I promised a blog about attending the NKOTB Town Hall in Philly yesterday. I’m sure many of you have already heard the major points of what happened but I wanted to write about my own personal experience. First of all, I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before so that may explain why I am still kind of out of it. A Delirious Amy, if you will. To recap, my sister (@abs1399) and I planned to go to Jordan Knight’s pre-party in Fredericksburg, VA last night. However, when NKOTB announced these Town Hall meetings I knew that I wanted to attend. Unfortunately, my Block Nation membership expired a couple weeks ago so I couldn’t enter myself. This was due to our moving expenses and me forgetting to budget in the Block Nation renewal. I will get it taken care of ASAP at the first of the month because I truly enjoy being a member. I don’t mind paying for it, unlike a lot of people I know. Maybe that makes me gullible. I enjoy being a part of the community. I have received a lot of support on the site from fellow Blockheads on my writing. Anyway, my good friend and fellow Delirious Amy (@MsKnitSox) won entry and invited me to be her guest. I am so incredibly grateful she thought of me and I got the chance to experience it. So my sister still went to Jordan’s party but I got to go to the town hall. I’m glad it worked out this way although honestly, I wish we both could’ve been in both places!
Of course, standing in line for 3 hours wasn’t fun and I thought I was going to collapse at one point but it was worth it. You see, I was VERY nervous beforehand. Partly because my favorite New Kid Joe McIntyre was going to be there and I was excited to see him. But mostly because I wanted to get up and speak out about points I wanted to make at the meeting. Getting up in front of a couple hundred people terrified me. I was so nervous I couldn’t eat much so by the time 6:00 rolled around (when the meeting was scheduled to start) I felt weak and as if my legs would give way. Of course because this was a NKOTB event, we didn’t actually go inside the theater until around 8. Thank God we at least could wait in line inside the building so I shan’t complain.
When the meeting itself started and I saw how many people were there, I knew I was not going to have the guts to get up and speak, after all. I had printed out my previous blog in which I wrote the points I wanted to make but when the time came, I couldn’t make myself get out of the chair. I am quite disappointed in myself that I didn’t just do it. At one point, my inner voice was yelling at me, “Just do it! You are going to regret it if you don’t!” Just as I was about to finally go for it, Amy’s friend and the chick who had given us a ride to Philly, Beth (if you’re a BH chances are you recognize her Twitter handle @cuttersftbll) stood up to go down to the mic and make her suggestions. She had made a list and many of the things I had wanted to say were on her list so I let her go down. And she ended up doing great so it’s all good. I will try not to beat myself up too much about not speaking up.
Okay now that you’ve suffered through my rambling and set up I’ll tell you about the meeting. Joe was introduced first as the Campaign Manager and gave a rousing speech about how politicians don’t care about us but now we have a voice! And they have been “working tirelessly day and night – today” to do this for us. 😉 How this was a huge tour of the country, or at least part of the country and lasted two whole days. They work so hard, you see. But it was hilarious. He said something about politicians who don’t take off their cardigans but the New Kids will take off their cardigans for us. This was of course greeted with chants of “Take it off” which if you know me, you know that irritates the hell out of me but that’s a whole nother blog. 😀 I enjoyed Joe’s comments about how the theater was named for Ben Franklin. There were some woo’s and he said “I see some of you know him.” Ha ha! I wish I could remember more of his speech because it was so funny! Damn them for not letting us have cameras! And oh my God, Joe looked AMAZING by the way. I don’t know if it was the scruff, the hairstyle, or what but he just looked so incredibly HOT. I wish I could have brought him home with me.
Joe then introduced our President Donnie Wahlberg. Of course he’s the president. Donnie gave another rousing speech and when he came out onstage, most of the crowd leapt to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. I didn’t stand up at first, honestly. To tell you the truth, I was irritated we hadn’t given Joe a standing ovation. I had wanted to but no one else stood up and I would’ve felt silly. Now I wish I had done it! Maybe others would have stood up if I did. I don’t remember much of what Donnie said, just that he said the building was named for a former president and Joe whispered to him it was Ben Franklin, “the guy with a kite and a key.” For the rest of the meeting, Joe would often whisper to Donnie, as if he were his publicist, and supply the word or name Donnie couldn’t find. 😉 Loved it!
