When the group moved to the B stage we had a great view, and just like in Chicago the crowd went nuts for Dirty Dancing. YaYa's face lit up during this time too, and it was the first time I think she really got into the full swing of the concert.
Well, it wasn't *that* close, but that's certainly far closer to the mark than this one. We'd be on the far right of this photo, straight across from Jordan, assuming we're somewhere in the shot.
'Round about Click
I realized that I was in the clear. LuLu was fast asleep, YaYa was content, and we were in the home stretch. The money wasn't a waste, there'd be no meltdown, no early exit, and no hard feelings. Hot dog!
For Summertime YaYa was singing full blast and bopping around in her seat (remember, I did try waking LuLu at this point).
When it came time for the final encore, Hanging Tough/We Will Rock You, I told YaYa enough was enough. On your feet, throw your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care.
Oh, she was hesitant at first, and glanced around to see if she'd be the 'only one'. But once she saw thousands of arms in the air, she joined right along. Personally, unlike Chicago, it felt eerily familar and comfortable to do it. Yikes.
When the house lights came on I threw Lu over my shoulders and went up to Lisa's seats. On the way out of the arena I saw Nikki again, and saw the woman I'd later buy some pictures from. I was also seen by but didn't see an employee of mine who was a few rows beind me. 'You were kind of recognizable. There's not many guys your size with a goatee at that concert.'
[not many, but some: in one segment Donnie thanked all the guys who'd come out with their wives or girlfriends, and the smart single guys who'd just realized the opportunites to be had there. During this the camera stayed on a big, bearded young guy with multiple piercings]
[I also saw a woman featured in a ho-hum Milwaukee Journal column about devoted fans. Please. Lisa's done far more things for her fandom than that woman. Where was her write-up, huh?]
I'm telling you, it was like being at a high school reunion, but without all the baggage and anxiety.
On the way to the parking garage Lisa and her friends decided to wait by the NKOTB bus to meet the guys, and somehow YaYa wormed her way into the mix. It was 11 pm on a school day, but the next day was her birthday and I'd already conceded her absence in my head. So I left YaYa with Lisa and took LuLu, still over my shoulder, on a two block walk to the car.
[The ladies had promised me a ride to my van, but had reneged in their quest for NKOTB. So Lu and I had exited the door on the far side of the arena from our parking spot]
Sometime later they would in fact meet Danny Wood, who took the time to stop and take a photograph with YaYa in honor of her birthday.
'She's adorable,' he told Lisa.
[note: Right as this important event took place Jolene's camera battery gave out, and all we have left is the camera phone picture. Don't think I'll forget Jo. Or forgive.]
That's the back of YaYa's head in the above pic.
Meanwhile Lu and I returned home, NKOTB on the radio, and went to bed. Lisa and YaYa never did return home, choosing instead to crash at a local hotel once their quest ended well after after midnight.
Obviously I'm overjoyed that my two oldest kids have now seen their first concert and that it was New Kids on the Block. Aside from that, however, how was the show?
The crowd was lame compared to Chicago, but in return I think the guys tried extra hard to make the show memorable. Jon seemed to be having a *lot* of fun, and Joe's voice was spot-on impressive yet again.
I prefered Chicago, not only because it was my first time seeing them but because the Milwaukee show was hampered, initially, by worrying about the kids and later by having to remain seated so as not to block YaYa's view. I'd have much prefered to have been on my feet and moving. And either way it would have been great to have had Lisa beside me.
Still, a great show and I'm so glad I decided to buck up and make it happen.