With one of my best friends working in the music industry, I occasionally have the privilege of being his “plus one” to events around the city. This past Saturday, June 11, 2011, it was to the NKOTBSB Concert at Fenway Park – truly, a once in a lifetime event.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge pop fan and never got into the New Kids or the Backstreet Boys, so from the perspective of the thousands of loyal fans, I clearly didn’t deserve a ticket to this sold out show. However, I am a Bostonian and a strong supporter of all Boston traditions, so a concert at our beloved Fenway Park?!? Sign me up! This was not an opportunity I was about to miss—and wow, what a show!
Fireworks, flames, lights, smoke and sparkling team jerseys…the fans went wild as “the starting line-up” of band members appeared in Red Sox jerseys, running from home plate up to the massive stage. And for the next 2+ hours the boys, all grown up, belted out one memorable hit after another—with plenty of fan interaction in between.
Talk about flashbacks to my teen years: I may have grown up in London in the 90s but the Backstreet Boys were international pop-stars and their songs were everywhere, so the lyrics came back right away. As far as “Step by Step” and “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by the New Kids – I’ve had them in my head ever since. It was incredible to listen as the whole of Fenway Park sang along. Picture it: Sweet Caroline but three times as loud, 2+ hours long, with deafening screams of adoration in between.
The rain got heavier as the show progressed—but our spirits were far from dampened. In fact, the show just got better: the bands praised the fans for their loyalty through the rain and became increasingly boy-like again, sliding down the catwalk (head first!), stomping in the puddles, and jumping off stage to run the bases, too.
They were clearly having the time of their life – and by the time we were all fully soaked, performers included, it was time for the grand finale, with one Boston-centric encore after another: Bruins pride, sparkling Celtics jerseys, an appearance by Naughty by Nature AND to really get the Boston die-hards going, a final song from the Green Monster itself, followed by fireworks and a series of bows. Quite the performance!
Another memorable night in the city of Boston – and another fantastic use of the historic Fenway Park.