~ cont. ~
After they returned to the main stage they sang 'Twisted'. When I reviewed the album I didn't care for this song, but it's grown on me to the point where it's now among my favorites on the record. Joey did a dance to the song that I feel was strongly influenced by his time on Dancing with the Stars, but while I listened to the song something or another was going on - perhaps the girls in front of me left at that point - and I missed most of the dance. I did note enough of it to shake my head at Joe's shirt, which seemed to be emblazoned with a shiny gold eagle across the chest and shoulder.
One of the neat things about being introduced to the group via Lisa was the absolute immersion in live NKOTB (at last count Lisa owned 26 tapes of NKOTB performances/concerts). Because of that I assumed everyone would recognize what happened next, as it was a big part of the concert repertoire back in the day. Not so. My sister, despite her obsession with NKOTB as a kid, never made it to a concert and had no clue what I was talking about.
When he took the stage alone to sing 'Baby I believe in You' Jordan appeared in a unbuttoned, billowing white shirt, his bare chest and abs exposed to the audience. This, I'm afraid, bordered on uncomfortable for me, but I gotta admit the guy looked good. The last time I saw him was at a club in Milwaukee four or five (?) years ago. I was no further than six feet from the guy and he looked easily ten or fifteen pound overweight. Obviously Jordan's turned things around since then.
He follwed this by breaking into his Platinum solo hit 'Give it to You'.
Joe followed this up by singing his Gold solo hit 'Stay the Same'. I've heard this live multiple times, but THIS WAS FAR AND AWAY THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF IT I've heard. He started out accopala (sp?) and just kept it tight and strong the entire way. I was blown away and he left me with the impression that, in retrospect, that song is much better than I once realized. Damn right that was an audience singalong!
Next up was Donnie's signature 'Cover Girl'. I thought it was campy, but who cares? I love Donnie. Lord knows if wasn't a New Kid he'd have beat the sh*t out of anyone who said they like 'em, but he remains the most dedicated and loyal of the guys. I don't think anyone can question his leadership role in the group, and props to him for that.
After I'll be Lovin' You (Forever)' and 'Click Click Click' (the song that allegedly brought them back together) they finished the concert with their Top 20 hit 'Summertime'. A definite sing-along, Pure New Kids and pure Pop magic.
Ah, you knew there'd be an encore didn't you? They quickly returned for 'Step by Step', then exited again. Chris motioned for me to exit the aisle but I rather disgustingly waved her off. "Wonder what song is next?," I jokingly asked Lisa and she replied with the cutest 'i don't know' shrug and a laugh.
Moments later, they emerged in Celtics jerseys for a version of 'Hangin' Tough' that morphed briefly into 'We Will Rock You'.
Was I waving my hands in the air? Was I waving them like I just don't care?
Look, I said to myself before the song started, 'this might be the one and only chance to hear this song live. Gotsta do it man' and so booyah, there I went. There was a SEA of arms going back and forth - hell, even Farter was doing it - and it was just plain kick ass.
And that was that. We went back to the hotel room and Chris wanted to hang out, but Lisa and I decided to go out. We visted a nearby bar for a second and then hit Steak 'n Shake, loaded to the brim with New Kids fans.
[I overheard one say this was the first time she understood what 'give you some grown man' meant in the song Grown Man. My word woman, tell me you've actually been on a date in your adult life. What the heck did she think it meant? The same woman went on about how she couldn't look at 'sweet Joey' the same after Twisted.
Once again folks, they are thirty-something men, men who have been married/divorced, have kids, etc. They are no longer - as if they ever were - pristine sixteen year old virgins. Get over it.]
A great time and a great concert - my favorite concert to date, beating out Prince for the title.