All words and photos: Dakota Fine
Just in case you needed further evidence to prove why BYT is your best source for finding early ’90s nostalgia, we bring to you the one and only New Kids on the Block. NKOTB played the Verizon Center last Thursday night, and let me be the first to tell you that the arena reeked of a post-natal estrogen-fest. I’ve never seen so many matronly women in one place in my entire life, holy Jesus.
I was never a fan of the NKOTB, being that I was a third-grade boy when they were at their peak of boy-band pandemoneum, they were without a doubt the worst, most disgusting thing in the entire universe. Girls liked them, and in third grade, well, girls had cooties. And that was that.
However, that is not to say they did not leave an indelible impact upon my youth. Yes, I’m not afraid to admit, the New Kids are a figment of my childhood. I’ll never forget the NKOTB Starter jacket style parkas that girls in my class used to wear, with of course they’re matching side ponytails cinched up with neon pink scrunchies. Ughhhh, scrunchies.
Anyways, when I heard they were going back on tour and visiting Washington, I HAD to shoot it. I bugged Svetlana for well over a week to get me a pass, and surely, she did. This is the major league of pop concerts here people. They had me thirty rows back shooting over the heads of hormonally-charged ladies reliving their teenage fantasies, and I have to admit, not only did I enjoy myself, I enjoyed the cheesy opening video montage of the glory days; I thought the Verizon Center might crumble under the high pitched wails.
Did I mention there were no men’s rooms? They taped over the signs and made them ladies rooms… I wonder if they were making use of the urinals in their haste to rush back out to their seats. I couldn’t tell you, because I wasn’t allowed to pee, clearly.
One thing that was really awesome was that a lot of fans pulled out they’re old gear. Upturned bills on floppy neon baseball hats, you rule.
Jordan graced us with his extremely cut pectoral muscles while wind machines blasted. Okay, I admit, I looked up all their names. But jeez, nice bod for a 40-something year-old, no? Ladies, can I get a witness?
They even pulled a crowd run-through to get back from their circular piano stage they used for their mid-show interlude. I think Joey might have plinked a few keys, but mostly the grand piano was used for dancing and sitting upon. I mean, that’s what they’re for right?
One nice girl happened to share the set list she had been recording, it’s a good thing, because other than the fact that they played “Right Stuff” third, I couldn’t tell you what the hell they played. Um, but please, take note of the fact that at the top of her set list, she has titled her scribblings, “best day ever.” Awesome. Also notice, her handwriting gets progressively sloppier as the night goes along.
And I grace you finally with some of the lovely faces I encountered in my night in the cougars den. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love the ’90s, I admit it. I had to leave before the end, I assume they played Step by Step last, what else, but they cut me off from shooting after three songs anyways, so I figured better to avoid the crowds.
(I own one of these t-shirts, found it in Wasteland in San Francisco, can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint, it doesn’t have spaghetti straps.)