Thursday, June 16, 2011

NKOTBSB - How masterful musicology and orchestration converted me

Monday night I went to see the New Kids on The Block & Backstreet Boys concert at the Izod Center and I LOVED IT!!
That's not a typo...
Let me repeat (and bold) for the hard of reading: MONDAY,  I went to see a NKOTBSB concert and I LOVED IT!!

Full disclosure... I did have the luxury of a full blown VIP experience (see my "special" VIP pass?) ala band tour bus, backstage dressing room access (ah ah ah stop right there - take your mind outta the gutter), primo seats and official after-party perks to enhance my night, BUT I am able to separate those extras from the pure musical experience without bias.

So I'm wondering where should I start. Would it be more entertaining to captivate you first with vignettes of the sophomoric tour bus and backstage dressing room antics and hijinx (I wouldn't dare!!) or the secret joy I felt in watching the glares we got from "uber fan" onlookers as we walked backstage.

Perhaps anecdotely you'd prefer to read about the great new snack I created on the fly from two basic concession stand staples, or about our time sitting adjacent to the surprise musical guest Naughty by Nature in the VIP section of the after party. Maybe you'd be more interested in the awkward moment when I accused Donny Wahlberg (the mastermind, visionary and "musicologist" behind this tour) of stealing the idea for my tasty snack creation (now under secret development).

In all honesty, I had no intention of blogging about my time at this concert until sometime halfway through the first song when I realized what the hell was goin' on...

All of a sudden the light bulb came on in my head and I said to myself "Wait a fuckin' minute!!! Did we just finish yelling whoa-ooooa ohhhhhh from Coldplay's Viva la Vida as the guys mashed "Single"(by NKs), and "The One" (by Backstreet)??" Was I buggin'?? "OK pay attention Kateria...maybe you've had too much to drink. Maybe you should have listened to your friend Sasha (Allen) when she told you to bring earplugs to guard against the screaming fans". Yall know that incredible sound of the truly dedicated and enthralled which in turn results in the buzzing of the ears that still continues to hum even 4 days later.
But as it turns out, I wasn't buggin'...
Alas (yes another word I happen to use), I think it's best to cut to the chase (she says after typing 300+ words just to get to this point) and start by trying to convey to my readers, what I was really reacting to; that being the genius of Rob Lewis' orchestration. 
When Rob Lewis, Musical Director for this highly anticipated tour, offered me the chance to check out the concert, I was delighted. Hey, I knew if Rob was running the music, it was gonna be a good show even if I couldn't remember, at the time, a single song put out by either group. He didn't let us/me down. Although subtle and sometimes subliminal in most cases, I was dumbfounded by the mixing and layering of classic songs* with fan favs from both bands.
You didn't hear it from me, but I am pretty sure this was in no way an easy undertaking. Without knowing much about the inter-workings of the music world behind the scenes, I can only imagine the amount of diplomacy and creativity it would take to figure out for instance:
  • How much of one song to do before switching to another.
  • How to make sure the audience doesn't get confused.
  • Who should sing first, etc.
I gotta give it to these guys...if any of that kind of stuff was goin on (highly unlikely), you sure couldn't tell from my vantage point.
I'm completely convinced that this special blend of the familiar and unfamiliar is both engaging for existing fans while captivating for those like me who would have never believed they would be telling their friends about the superior level of entertainment I witnessed.
I won't even tell yall about the choreography!!! Ain't I the same age as these dudes??? How are they able to move like they do?? I'm mad at them! Lol
Lastly, I'd like to thank Sasha and Rob  for their thoughtfulness and generosity. I feel fortunate to have talented and gifted people like them in my life. Keep building yall!
*Classic Songs I could identify during the show (in no particular order)
Queen - We Will Rock You
Prince - Raspberry Beret
Bell, Biv, Devoe - Poison
The Delphonics - Didn't I blow your mind
Montel Jordan - This is How We Do It
C&C Music Factory - Everybody Dance Now
BeeGees - Stayin Alive
The Spinners - I'll Be Around
PM Dawn - If You Stay
AC/DC - Back In Black
Mona Lisa or Children's Story (I think?!) by Slick Rick 


Chris said...

"Bell, Biv, Devoe - Poison"

WOW!! THAT gave me flashbacks! The vid..everything...thanks :)

Connys Cottage said...

Wooooow i loved this band NKOTB on me teenagerage.
Sooooo great.

You asked for the patern.You can look her.

greatings send you Conny

The Katalist said...

Thanks Conny!!