“Tonight. Tonight. Tonight. Tonight. La, la, la, la, la, la, tonight.”
Age fifteen came rushing back again like the proverbial freight train just a few minutes ago, although I’m quite sure my friends experienced just a bit more hearing loss over it than I did. I received my concert call the very moment New Kids on the Block hit the stage at Kiss Concert 2008. Every year a few local stations have their version of an all day concert. There are generally a few stages with varied acts from local “who?” bands to “holy freaking crap, its them!” type bands. WXKS, Kiss 108 FM, has been featuring the hottest pop bands since 1979 at their Kiss Concert; an annual show that is a staple for Bostonians. I have been to a few over the years but none as exciting as tonight must be for all us thirty something bubble gum chewing, pegged jean wearing, side ponytail sporting fans who wear the shirt of the band they are going to see on the night of the show; la, la, la, la, la, la. Sorry, it just slipped out.
For the first time in over fifteen years the New Kids are taking the stage, and busting out a few moves that hopefully will not land them in ICU after a hip replacement from on-stage injuries. All joking aside, I will go right ahead and own this one. I loved these cute little dudes from Boston. That’s right. I have their music in my iPod and every time one of their songs comes on I smile thinking back on all the fun we had obsessing over their music and posters, even though most of the words escape me after all this time. I could not bring myself to actually attend the event so instead unabashedly requested my concert call in a text this morning while on my way to work.
When the song started playing and all I could hear were hundreds of screaming fans then singing (likely my friends and the people around them, not the actual band) that same smile crept out again. I decided to sit down and write this because in all truth the smile was in direct relation to remembering a simpler time in my youth when there were not so many complications; bills to pay or dishes to wash. Well maybe there were but the mind sure can soften over time huh? I was a high school student, part time worker at a dentist’s office (not even touching that irony), varsity gymnast, girlfriend, friend and writer. I got to work in a preschool for one of my classes even though I did not go to a vocational high school and belonged to the Home Economics Club. It is safe to say I was just as random then, as I am now.
One of the most exciting things to ever happen in relation to NKOTB was to be featured on television, screaming for our Boston band. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we all skipped school. Our sense of adventure sent us into the city via subway; when cutting we could frequently be found eating lunch at TGI Fridays then buying music at Tower Records on Newbury St. On this day we were just about to leave Tower when we saw some familiar faces going up the escalator; it was the two hosts from the now defunct, local celebrity news show Evening Magazine and Billy Costa a host from Kiss 108. We went right back up, went over to talk to them and heard the magical question “you girls don’t happen to be New Kids fans?” Off came winter coats to reveal the gift shop of merchandise we were all wearing. I figure we put at least one of their kids through college so your welcome Jordan Jr. (please note I have no idea if any of the guys in the band have kids, this is for humor solely). We spent the next two hours cheering and clapping on cue under the hottest lights ever, listening to the same lines over and over. To a sixteen year old fan it was awesome. We got autographs and the air date then headed home discussing a good timeline seeing as though we were just taped for television and we were supposed to be in school.
The randomness of me means that I will never stop feeling some kind of high school elation every time I hear one of their songs because days like that will always come flooding in. My jaw hurts from smiling so big when listening to my call through screams and nostalgia. To complete my journey to 1988 I need a vanilla coke, ice cream sundae and a Marlboro Red. On second thought, there are some things I would rather remember as perfect the first time than ever live again.
“Well, I guess, it’s a brand new day after all, every time we hear the curtain call”