Aw Fuck Yeah. I believe those words literally pass through my lips after I read that headline: New Kids on the Block Announce 4-Day Engagement in Las Vegas. I passed on the cruise. No way in hell could I go to Europe for “An Intimate Evening.” Vegas? I could make that happen. I had to make that happen.
I immediately approach any and all friends that have a remote interest in the New Kids on the Block. The closest I have are friends that liked them back in the day, but don’t really have much of a concept of what they’ve been up to lately. I’m the only one who owns their albums. I’m the only one who knows all the words to their songs, or even knows that Jon is gay for that matter! Well, I just gotta find someone who wants to come with me.
After five friends all back out due to a plethora of reasons – I’m buying a house, I’m going on vacation just prior – I’m left alone. I’m tempted to answer a call on Facebook for a roommate, but I know my husband would not approve. Every day I check to make sure the concerts aren’t selling out. But I soon lose hope and get ready to again live vicariously through YouTube and Twitter.
Then one day, I’m out for Happy Hour with two co-workers that I barely know, and I decide to just throw it out there: “Anyone want to go to Vegas with me for a New Kids on the Block concert?”
After the all-too-expected laughing and “Really?” and “They’re still together?” and “You’re too funny!” they say, “Sure! That’ll be fun!”
Score! I don’t even care that one of them wasn’t even a fan back in the day! It’s people to go to Vegas with!
That night, as I’m getting ready to buy our tickets, I freak out. Wait a second, July 10-13? Why does that sound like an important weekend? I check my calendar. One of my good friends is getting married that weekend! NOOOOOO!!!!! Check again. Okay, whew, it’s on Sunday afternoon. I can fly out of Vegas on Sunday morning or Saturday night. Okay, not ideal, but not the end of the world. Crisis averted!
I get Thursday night tickets since they have the best seats left for the amount of money I think my co-workers would be willing to pay. I’m tempted to do VIP, but I don’t want to abandon them. So I settle for 200-level seats.
Then the after parties and pool party are announced! I totally miss out on the pool party because I was super busy that day at work and just plum forgot that they went on sale! Kicking myself, I’m relieved that the Thursday after party is still available.
After purchasing after party tickets, my plane tickets, and booking our room at Planet Hollywood, I’m all set! Now if only July 10th could get here more quickly.
The months slowly pass, but eventually I find myself kissing my kids gently on the head as I softly sneak out the door to catch my 7am flight to Vegas. On the plane I “get myself in the mood” with headphones in ears playing NKOTB and Jordan Knight tunes.
We land, I catch a cab to Planet Hollywood, and I see this as I step out of the taxi:
Woohoo! I have arrived! NKOTB is in the building! (Or somewhere else on the strip, but nearby nonetheless!)
I don’t even care that I’m by myself because my co-workers don’t get in until late afternoon. After taking some selfies in front of the elevators, I go up to the hotel room, blast more NKOTB and Jordan Knight while I claim my bed (the one by the window of course), unpack my stuff, and do my nails. You know, because if I did happen to run into the guys in the casino, heaven forbid I have naked nails.
The grumbling in my stomach signals to me that I should head downstairs and find something to eat. It’s 11:00, and I know the VIP and after party early check-in has started. Based on the emails and Twitter correspondence I had with On the List Presents, I don’t think I can check in without my whole party present. So I decide to post on the Seattle Blockheads page to see if anyone is around. I get one response, so I decide to head down and try to find her.
As I head downstairs, I see a crazy long line looping around the bar at the entrance to the mall. Is this the VIP line? Day-yum!
I decide to ask the last person in line if she knows if I can check in without my entire party present. She responds that she thinks so, so I decide to stand in line anyway just in case I can pick up the passes. What else am I doing right now, right? (Sorry BH from Facebook!)
We start chatting it up, and I learn that she’s there with her mom, she met the guys for the first time doing the Package Tour Total Package, and she’s staying on the same floor as I am. (Let’s call her Berkeley.) Berkeley is totally the chatty type who can make friends wherever she goes, which is good for me, because I’m not. So together, it works! She even starts chatting with the ladies behind us, who we’ll call Sacramento 1 and Sacramento 2.
Before I know it, we’re exchanging Twitter handles and taking pictures. I post my first picture from Vegas: “Met my first BHs at Planet Hollywood! #BHLove #NKOTBAfterDark.”
So we’re standing in the long ass line for what feels like forever, and we’re finally second and third in line when an Axis Theater employee and security guard firmly explain to us and the hundred or so people behind us that they’re shutting down the line.
Seriously?! We stood in line for almost two hours for absolutely nothing? Much bitching ensues, but we all soon agree that it wasn’t all a wash because we met each other. Yay! BH Friends! After the bitch-fest, we realize how starved we are, so we head to Gordon Ramsay for burgers.
During lunch I learn that Sacramento 1 and Sacramento 2 are best friends and are veterans at the whole Blockhead thing. They’ve cruised two times, they’ve met the guys multiple times, they’ve been to numerous concerts. Berkeley and I are not as versed in the Blockhead world, but Berkeley has at least met the guys once (not counting when she met Joey during his “Stay the Same” days).
I find myself explaining a few things to Berkeley, surprisingly. Mostly social media things like other BHs to follow and how Andrea Barber (surprisingly she doesn’t know who she is – must not have watched much TV growing up) is a huge NKOTB fan along with Candace Cameron Bure. So I show her a picture of Andrea Barber on Instagram. (This will be very important later – stay tuned.)
Mid-way through lunch one of my co-workers shows up and joins us. It’s very apparent that she’s not a Blockhead due to her referring to the guys as “The Quiet One” and “The Little One.” So after we part ways, exchange numbers, and agree to meet up later at the concert and/or after party, I educate her on NKOTB 101 – what are their names, what are their most popular songs, etc.
After some crappy (non) pool time (there was no space around the tiny-ass pool, so we were stuck sunbathing on the barren concrete slab between the two “Pleasure Pools” – one of which was closed), my other co-worker finally joins us just in time for me to head back up to our room to start getting ready.
Two hours later (yes, I take forever to get ready, especially when there is a fraction of a chance I might get a split second with any of the guys), I get a text from Berkeley to come over to her room so we can head down together. My co-workers take about a quarter of the time I took to get ready, so we’re soon on our way over to Berkeley and her mom and heading downstairs to the Axis Theater.
I’m ready for an epic night!