Since my brain has now (hopefully) recovered from 3 straight days of debauchery, I am prepared to recap you on the story of the first 2 days of my New Kids on the Block weekend. Well. Most of the story. The fact that I was washing down questionable doses of Sudafed with red and white wine, Lemondrop shots, and Greygoose and cranberry, leads me to believe that this will be an abridged version. I arrived at The Borgata Hotel on Thursday evening around 6pm. The Borgata Hotel. Have you seen this joint?
The place is to die for. I booked a standard room with two king beds (one for me and one for my girlfriend who was partying it up with me for the weekend), and it was nothing to laugh at. It was nicely equipped with a refrigerator, coffee maker, hairdryer, and all of the other standard hotel accoutrements. As well as this view to the left:
And this view to the right:
It even looks delicious on the camera phone, and that says a lot.
As well, I may have sent My Gazelle a text message of this picture:
with this message:
"Let's pray that our honeymoon shower is like this!"
Yes, folks. He's marrying me because I'm classy.
As soon as I took in all of the amenities that the room had to offer, as well as the wonderful view, I immediately knew that it was going to be a fantastic weekend.
After Kari arrived to the hotel (she was driving in from New York), we decided to get something to eat and then explore the hotel a little. After eating an especially onion-y Fatburger from The Cafeteria at The Borgata, we walked around and window shopped in a rather deserted section in the hotel. Apparently it was deserted because all of the schmetzy stores were closed for the day.
As we were wandering back down that deserted marble corridor chit-chatting away about how amazing it would be to randomly run into Donnie, Jordan, Jon, Joe, or Danny (and as I unsuccessfully searched for a stick of gum to cure my onion breath), we ran into this guy:
Seriously? Excuse me, Jesus? Could you have made this a more inconvenient time to run into Jon Knight? Onion breath, bad hair, ratty t-shirt and yoga pants. For REAL? That is the explanation for the shock and awe on my face. Not only because I randomly ran into Jon Knight, but also because I was wearing YOGA PANTS. Yes. Yoga pants.
Kari took out her camera to take this picture initially, but she was shaking too much to actually take the picture. Jon said to her "Oh, you're a teacher?!" Kari said "YEAH, HOW DID YOU KNOW?", to which he replied "It says so on your shirt."
Um. Right. Shirt. Check.
Jon thought the whole situation was cute at that point, and since she was still shaking too much to take the picture, he told her to let me take the pic first while she calmed down. She handed me the camera, and I took the greatest picture of Jon giving her a huge hug while he said "Awwww, it's OK. I'm a person just like you!"
Let me just say that Jon almost stepped into "I love you way more than Donnie" territory at that moment for me. I was very charmed by his willingness to stop and talk to two fanny schmoes (one dressed in yoga pants), at a time when he clearly was intending to do something much more important.
After we stood in that deserted corridor and called everyone we knew to inform them of this latest development in our 'Fanatic Blockhead' status, we made it our mission to look beautiful at all times for the rest of the weekend. God forbid we should run into Donnie or Joe (our two favorites) while wearing yoga pants again...the horror! After sufficiently beautifying ourselves and having a glass of wine (or five), we ventured out again.
As we walked through the hotel lobby/registration area, we had another unexpected run-in with destiny. Destiny in the form of Joe McIntyre, of course.
Kari was much more composed this time, since she expelled the initial shock factor during our encounter with Jon (and maybe the wine relaxed her). I'm also happy to report that I wasn't wearing yoga pants for that photo op, and my breath did not reek of onions.
After that encounter with Joe, we decided to aimlessly wait for Donnie to arrive at the hotel (straight groupie-style). However, he never arrived, and we finally went to bed around 3AM. In the process of waiting, we met some very nice fans and lost about $30 in the slot machines at the casino.
We slept for approximately 15 hours, and then woke up in time to eat, drive to some strange ghetto mall to shop for new clothes and shoes, and then got back to the hotel to beautify ourselves for Friday night's show. We chose general admission tickets for both nights, and we were banking on the fact that even if we didn't have front row for either one of the shows, we would still be better off than if we had an actual seat.
It turned out that there was no opening act at the show (The JabbaWockeeZ opened for them when I went to the show last summer), and I don't think that most people anticipated that there would be no opening act, so planned to come after the 8PM start time. Because of that, when we got there at 7:30, we were able to secure a nice spot to the left of the stage, about 3 rows back.
I didn't get a ton of great pictures, but I was close enough that I didn't miss this:
The show was very good, and it was nice to hear the guys sing a lot of their new music. Last year, I noticed that they did a lot of the old hits, and they included a whole montage of songs from their very first album (released in 1986). This show included only a few old songs (Hangin' Tough, Step By Step, Please Don't Go Girl). My impression is that last years' tour was done in an effort to bring the old fans out of the woodwork and remind us of why we loved them (as if any of us forgot). This years' tour is all about the present, and they are singing the hell out of the new music. I'm cool with that because I love it.
They'll definitely lose the "kinda" fans on this tour though...which is OK by me. Less competition.
The highlight of Friday was definitely by far the barely-announced after-party at The Borgata's Club Mixx. Although Saturday night's after-party at Club Mixx was highly promoted on the NKOTB Facebook page and such, the only mention that I saw of Friday night's after-party was in one of Donnie's Tweets on Friday afternoon. Since it wasn't hugely promoted, there were not a lot of people. It was perfect.
DJ Cheapshot was amazing. Although I'm not normally huge on 'clubby' music, I danced my ass off for 3 hours straight. I didn't realize it on Friday night at the show (because we were so far to the left of the stage that the speakers blocked our view), but he actually DJ'd during the entire show. After the show, he came down to Mixx to do his thing again. You should definitely check out his stuff--it'll make you shake your bootie, and I can't wait to work out to it.
The party at Mixx was amazing. Although I don't recall all of the details (Sudafed, Greygoose, Lemondrops...remember?), I KNOW that it was amazing. I mean...I went to sleep around 4am...it had to be fun, right? I woke up late Friday morning with the most amazing hangover and no voice whatsoever.
Stay tuned for Saturday night's adventure. It includes bruised forearms, crying over fried rice (it's amazing what we'll cry about when we're drunk), groupies, and an Amish Band. Not necessarily in that order.