There are many ways I could begin this review. One way: “Sonic Youth and New Kids On The Block have more in common than you think.” Another way: “Ever have the hankering to watch grown women revert back to their prepubescent selves and freak out about an over-the-hill boy band member/reality show star?” You know what though? I think I am just going to go ahead and say it – my name is Emily, and I went to a Jordan Knight concert last night. It was at Maxwell’s, a venue co-owned by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (See? I told you there was a connection). But wait, wait, I swear, I’m not like the rest of them! My reason for attendance was pure, sick curiosity – kind of like when you find yourself watching one of those horrible Lifetime movies on a Saturday afternoon and you just… can’t… pull… yourself… away. I must also explain that the only reason I was there was because I got in for free, and I had a stiff martini to help me through the night.
Let me set the scene for you. There are about 90 women present, most of them between 25 and 35 and about 10 reluctant boyfriends. Most of these ladies are dressed in their best “sexy” outfit, including a woman in front of us in a head-to-toe skintight leather ensemble. Jordan is about an hour late and the ladies are not happy. My roommate and I are standing by the merch table, which is covered in a vintage New Kids On The Block paper tablecloth. Jordan’s on-stage DJ is playing a medley of NKOTB favorites to get the crowd pumped.
The women are beginning to get testy, and soon they all begin chanting “We want Jordan! We want Jordan!” They are crowding around the entrance to the stage, and finally, the man of the hour comes through the door. The women scream in unison and Jordan is ferried through the shower of digicam flashbulbs and prying hands by his gigantic leather-clad bodyguard. Yes, this ex-member of New Kids On The Block has his own bodyguard. Do not underestimate 30-year-old women still stuck in the ’80s.
Jordan took the stage and the screaming began. In fact, the squealing did not let up throughout the entire set. I never made it to a New Kids concert during my brief heyday as a 7-year-old fan, but I imagine that last night’s show was a pretty close replica, the main difference being the crowd’s age and the fact that they were using digital cameras. He opened the show with New Kids favorite “My Favorite Girl”, one of their countless songs with “girl” in the title. Incredibly enough, nearly all of the women were singing along to every single lyric. He even busted out a few vintage dance moves, remnants of the routines that NKOTB used to perform all throughout their shows. After a few more New Kids songs (in which I learned that somehow his falsetto is still intact), he launched into “Give It To You”, his solo single from a few years back (that I had to look up the name of on allmusic.com, I swear.) Although he did incorporate some of his new material, I have to say that I am glad he realizes that his fans are there to hear New Kids songs. It’s refreshing that despite his attempts at a solo career in his 30′s, he is humble enough to realize that he’ll never be able to eclipse the fame he achieved as a 12-year-old. Perhaps there is a life lesson in there for all of us – you’ll never be better than you were in middle school? Gee I hope not, because that was my Grateful Dead phase.
Source: Emily Silman