A Change Of Heart

Circa fall 1988. I was 17, a senior in high school, and heavily into makeup and my crimping iron. I was disappointed I was unable to vote in the presidential election because I was one year too young. My sister was in kindergarten. This was when I first heard of New Kids On The Block. From the jump, I hated them. Ok, “hate” is a very strong word. Too strong. Let’s just say I did not like them. I remember some of the kids in English class discussing their new song “Please Don’t Go Girl”. I couldn’t wait for them to shut up. However, English class was nothing. My sister was obsessed with them. Her walls were plastered with their posters, she played their music all the time. I still remember the lime green raincoat Mom bought her. New Kids were the Beatles of the day, plus one. You couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without seeing their faces, or hearing about them. It was an annoying mess to me.

When my sister asked me to go with her to their concert, I was amused. “Me, at a New Kids concert?” Ok, well whatever. Sure, I’ll tag along. They would be sharing the stage with the Backstreet Boys. When time for the concert arrived, I still couldn’t believe I was doing this. It was the first concert I’ve been to where the crowd was predominantly female, around 90%. The only men I saw there where with women. Each had the same puzzled look on their face. For the most part, it was a sea of polished toenails- mine included.

Following two opening acts, one which was Jordin Sparks, both bands took the stage. Hysteria broke loose. I shook my head in disbelief. It was like a Justin Beiber concert, for older women. I did not know one song by the Backstreet Boys. By the time they came along, I was very out of touch with the popular music of the day. It was a different story with New Kids. I recognized their names and faces. They still look very young, so they haven’t changed much. I remember almost every song they performed, thanks to my sister playing them all the time years ago.

To my amazement, I found myself liking the concert. Especially New Kids. Halfway through, they performed “Please Don’t Go Girl”, the very song I couldn’t stand in high school. Joey McIntyre has always been Kam’s favorite. She was elated to see him, jumping up and down and screaming. Again, I was amused. When he took center stage to sing lead, he blew me away. The rest of the guys moved in a suave, elegant style which reminded me of the Temptations, topped off by hats and jackets. When he belted out that last note, I couldn’t help but applaud. Wow.. For the very first time, I saw New Kids On The Block in the completely different light. At the end of the show, I gave both bands a standing ovation. They deserved it.

This is very strange to write about! I wouldn’t call myself a fan of New Kids, but I have finally come to appreciate their talent. I don’t see myself buying or downloading any of their music anytime soon, but I would not mind seeing them in concert again. I hope I get the chance. That is one thing I love most about life, the little unexpected, pleasant surprises. This entire experience proves one thing. It’s never too late to change your mind about anything.

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~ by kmnnz on June 27, 2011.

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