Danny was then introduced as vice-president and his speech was of course much shorter. He referred to Donnie as his life partner. One of the first things brought up was someone had brought a sign that said “Less Clothes in 2013.” Sigh. I know most Blockheads get all excited when they take their shirts off but I just don’t care. I don’t care if they stay fully clothed the entire tour. Joe looked amazing last night and he had on two shirts and a hoodie. Of course I appreciate seeing his kickass body, but only in the right venue. Again, that’s another blog. But if you care about that sort of thing, they agreed to less clothes in 2012 and 2013. Yay.
One of the first issues brought up was more grown up merchandise, which was one of the points I’d wanted to make. The girl who brought up the question suggested coffee mugs. The guys liked this idea and I love it! Joe said he’d thought about making a “Cup of Joe.” Apparently, it would have his face on it and would say such things as “You look beautiful today!” “I love you!” All of this said in a cheesy voice with a cheesy grin and a wink. I got to get me one of those! The BH who suggested this told them the shirts should be made smaller (I think that’s what she said. I may have it backwards.) Basically, I believe she wanted more form-fitted merchandise, rather than the huge concert T-shirts. Joe said he knew the concert T-shirts “feel like cardboard.” They claim to actually sit down and discuss these things. We “would be hard pressed to find a group of 5 guys who talk more about women’s fashion.” 😉 I will say after this meeting, I believe them. I think they do actually care about what we think. Maybe they don’t really sit around and discuss women’s fashion but they do take our opinions into account.
Another of the first suggestions was that 5* and photo ops be handled better, especially if we don’t have groups of exactly ten. The guys knew immediately she was referring to the clusterfuck that was the cruise photo op. They said they knew that was a disaster and they were exhausted that day. Joe acted out fans coming in and saying “Hey I’m ready! Oh, Joe’s on the floor.” *pretends to step over himself* “And Jordan!” It was great. But they explained that they had underestimated the increased size of the ship and how long the photo ops would take. Next cruise, the photo ops will be broken up, perhaps on different days. Also they said “Dress up night” will not be the last night of the cruise. They know we’re all drunk by then and not looking our best. Ha ha! Joe brought up that “Fig Leaf Night” has been discussed. 😉 Also, they want to make sure they have back lights on them and if there’s not enough wind, they’ll have fans blowing on them so we can see everything. If you were on the cruise or have seen the infamous pic of Donnie, you know what I’m talking about. Heehee
Another question was if they will do another webcast. To my surprise, the guys said they didn’t know until now that we had even liked the webcast. They never got feedback, they say. How is that possible when every single event they do these days I see petitions asking for them to do a webcast of it?? Well, they can’t say anymore they don’t know we want webcasts! They promised to look into it and see what they can do.
One of my favorite questions was if they will ever perform Dirty Dawg again. And they said yes!! Actually, they explained they had been discussing performing more Face the Music songs but then did the NKOTBSB tour and with the BSB, they didn’t want to perform those songs that “only hard core fans like you know.” They wanted to do songs that BSB fans might know too so that everyone could sing along. I guess that’s a good point. I am just ecstatic to hear that they will likely do Dirty Dawg again!! Joe almost spit out his water when the girl asked. 😉 He also said he’s been holding onto the ski goggles from the video, waiting for the opportunity to bust them out again. Hell yeah, baby!! 😀 He also said they’d been practicing “the choreo” and did that little punch move from the dance. It was AWESOME.
The two biggest points I’m sure you know by now: new music and a big event in the summer (Jordan said at his party it would be August) in which we have all the events of the cruise on land. I think we can all agree this is probably the Blockstock idea that was kicked around a couple years ago. Donnie said it very well may happen in this state (PA). We were all so happy and relieved that they said they can’t let a year pass in which they don’t perform for us here in the US. I know I wouldn’t mind taking another trip to the Philly area! I’m so excited!!
They know we have wanted new music for a while and they are taking their time with it, making sure it’s going to be as awesome as The Block. They are already working on it, as many of you already know. Yay!! They didn’t give a timeframe for when we can expect to get the album although they said it’d be “sooner than we think.” I think the more important thing is that they’re doing it, they’ve listened, they know what we want.
