NKOTB Cincinnati After Party Epic Fail

Jordan Knight in Cincinnati

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.

Well.

NKOTB Cincinnati After Party Picture

 

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.

 

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NKOTB Town Hall

NKOTB Town Hall in Cleveland Ohio at smartspace

I’ve been a New Kids On the Block fan forever and a day.  Everyone that knows me, knows I love the New Kids.  I didn’t get to see them in the 90s (maybe I’ll tell the sob story about that another time) but I DID get to go to the first reunion show they performed in NYC for the Today Show in 2008 and I’ve been lucky enough to see them a few times after that (along with Joe solo, whom I “followed” a lot in the early 2000s).  Today I was one of the lucky ones chosen to see the NKOTB Town Hall meeting in Cleveland.  What is a Town Hall?  Honestly?  I don’t know how to describe it myself but they had three this weekend – two yesterday in CT and PA and then today’s in Cleveland.  Donnie, Danny and Joe were “representing” the New Kids and each venue had about 300 people and they did a Q&A session for about an hour or so and then played a video of their performance at Fenway which was about 40 minutes long or so.  It’s hard to tell time because no phones or cameras were allowed!  🙂

Cleveland’s venue was smARTspace in Cleveland on 78th street and when I got there around 12:15 or so there were two lines – one for invited guests and their +1 and another line for people hoping to get in w/o tickets.  It was all rather organized and unlike the day before, it started pretty close to on time at 1PM.  Mostly everyone was able to have a seat except for a few of the people that didn’t have tickets.  They were just happy to get in so they didn’t mind standing (it ended up working out for them).

The guys came in – Joe first, then Donnie and finally Danny.  Everyone was on their feet and cheering.  Some were holding up signs but thankfully that stopped for the most part early on.  Some signs were creative but damn, they suck to see around!  Each of the guys gave their little campaign speech and as a friend said, Donnie has the Obama DOWN pat!  Ha!  They each said how much they are enjoying this reunion and how no one expected it to be still going strong 4 years later.

They asked people asking questions to line up – each side of the room (it was a long and skinny room) had a line that formed.  I want to say in the end they took around 20 or so questions?  Everyone was very civil and there was NO STUPID QUESTIONS!  I think everyone took notes from some of yesterdays stupidity and decided to be adults.  Whew!

Here’s some of the questions/topics that I can recall (in no particular order)

• Q:  Who/what band influenced your music most?  A:  Joe – anything his sisters were listening to – Michael Jackson, Elton John — anything that one could dance to in the kitchen. Donnie – AC/DC, Van Halen and other rock bands. Danny – New Edition.

• Q:  Are there going to be any more Waffle House events? A:  Donnie – He’d love to do them but it’s become a safety issue. People are following him from table to table and wanting more and more pics if theirs didn’t turn out and it’s getting scary. He never wants to pull into a Waffle House and not want to get out because it doesn’t look safe in there, and doesn’t want us to feel the same way. Joe – crazy bitches! (mimicing what girls say about the girls at the Waffle Houses – got lots of laughs). Donnie wants to continue it but he stressed that when/if it happens girls have GOT to chill and let him say hi and move on and not make safety issues.  He doesn’t want anyone slipping and falling on bacon grease!  There was also talks of heart attacks but I missed how that bit started?  Basically – he’ll  be doing them again if people can be civilized and calm.

• Q:  Will you do a CD with a compilation of bands you have performed with? A:  All – that’s a good idea and something we may want to consider.

• They are currently recording a new CD – have managed to refrain from tweeting about it but said it’s time for new material as they can’t keep performing Full Service.  I think they said 3 songs but I could be wrong.

• Q:  Are you going to include more Face the Music stuff? A:  Joe – They always answer this with they sing If You Go Away but said the fans are not accepting that anymore as an answer. He actually has the goggles from Dirty Dawg and wanted to use it in the upcoming tour but things got cut since they paired up with BSB. Donnie – plans were there to include this in the upcoming tour but the good news is since it wasn’t it’s in the vault for the next tour. Danny – (I’m not sure where this came from?) No one wants us to sing This One’s For the Children. Everyone is “meh” about it.

• Q:  Is there plans for another CasiNO Tour this year? A:  No, there isn’t. There will be one special event, this summer, that brings the best of the cruise, CasiNO tour, Waffle House etc. to land but they are not doing a tour this year in the US. However, they will be doing something in 2013 for US & Canada.

• Q:  Joe – will you perform Twisted like you did on the CasiNO tour again?  A:  Joe -today?!?  No.  (laughs)  He hasn’t done push ups in at least 6 months, outside of running he’s not exercising. He was in the best shape of his life then – perhaps because he was taking his clothes off every night. (laughs) Said he really loved that mashup though and felt the two songs went well together and is open to doing it again in the future. There wasn’t room for many solos with this last tour w BSB.

• Q:  Can we get a live CD from a concert so we can hear the PDGG concert version when we want to? A:  All – good idea, something to think about.

• Q:  For all the fans who aren’t here, are you going to do minutes and post them so others can see/read what is being discussed? A:  All – perhaps? Has anyone yet? Asks about an easel. Not here so someone hands up a dry erase board and Joe proceeds to take notes the rest of the meeting. Donnie states that this was really a special something for the Fan Club and it’s not really something they were planning on posting all about but we can get the word out there via twitter and blogs.

