A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to Grand Rapids Michigan to attend my NKOTB concert. And that concert is STILL on my mind so I thought maybe if I blogged it, I could move on and you know, actually get some work done! Before I share the concert, let’s take a little trip back in time. Back to when I first stepped foot into the world of Blockheads and craziness. In case you haven’t been here before read my posts about why it took me 35 years to go to my first NKOTB concert. Simply put, my mom worked nights and we didn’t have money so I never got to see the young version of the guys.
Back then, in 2013, was the original Package Tour, which also had Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees as opening acts. Wonderful, I loved them both! I flew all the way to Orlando to celebrate my first college graduation (culinary degree) and we all decided to go to the concert while there. The concert SOUNDED amazing but I was way up in the stands. You have to understand that I had been busy with life and had no idea what Block Nation was or even VIP. I was SO new.
Obviously the phone back then was crappy and the view in person was a little better, we could see everything just not faces. I vowed from that day on that I wouldn’t attend another NKOTB concert unless I was close enough to look them in the eye. Lord help my wallet.
Okay so fast forward to last week, it was Thursday and I was graduating college again, this time with a photography degree. I worked my ass off and did it! Knowing I had a very amazing day coming a couple days later I decided to decorate my cap!
I never really slept decent after graduation; the excitement just won. Before I knew it, it was Saturday and time for NKOTB. I got up early to make cookies for the guys (it’s tradition, and they KNOW I make them cookies) and then it was time to get pretty. I had to be on point, because this time, I had an ultimate upgrade. I was going to spend a few minutes alone just me and the guys (well plus security and a photographer lol) and I wanted to make a massive impact.
…pretty sure I nailed it.
This outfit was inspired by the shirt, which was made by Sharon Knight (yes, Jordan and Jon’s sister!) and she has the absolute cutest blockhead shirts on her Etsy site Sparkle By Knight. She will custom make anything in any colors, so being a Jordan girl, I wanted Knight to be red. That is when I decided to find the leggings, a very shiny metallic red. I added the belt because I am very large on the top, not as much in the belly and large shirts to cover the girls drape like tents over the tummy. Then of course the shoes, I have had them since the Main Event tour, had to re-jewel them since but they are still amazing.
So I finally get to Grand Rapids and park, then it was off to a local dive called Hopcat. AMAZING FOOD. I had a cocktail, and it went straight to my head I was surprised my tolerance had reached rock bottom. I had to keep that in check, I didn’t want to be drunk before the meet and greets
After lunch we went to wait by the buses. We didn’t have a lot of time because I had to check in for VIP at 3. We got there in time to see Jenny, Evan and his friend, lumpy and Donnie arrive and climb on their bus. I didn’t take pics because I was cheering for Evan so loud. I pulled up my phone and was able to catch Nathan from Boyz II Men before I had to leave. Sadly, both Donnie and Joe came out not long after and I missed it, but that’s okay.
So we get checked in and head to the party. I am not one to complain but they put us in a room so TINY this time, it barely fit all the people that had barstools and there was like a billion more 5 star people to come in after us. Last tour we had a GIANT room that was amazing! You could sit down to eat! They had a little photo boomerang thing and a cruise cardboard cutout in there along with some finger foods and the bar. The posters of the guys didn’t fit they were outside the room.
Before long Marcello came to tell us it was almost time for the tour. Now, if you are close to me you know that I have been fan-girling Marcello for a while. I had been following his instagram since the last tour because he is amazing as a photographer but his black and white candids really just blow me away. He is one of my concert photography idols. So it was no surprise that every time he came near us I fangirled (on the inside of course). My friends had fun watching this happen!
So then it was backstage tour, which is not really backstage, it was just watching the crew put the stage together. We thought we would be getting our on stage meet and greet pic after but obviously it wasn’t ready, so there was a lot of hurry up and wait. They wanted us in the hall waiting for that which was fine because the 5 star room was hot and packed by then. We were sat down to watch a 15 minute “making the tour” video, and I went to look at my phone to check my hair because we were getting pics after it. I got yelled at so loud, like I was going to take pictures of an exclusive video. It was just stupid.
Eventually it was time to meet the guys! The VIP handlers were not NEAR as good as last tour’s team. They snapped a lot, yelled, and the one girl told our group as we lined up on the stairs to hurry or she would skip us (my friend heard this being said, I did not but my friend basically told her “We are making sure we maximize our enjoyment for the $1k price we paid for this experience so you can wait for us to get in order.” And the group ahead of us hadn’t even taken a picture yet. I had to run to the top of the stairs because Jordan threw a curve ball and was on the end which means I was going first, with my girl Tina right behind me. This means I was first too, first to hug everyone, first one they see. Bonus points to the amazing outfit!
