Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hangin' Tough

Ours is a country that loves nostalgia. We treasure antiques, look forward to reunions, spend millions of money on scrap booking crap, and talk endlessly about the "good old days." There are not just television shows dedicated to remembering the past, but entire television NETWORKS. People in America don't need to worry about Alzheimer's because they can be reminded of their past just by flipping a channel.

The 80's are the most recent decade to undergo the softening glow of nostalgia. No longer are jelly bracelets, day glo skirts, crimped hair, and acid washed jeans distasteful -- they're kitschy and fun. And all the ban
ds that were popular in the '80s? No longer are they divided into groups! You can like Metallica and Tiffany! Depeche Mode and Vanilla Ice. Gone are all the labels these bands used to carry -- metal, new wave, pop, crap -- replaced by one new overreaching label: classic rock. It was in that spirit that I found myself at a New Kids on the Block concert with my sisters Saturday night. And I had a great time.

I will admit that I fought the enjoyment for as long as I could, and was helped greatly in my efforts by many of the women there. They were decked out in their best '80's finery -- which probably fit them 20 to 80 pounds ago -- and they were LOUD. They sang, they screamed, they squealed, and they annoyed the shit out of me. I needed a beer, which in this case cost nine dollars. Yes, it may have been an '80's nostalgia show, but these were definitely 2008 prices.

I used to look this young.

There were two opening bands, Lady Gaga and Natasha Beddingfield, and we were lucky enough to only have to sit through one of them. I really hope Beddingfield enjoyed being a art of this nostalgia tour, since I don't exactly see her music standing the test of time. I mean, unless someone eventually does a "hits of shampoo commeri
cals" revival tour.

When the New Kids took the stage the crowd primed, and they knew just how to play it. They sang, they danced, they wiggled their butts, they grabbed their crotches (that's something they probably didn't do in their old act), and they drove the crowd into a frenzy. I think the only way they could have gotten these women more excited is if they had thrown chocolate and promised half priced shoes in the lobby. I am not overly familiar with the NKOTB catalog, but I am assured that the hits were interspersed deftly with their "new stuff." Honestly there was only one part of the show that dragged, and that was when each New Kid was given a chance to showcase their "solo projects." Well, all but Jonathan. I guess he sells real estate, and that really doen't work with a crowd of thousands.

So did they...

I really did try to stay cool while they played. I just bopped my head through "The Right Stuff," and kept my eyes dry through "Please Don't Go Girl." Even that song about walking properly didn't phase me. By the time they got to "I'll Be Loving You Forever" though, I was dancing like a monkey, and practically rushed the stage when they started into "Hangin' Tough" for the encore. My 16 year old self would have been so disappointed in me.

Did I walk out of the show wishing I had been a part of the 1980's New Kids mania? No. Did I walk out humming the songs and download some of their songs from iTunes the next day? Absolutely. Did I think about getting Tara a t-shirt before I realized they were 40 bucks? Damn straight. God bless nostalgia. I just can't wait until enough time has passed so that it's socially acceptable for me to like Celine Dion. I think maybe 2191. Maybe.


calicobebop said...

I'm glad I can now come out of the closet and admit that I like Depeche Mode AND Vanilla Ice! Not that anybody remembers them anymore... Sounds like a great concert - glad you had fun! Hope you're feeling better!

Amanda said...

Were it not for that concert, I would not have recognized my ideal career goal of dressing overweight women. Gone will be the tube tops & the mom jeans. Gone will be anything that "fits like the skin on a grape" (oh how I pine for you Anderson - we were so close and yet so far). It will be a new era. LONG LIVE SPANX!!

It was a fun show - and even bedazzled, they are kind of cute.

Emily-Ione said...

you've got the Right Stuff, Libby.

Cate said...

It was an great concert. It was nothing short of a spectacle and that is what I liked about it.

Lorrie Veasey said...

So-let me get this straight--are you saying they are the
NEW, IMPROVED Kids on the Block?

Because my detergent recently made the same claim, but it was the same old stuff in a new bottle.