The last question was asked by Beth. By the time it was her turn, they had already discussed many of the things from her list so she told them she would like to see a box set. I believe she was just talking about DVDs of some of their greatest performances like Fenway, the NKOTBSB tour, possibly Radio City (well that’s the one I would like to see) and Joe said “So a few DVDs and a live CD?” We’re like that’s not what she said but OKAY! The answer to Beth’s question led into the presentation of the Fenway DVD, which was an intro and all the NKOTB parts of the Fenway concert. Seeing it on the big screen was phenomenal. I was the only one in our group who wasn’t actually at Fenway but they all said they felt like they were there again. It was incredible! The crowd cheered and sang along and it almost felt like we really were at a concert. I am so happy I was able to experience that!
The guys came out into the crowd to watch the video with us. I don’t know where Donnie and Danny went but Joe came down the aisle where I was. I was the third seat down our row. He was touching the hands of the ones on the end as he came down. I don’t know why but I didn’t reach for his hand. That has always felt weird to me. I guess because I am a shy person so it’s not like me to reach for someone like that. Of course I now wish I had. He sat down on the row behind me, two seats over from my seat. I was like “Oh shit.” I wanted to watch the video but I also wanted to watch his reaction. And I didn’t really want him to see my reaction to him on the big screen. Ha ha! So I was kinda watching him out of the corner of my eye but it was hard to see him without fully turning around and staring and I didn’t want to do that. Let’s just say I was very aware of his presence. I hoped that when the movie was over, I could turn around and get a hug but he left when Step by Step was on, I think. But while he was there, it was awesome to see what I could his reaction.
Oh and by the way, the background music of the little intro video was “Every Tear is a Waterfall” by Coldplay. 😀 LOVED it!! We were all very pumped up for the Single/The One performance. Toward the end, Joe jumped up and down and was clapping and singing and so happy. That was wonderful to see. I can only imagine what a rush it was to see that performance on the big screen with a theater full of your fans cheering and singing along. It was definitely a rush for all of us! Having only seen videos on YouTube of the Fenway performance I gotta say it kinda blew my mind. I so wish I could have been there to experience it in person. I am envious of those who were there. It was epic, to say the least. I’m glad I got to see it on the big screen anyway with 3/5 of New Kids and BHs as dedicated as I am.
Over the end credits, we saw footage of the guys at the end of the Fenway show, doing a huddle and then getting sprayed with champagne. Very cool. In the video, Joe goes “What’s going on?!” He explained that he was talking to Griffin because he was confused by the champagne spray. He thought it was shampoo. How cute is that?! Donnie then talked about how amazing it was for 5 guys from Boston to perform at Fenway and how it gave him chills to see them rise up on the lift at the end of Single/The One. And this is when he said the quote of the night. “We couldn’t get that thing up without you guys.” The best part was that he didn’t at first realize what he said. No, the best part was Joe grabbing the column of red, white and blue balloons on stage that happened to curve up at the end with a tip of red balloons. Too easy. Joe held them up as if they were his dick and said, “Yes. We wouldn’t get THAT THING up without YOU.” Bah ha ha ha ha!! So after that, it was pretty hard (pardon the pun) to say anything serious so that was pretty much the end of it. Some of the girls up front got hugs from the guys on their way out but there was no swarm to the front, as I thought there might be. I am disappointed I didn’t get a Joe hug but again, I’m just so happy to have been a part of it. The guys left pretty quickly. I assume they were heading to Cleveland on the bus and that’s why they hightailed it out of there.
Overall, I was impressed with the questions that were asked, the general respectful way we treated them and they treated us. After hearing about those two crazy comments at the Connecticut town hall, I was a little worried. So glad it didn’t happen in Philly. There was a strong feeling of connection in the air and the guys said multiple times we all have a special connection that we can’t really explain but are so grateful for. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Well, this has been a very long blog and I probably still forgot something! If anyone has any questions, ask away. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about my personal experience. I hope that they do more of these town hall meetings, hopefully at least one in the South. I would definitely want to go again! And next time, if they do more of them, I promise I will face my fear and go ask a question or make a suggestion!