There was a split second where I wish time stood still and that was when it was my turn to start walking. All of them were looking at me, smiling. I wish I had a camera in my eyes to capture that because it really was amazing. Danny was first and had those amazing arms wide open with a giant smile like he KNEW me, and maybe he does. I have met him a few times and even attended his Solowood show. That was just the beginning of amazing hugs. Donnie gave me a good one and started to check out my outfit and maybe say something but I just looked at him and said I will see you in a few minutes and winked and walked away. Then it was beautiful amazing hugger Jon, and I asked him how his bees were doing and he lit up! Then it was Joe and I got a proper amazing hug and said I am sorry I can’t believe I forgot to hug you in Chicago! He starts trying to think but Jordan was just standing there waiting for me says “Ah shit, you can’t forget that!” so I of course side eyed him and said “I know, right?” Then it was Jordan, who gave me an amazing hug I said Hi how are you, he said good and smiled. Then it was time for pics. First pic fine. Second pic he was doing something funny so I did too and wouldn’t you know it, Marcello snapped and Jordan yelled FUCK I wasn’t ready take another one! (they didn’t) but I love the outtake because the story behind it is gold and Tina and I got to witness all of it
After that it was back to the party and I finally got a glass of wine. I wish I had the wits about me to remember that I had a gift for Jordan. I remembered that I was going to wear my graduation cap but completely forgot to put on Jordan’s bracelets that I got him. It wasn’t long and I had to get in line for the ultimate, I was the 3rd one in. I put the hat on and started to breathe. I wasn’t fan girling I was just realizing this would be the first time all of them were focused on ME.
THE ULTIMATE WAS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY AMAZING.
A couple of amazing candids, first Donnie checking the outfit, which he loved a LOT.
And Joe went apeshit happy over my cap!
And then there is that moment where I realized I make Jordan light up and he loves me… 4th meet and greet with this one and he finally SAW me. #Love
I was in a dream state by then and went to get another glass of wine because wow that was insane. We were told to wait in the VIP room for our USB bracelets so we did, and I found out that as I was getting my 2nd glass of wine, Donnie friggin poked his head through the divider right where I was sitting. At any rate we waited and out comes Marcello and his macbook. We started to move closer because he was copying files to the usb bracelets. I fangirled right there. I handed my phone to my friend and said please take my pic and she took 26 . I love the pics she took because it shows me being a fan girl. I talked to Marcello and told him he is one of my idols, and he was like ah hell no I am not that good. Of course I told him yes you are and we talked photography. I told him I fell in love with his black and white work and he stopped copying files and asked if I wanted to see something he was working on. OF COURSE!
I went from fangirl to colleague in a matter of 5 or 10 minutes, and I can’t believe how blessed I was to be able to spend time with Marcello! I am obviously passionate about NKOTB but Marcello is a fellow photographer who I look up to so it was amazing to actually talk to him!
After this it was show time! I found out earlier that the bar stools had been shifted to the left. My original spot according to Ticketmaster was a couple stools to the right of center. When we had our video viewing I nearly fainted as they put numbers out, because I was now in the CENTER!
OMG you guys, I wanted to be close to center for some group pics while they were by the pit people but this was absolutely insane. I don’t know what I did to deserve this kind of blessing for this day but it was absolutely amazing.
Boyz II Men were out first, and while I was closer to them at Mixtape festival last year than I had been at my first concert, this time they were right in my face. Not only that but I am pretty sure Shawn was a little smitten with me because he was by me a ton, smiled a lot and gave me a rose, and I mouthed I love you to him and he smiled and looked like he blushed. It was great. They sounded absolutely amazing again. I was so happy to see this so close.
Paula was next. I wasn’t as happy about her performance because I already saw it at Mixtape. I always enjoy her sexy dancers. But I don’t think she was actually singing. She still dances like she is 20 years old though! She only came away from the main stage once as well so I don’t have many pics, but one I did get is my favorite
And then it was time for the boys. I am not posting 100 pics here, you can go to my Instagram to see those and all my videos. Now I had a bar stool last tour and it was amazing then, but I had wished for more Jordan and Donnie in front of me. This concert? I got exactly what I wished for. Jordan was in front of me for half the concert and Donnie for the other. My two guys right there. I was in the perfect spot for a Jordan girl!
This show was AMAZING, from the old school medleys to the new album songs, it was my absolute favorite NKOTB concert yet. Maybe it’s because Jordan Knight entertained the crowd right in front of me, maybe it’s because I got to have an ultimate and was still on a high with what happened during, or maybe it’s just an AMAZING FUCKING SHOW! I am going to Detroit in June for another show, no VIP but partying in the PIT with friends! Might try and sneak a Chicago show in there or maybe Indianapolis so I can go with my friend. I have nosebleed tix for Fenway and a place to stay but I am going back and forth on going because we’d have to drive 13 hours. All I know is for the first time I really get why girls go to multiple concerts. Because for people like us, a NKOTB concert is home.