Every generation has its
musical guilty pleasure, and for me, it was boy bands. During my high school
years, songs from *N Sync, 98 Degrees and the Backstreet Boys dominated radio play, and for me
that was just fine, because I loved their music, tried to emulate their dance
moves and, like many other teenage girls my age, swooned over their good looks.
So, even though I'm almost 30, when I heard that NKOTBSB -- New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys -- two
of the biggest boy bands ever, were going on tour together this year, I knew I
couldn't miss the opportunity to see them perform. Once tour dates were
announced, I was excited to see that NKOTBSB would be playing at a venue close
to where I live -- at the Tacoma Dome -- on July 8.
As coincidence would have it, the night would end up being a big one for
several generations of boy band fans. While the New Kids on the Block and
Backstreet Boys were performing at the Tacoma Dome, the Monkees were also in town, performing at the
Pantages Theater only about a mile away!
Once I arrived at the Tacoma Dome, memories of seeing the Backstreet Boys
live at the same venue years ago, when their popularity was at its peak, came
flashing back. But this time, things were a little different. The show wasn't
sold out (back in the day, BSB tickets sold out in mere minutes). In fact,
Groupon had offered a deal for discounted NKOTBSB tickets one week earlier.
It was also apparent that I wasn't the only fan who had done some growing up.
The crowd was noticeably older. Mostly women, and they didn't look like moms
with their kids. There weren't a lot of guys.
I was surprised there weren't more tweens at the show, since one of the
opening acts was Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schuester) from the hit show
As a Gleek myself, it was an added bonus that Mr. Schue was part of this leg of
the NKOTBSB tour.
After a very brief set from the group Midnight Red, Morrison opened with two
songs he's sung on "Glee": His version of "Sway" and his cover of the Police song "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Then he
sang some original songs off his first solo album, including, "Summer Rain" and
"Hey." His set also included covers of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" and
Kanye West and Jamie Foxx's "Gold Digger" (which was also
featured on "Glee"). Morrison's musical talent (he played the ukulele and some
tambourines) and Broadway background were evident, and he received a warm
reception from the crowd, but as his set came to an end, you could feel the
anticipation building for who the crowd obviously came to see: NKOTBSB!
A little more than 30 minutes later, the house lights went down, and as the
stage lights started to flash faster and faster, the screams got louder and
louder, and just when I didn't think it could get any more deafening, the
curtain onstage was ripped away, revealing the New Kids on the Block and BSB
As graduation day approaches, tension begins to build between Frankie and Axl when he ignores her requests for answers about the graduation party she's planning for his special day. "The Middle" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.