Jordan Knight in Cincinnati 6/25/13 © Corey Ann Balazowich
I don’t even know where to begin with this one, I really don’t. I am writing this blog because SO MANY people keep asking me WTF happened last night and Twitter’s character limit just can’t contain it all.
I’m a huge NKOTB fan, if you know me, you know this. Even still, people from elementary school remember my epic crush on Joe (I just can’t with the Joey LOL) and ask me on Facebook if I “know” that they are back together and touring. I’ve met them a few times and while there’s always bumps in the road when it comes to meet and greets and after parties, nothing has ever been an epic of a fail as this, to the point where I’m being a bitch and writing a blog about it.
Last night I attended the NKOTB “The Package” Tour concert in Cincinnati, which is a 4 + hour drive for me in my home base of North Canton, Ohio. Generally I go to the Cleveland concerts but I had obligations that day and the Cincy date worked out best for my friends and I. We had front row seats and had an absolute blast during the show, which is amazing and I highly recommend to all women from the 90’s. I will smile for a long time due to memories from that show. What wasn’t so great was the insane heat in the arena, which is not remotely anyone’s fault but the US Bank Arena, but it was beyond hot. I went to a concert a few years ago at Blossom, which was 90 something degrees and a million percent humidity but it was cooler than this! I heard that the a/c units broke down due to the heat outside but I can’t say for sure that’s what happened. Still, despite being a hot and sweaty mess, we still had so much fun because of what a fantastic show that Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees (ironic, no?), and New Kids On the Block put on for us. It was especially special because it was 98 Degrees hometown show and Drew Lachey’s family was right in front of us and it was utterly charming to watch his little kiddos watch Daddy on stage and be completely enthralled with the experience.
I had purchased After Party tickets for me and my 2 friends because I wanted to go and I wanted to surprise my friends with the gifts. They were SO excited and it was one girl’s birthday and she cried when she realized what my text meant. Neither had ever met any of the New Kids and were SO excited to go to the After Party. We all knew the pictures would be fast and NOT a meet and greet but we were looking forward to the mingling and fun of the After Party which from all other reports, was a great time. We got checked in after the concert and waited in line and quickly found out that the humidity in the room was worse than anything in the arena but we purchased some waters ($3.75 a pop, told none was available from the tap for free) and prepared for a fun evening dancing and enjoying some hopeful “facetime” with Donnie and maybe a straggling New Kid or two. We were happy to hear that Donnie, Danny, Joe and Jordan were in attendance along with Boyz II Men.
The picture line moved quickly and we were told to get into groups of 4 or more and we ended up with 6 in our group, which was fine because no one was too particular about who they were with. When it was our time to go, we were shoved in, found a spot, smiled and said a quick hi to whomever we were by and left. That’s what we expected though so it was what it was, I do not have a single iota of an issue with how the picture taking went. We were more looking forward to the mingling afterwards with Donnie and just having fun. After the line was over, Donnie took the stage and begged us to all take a step back from the end where the “stage” area was with DJ Cheapshot and make sure everyone had breathing room b/c he didn’t want anyone to get sick and how he would be around to everyone so don’t rush in. Joe got up and did a toast to everyone and a few other “Joe-isms.” Shawn finished out the speeches with something I couldn’t hear but more about just having fun and not trying to all turn into a mob rushing them. All three led us to believe they were going to be mingling and so long as we didn’t act a fool, they’d be around to us all. We were towards the back so it was hard to see. The next song I saw Jordan shaking his groove to barely through the crowd and then I just had fun in my corner assuming they were saying hi to people and just not visible. Then I realized I didn’t see any men during the next song and stood up on a chair to figure out what was going on and then I realized there was NO men (well the men we paid to party with). Donnie was gone – everyone was gone. There was a curtain to the side of the “stage” where people were coming in and out of but never to come back out? Donnie and the rest of the crew.
Here’s the thing: I get it was a swamp in that hot box of a room. I get that only Donnie is on the party as the host and therefore the only one obligated to be there. If I were the other guys, I’d probably have peaced out too. Jonathan is a wise man. Hell, I am JEALOUS they didn’t have to stay in that sauna for an additional 2 hours like we did because that was really miserable. I still have a headache. However as the host, I really wish Donnie would have given us the respect to let us know that they were miserable, exhausted and just couldn’t do the party as they’d hoped. Heck, if he wasn’t man enough to do it without fear of lynching, send out some paid minion to tell us what was going on. Instead we waited for two hours in that soup – the a/c was broken is the rumor – for guys that left not long after the pictures were completed. People were getting headaches, people were not feeling well and water was not cheap. Donnie, why in the world did you leave us up there on false hopes when you KNEW the conditions up there? I just do not get it. Johnny kept telling people they were coming back so everyone stayed on, until the bitter and quiet end where DJ Cheapshot ended his tunes and started silently cleaning up. Not a single word from anyone as to what the ever loving fuck just happened. Ironically, I think our “party” was one of the latest ones, ending around 1:45AM.
Shit happens, it’s kind of a motto in my life. It was proven when after that epic failure of an After Party I walked out into a thunderstorm and had to walk back to our hotel in the pouring rain (it did feel good but that whole lightning thing is a bit freaky). After sleeping on the whole mess I woke up less angry, more confused and laughing about the whole situation because this stuff only seems to happen to me. It’s kind of humorous in a dark and demented way. I should have known better than to hope for anything less than a total shitshow. At least the concert was fun!
My friends and I consoled ourselves on the ride home by saying at least we had fun with each other and the pics were still a highlight, no matter what happened.
I’m the literal hot mess in the blue dress on the end (in my defense the wet spots on my dress are from ice cubes I realize now that cooling down via that method was not one of my wiser choices in life), one of my friends is the girl in yellow next to Donnie. My other friend? She’s next to Danny. Don’t see Danny? He was on my left… and him AND my friend were cut out of the image. I’ve edited this picture for clarity FYI if you want to see how bad image originally was and the other images are, go here and type in nkotbappix for the password. Also, if you are an attendee and want me to try and edit yours, let me know (I’m a professional photographer).
Needless to say, I’m pretty peeved. Not only is the picture terrible due to the humidity, MY FRIEND IS MISSING. This isn’t the only person from the night that was cropped out, there are a few others this appears to have happened to last night. I feel so terrible for her and so sorry this happened. I got her this birthday gift hoping it would be a fun night. I called VIP Nation to complain and they told me to “send it in email” and hung up on me. So I sent my email but here’s my blog to go along with it. This is unacceptable and just sad. I would like a refund and I think that all attendees last night deserve one as well.
Were you a fellow comrade in sweat? If so, I am so sorry this happened. 🙁
If you’d like to see my photos from the concert, here is the opening acts and here is NKOTB.