Bonnie and I planned to arrive in Orlando Thursday afternoon. Before the concert, we had been trying to get After Party Passes. They weren't cheap, but we knew that if we got to go we'd finally get close to the guys we crushed on as girls. The week prior to the concert, it looked like we were not going to get After Party passes as it didn't seem there was going to be an After Party. We tweeted to try to find out information, but didn't get anywhere. After finding out there WAS an after party, the tickets were immediately closed and no one could buy them. Finally, while Bonnie was on her way, the tickets opened up and she was able to get them. We had After Party Passes... so exciting! Bonnie got to Orlando and we hung out, went to the mall and enjoyed some girl time. We watched NKOTB videos, painted our nails and slept in. Friday we went out to lunch at Del Taco (my dad's favorite restaurant) and then picked up subs for dinner. We got back to the hotel and started getting ready. Makeup, hair, we had to look good... we may be meeting our girlhood crushes! The heavens started rumbling and it looked like it was going to rain, so at about 3:45 we were ready and booked it to the car.
We had minimal traffic on I-4 (for Orlando, that is) and got to the Amway Center around 4:30. As Bonnie turned the corner we saw Jordan Knight on the street. We immediately began screaming. She hit the brakes hard and then I got out of the car and started toward him. I just missed him, but that moment made me realize that our concert experience was going to be stellar.
I rejoined Bonnie in the parking garage and we parked so we could see the tour buses. We knew that the guys were most likely inside the arena for the Meet and Greets, so we just took pictures of the buses and ourselves while we waited.
Finally, at 6:00, we were allowed in the arena. We went inside and immediately set out to look for the location we needed to find to pick up our After Party Passes. While we were in line to pick them up, all 5 members of New Kids on the Block, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg, walked right passed us. As Donnie walked out he looked right at us. We were able to get snapshots of them walking passed us.
We went and found our seats and we were shocked at the location of our seats! We were 6 rows from the floor and pretty close to the end of the stage. We were so excited because it was a great location for one of the members of NKOTB to come up into the audience. We were thankful for the seats that Bonnie's husband found for us, and at a great price!
The concert began with BoyzIIMen. They gave a great performance, and are really talented singers. When they sang "I'll Make Love to You", they gave out roses to the ladies in the front row and then they released rose petals from the ceiling. They ended with Motown Philly.
The next act was 98 Degrees. They were okay. Nick Lachey is nice to look at, but that's about it. I didn't really know any of their songs. They were big when I was in college, so I was never into them.
Then the act we came for, the boys who we dreamed about when we were little girls. Now they are grown gorgeous men and we were here to see them. NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!!
The concert opened with the following statement from Donnie Wahlberg. He asked us to repeat after him:
I DO HEREBY PLEDGE TO SPEND THE NEXT TWO HOURS HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE.
I WILL LEAVE ALL THE DRAMA, ALL MY WORRIES, AND ALL MY FEARS BEHIND ME.
I PROMISE TO CELEBRATE TONIGHT LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW.
FOR THIS IS MY NIGHT!
I WORKED HARD FOR THIS NIGHT.
I EARNED THIS NIGHT.
I DESERVE THIS NIGHT.
AND TOGETHER..... WE OWN TONIGHT!
NOW LET'S GET THIS DAMN THING STARTED!
The songs were awesome. There were pyro technics and stuff being released from the ceiling. The guys put on a great show. There was a great mix of old and new. They opened with We Own Tonight and it was great. When Joey sang "Please Don't Go Girl", I swooned as always. He still makes the ladies scream with that song 25 years later. When they did the acoustic set, Jordan did Kiss by Prince. He did a fantastic job with that song. Usually I don't like popular songs performed by other artists, but Jordan did a great job with that song. When they sang Tonight, they came out into the audience and up into the stands. That's when Donnie Wahlberg made his way into our section! Bonnie got to touch him! I got a great picture!
BoysIIMen came back out later and they sang Motown Philly with NKOTB. It was a great combination of both bands.
Then New Kids ended with their famous ending, Hangin' Tough. It's always great when they do that song!
Then we went down to the After Party. We were eventually lined up to take pictures with BoyzIIMen and NKOTB. We had to take them in groups. I stood next to Wanya from BoyzIIMen and he said "come here baby girl" when he put his arm around me (oh, my, goodness).
Then we went into the party room and finally Joey, Jordan, Danny, Donny and BoyzIIMen came out and got the party started. Eventually, Donnie worked his way into the audience and we got our pictures with him. The party was very loud and really exciting. I danced until I felt like my legs were going to fall off. I had a blast.
Then we made our way toward the car. We went back by the tour buses and caught the Lachey brothers, Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg. Then we saw Jonathan Knight inside the BoyzIIMen tour bus. After we got into the car and left, we happened to be behind the tour buses as they were leaving and we followed them on the highway for a while. When we passed them, we rolled down the window. Bonnie laid on the horn and I waved out the window. We had so much fun.
When we got back to the hotel we had our subs waiting and at 3:00AM, we ate sandwiches and snacks. We were starving!
There really aren't enough words to describe how fantastic this weekend was. Not only was it a great weekend to get away and have girl time. It was something that was full circle for both Bonnie and myself. We had so much fun and we got up close with our girlhood crushes. Not many people have the opportunity to do what we did. I was once a girl with her walls covered with New Kids on the Block pictures, and now I was a 34 year old wife and mom having the time of my life and meeting the guys I crushed on all those years ago. It was incredible and an experience I will always remember.
He was so close to us as he sang! He's such a gorgeous man!
Me before the concert. That's Joey's bus in the background.
My first real girlhood crush. Joey McIntyre. I used to write his last name as mine. He was cute when I was 13 and he's gorgeous as a grown man. He's super talented and has amazing vocal skills. Did you know that this fall he's going to be on a new series on CBS? It's called The McCarthys. Now my 2 favorite Boy band members will be on CBS. Swoon....
BoyzIIMen singing "I'll Make Love to You"
And the pinnacle of the night.... yes, I did have my arm around Donnie Wahlberg. Now I can watch Blue Bloods on Friday night and say I've touched him. I barely managed a few words when I spoke to him. I said "thank you" and then later I looked him in the eye and said "I love you". It was so fun!
Jonathan Knight inside BoysIIMen's bus.
Following the tour buses!