arena, but at least we looked fierce! If there is any show I’m willing to spend big bucks on, it’s this one, but no need; some super nice folks hooked us up with extra tickets they had. We were in the venue before Jordin Sparks could finish “Battlefield.”
As the anticipation grew for the nine-man team’s grand entrance, I did a little fan-watching. Generations of women filled this place dressed in homemade shirts, crimped hair, neon colors, and buttons bigger than a baby’s head. It brought me back to my first NKOTB concert when I planned my outfit for months, asking mom if I could borrow her gold and pink sequined belt (which looked awesome with my way too tight stone-washed jeans, by the way). Sis and I decided to go the “groupie” route in attire for this event, which is also fun and complies with any decade’s fashion.
The lights went down and a huge screen flashed pictures of each of our boys (well, men now), and the screams started. Attached to the stage was a long catwalk with another stage at the end that elevated for the audience in the higher levels. I read on the “Oh No They Didn’t” blog that Jordan Knight refers to it as the “penis stage,” because of its shape, which makes a whole lot of subliminal sense.
It was a conveyor belt of hot ass men making their way down the runway singing every song I resort to when I need an effortless pick me up. In fact, there was so much hotness going on, I didn’t know where to look. I felt like a cat trying to track down one of those red laser lights.
Donnie Wahlberg is clearly the main attraction of NKOTBSB. When all of the guys are on stage together, he leads and everyone feeds off his shadow. He may not have the best voice in the group, but his performance power and body more than compensate for it.
It sounds like these concerts are an innocent strip club for women. Yes, these guys are nice to look at, and that’s a lot of the fun; but they were also the first boys we loved. They sang us through heartbreak and are the reason why the boys in school went from cooties to cuties. So really guys, you should be nicer to them.
The setlist was hit after hit and being the perfect age for this show (able to fully enjoy and participate in the success of both bands), I could mentally time travel throughout the show, and every memory was a happy one. That’s why I love them. I’m sure I cried my eyes out to a number of times to those songs, but all that ran through my head was happy times with friends.
The pace of the show was great too. I thought there would be a lot more of the weird Coldplay/BSB/NKOTB mashup medley that happened at the beginning. There was some of that, which kept it new for those of us that have seen both bands before; but for the most part, it was each group switching off for a few numbers. Then, they’d all bust in together.
I didn’t know how NKOTBSB could top the Hangin’ Tough Boston Celtic-stylee finale, but they managed it. They mixed in “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and brought out BSB in Orlando jerseys. Other favorite moments included Danny coming into our section, the “Games” rap, anything and everything AJ, “Drowning,” and just seeing my boys again. What I would give to be one of those hookers that got pulled up on stage. *sigh*
This “power in numbers” idea is really working out for NKOTBSB. It was a smart decision. You get fans of both bands coming out. They can take breaks in a show while keeping the energy up. They can mess up on a dance move and no one will notice – because there are NINE of them. They can dance less and do more serious statuesque poses and formations while maintaining the same impact on the crowd. I’m just so glad NKOTB didn’t choose *NSYNC. Yuck! Juuuust kidding…kind of.
Someone said that they felt the audience was Backstreet-heavy, which made me happy. Since NKOTB made their comeback, they’ve been getting a great response, but BSB started to fade a bit, losing our tall, dark, man-skirt-wearing Kevin along the way.
It’s nice to see that people are indeed “Keeping the Backstreet Pride Alive.” I selfishly didn’t do video fan reviews after this show, because I wanted to fully enjoy it, and not have to work. Plus, we needed to get to the Tin Roof, in hopes AJ’s after party announcement was legit. He never showed up, but over at McFadden’s the New Kids weren’t afraid to throw down. Should’ve known the Boston boys would be out and about. Dang it! Next time.
I’m hoping to do a little road trip next month and make up for the fan review video that I bailed on this time and to see all my boys again, of course.
If you’ve seen this tour, please comment with your thoughts and reviews, because when YOU TELL CONCERTS – it’s cooler!
Huge thanks to the super kind people that made this happen. Such a great night!