• Q:  Will there be a Cruise DVD? A:  All – There’s a lot of footage and they know that the demand is out there. It was kind of a vague answer – sounds like it is something they are planning on but it hasn’t been put together yet.

• Q:  Can you lower the ticket prices so my husband doesn’t divorce me? A:  Donnie – they’ve fought really, really, hard to keep them as low as they have. They got into a huge fight with the promoters of the NKOTBSB tour bc other similar tours were charging $300/$400 but they wanted to keep the tickets under a $100. They were able to but there are a lot of things at play and they try to do their best to keep things affordable. Mentions that this does NOT include the VIP stuff.  Mentioned that today’s event was free and they are glad to be able to do stuff like this for people that can’t always afford the concerts.

• Q:  Is there any way possible to get more of an advance notice when things are going on sale? A:  Danny – he totally hears and understands, hopes that they can do what they can do.

• Q:  Can you stop adding on dates – esp out of order (like Radio City)? A:  Donnie – they get added on because of the demand so it’s something we can’t control until we see what the demand is.  It’s out of their control.  Joe (I think) – we didn’t expect to have 3 Radio City concerts!!!! Danny – you WANT us to stop adding on dates?!!?!?!?!

• Q:  We need more marshmallow!!! A:  Donnie – now that he has stopped eating all the candy, cookies and brownies he’s been given over the past 6 months, he’s getting back in shape and the marshmallow has been primed and is almost ready for prime time again.

• Q:  Will you feature fans in any upcoming videos?! A:  Donnie – you never know.  It’s a good idea.  We like to do things differently.

• Q: I couldn’t hear this one well but it was something about a fan vote on what songs to release/what other bands to pair up with on a CD.  A:  That’s a good suggestion and it worked well in the past.  — someone yells out Boys II Men.

• Q:  Is there a possibility of getting the New Kids all on Blue Bloods? A:  Donnie – not sure, Jordan was on last year but Joe’s too big time to be an extra and costs more. He got a NK song title in every episode last year, was quite proud of that. Tried to get Rise & Grind in recently but it was cut b/c they said it didn’t even make SENSE. Said they are always there in spirit but may try to arrange something.

NKOTB Town Hall in Cleveland Ohio
Joe’s Minutes…have NO idea what the jugs thing is about!?  LMAO

They then played the Fenway video and the guys all dispersed.  I heard a YIPE/squee behind me and noticed that Joe was coming around one side and was hugging en route to the back (the table w/ the computers, Jared, Kevin and sound peeps was right behind me).  Donnie was doing the same en route to the back on the other side.  Eventually Joe made it and only stayed behind the table for a few seconds then went back out and hugged people.  Donnie did the same, dropped some stuff off at the table then went back out to hug.  I never saw where Danny was until later.  For the whole video, the guys wandered around the venue hugging, saying hi and signing random things.  It was pretty low key, no mobbing that I saw (more of a swarm lol) and the guys were super generous with their time and smiles.  Joe’s sweater was crazy soft BTW.  He was the first I hugged b/c he ended up setting up hug camp at our aisle so we had to move out so that we didn’t get stomped.  I did get one heel spike to the foot though… so if they do more, wear steel toes!  ha!  After Joe we went over and got a quick fast hug from Danny and then waited for Donnie.  He was doing more than a super fast hug, he was actually talking with people and being crazy kind.  He was signing anything you’d give him and talking and giving super awesome hugs.  At my first ILAA M&G he was swarmed so I just got a super fast hug in and my second he was mobbed so this was actually my first “quality” time saying hi and seeing him for more than a millisecond.  He was so amazingly kind and sweet, the memory will stick with me forever. 🙂

After everyone had their hugs the guys just meandered around and would crash random groups.  I was talking with a friend and Donnie went to the girls in front of me and slung his arms over their shoulders and they swayed back and forth to the music.  It was a sweet moment and it KILLED me not to have my camera!  🙂  There was a guy there with a camera though and he did take pics of quite a few ladies with Donnie towards the end.  It was cool that they were able to just roam around and people were pretty respectful and not attacking.  YAY Cleveland, ya’ll did me proud!

At the end everyone said goodbye and we filled out and left.  OH!  They also provided bags of chips on the way out – they must have heard the snacks complaint from CT and were ready!  🙂  I thought that was a nice touch, even if I didn’t take any.  I’m not sure if they came out and did any more hugs after – tons of people were hanging around but not sure if that amounted to anything or not.  I left and got lost about 5 different times on my way home (for me it’s not a trip to Cleveland unless I get lost at least once due to their shitacular signage).

I have to say a HUGE thank you to the New Kids (especially Danny, Donnie and Joe) for doing this and for the invite, it was awesome to be able to do something like this with you all!  I also want to say that I’m sad to see that people ignored the rules of no camera/cell phones/recording devices and did it anyway.  Stuff like that ruins a good thing!  This was a FREE event, they only asked that we respect their wishes and you went against that.  We ALL wanted to have cameras and cell phones but we respected their wishes, shameful that not all did and may have ruined a truly good thing.  Just enjoy the moment and tweet later and focus on the now.  Memories last a lifetime!

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