I was beyond excited when the New Kids announced their new album release “10” and summer tour- “The Package Tour”. I pre-ordered my album, received it in April and loved it. You can read my review here, although after seeing them perform this album live- my opinions would now be a lot stronger! So many songs on this album grew on me as the summer went on.
I immediately purchased tickets to the Minneapolis show near me for July 13th (I was psyched to score 3rd row seats) but found out the next week that some tour dates were added and our July 13th date was switched to July 20th. This put a huge cramp in my plans, since I’d be gone on July 20th. We head to Massachusetts the end of July for our annual two-week family vacation to the Cape and Leominster to see family and friends. I was really bummed because the next closest location was in Chicago but again, we were already on the road to Massachusetts the days NKOTB would be in Chicago. I really thought I wasn’t going to make it to a show (which would be my typical NKOTB luck) which was killng me. That was until I heard that they were making an appearance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest on July 2, 2013. I immediately made plans with an old college roomie to attend the show. At first I purchased some okay seats about 16 rows up in the reserved section.
After a few weeks of pondering those seats, I finally decided I needed to pay the extra money and actually do a 5* VIP Meet & Greet with them via VIP Nation. I talked my friend, Sarah into doing it too (she was psyched to finally meet Joe) and we bought the tickets giving us seats within the first few rows (we wouldn’t know the exact location until the day of the show). The two of us were giddy with excitement leading up to our show. We had to figure out outfits and which hotel to stay at and of course we had to get to know their new album. I also decided to start using my Twitter account so I could keep up with the tour. Within just a few days I started meeting so many amazing BH’s (blockheads for all of you non-New Kids fans) that I was bummed I hadn’t thought of doing it sooner! Twitter really is the best way to keep up with the New Kids and all of their fans.
The day of the show was a breezy and cool one in Milwaukee. I was dressed poorly in a tank top and skinny jeans and no jacket. I never would’ve thought I’d need a jacket in July, but that lake effect was really cold! We arrived at Summerfest early and spent the day reliving our college years. We stopped at a few of our favorite beer tents and enjoyed a few other live shows going on at the other stages. Our VIP 5* package had us meeting at 4:30pm outside the Marcus Amphitheater. We arrived just as it started to sprinkled rain us (exactly what we didn’t need!) and then headed in to start our meet and greet.
The experience wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned, I’d seen other M&Gs from this same tour and they were all in a “backstage” or “dressing room” area that offered a few minutes to mingle with the guys before your actual group meet & greet photo. I think because our show was at a festival and the amphitheater was outside, we didn’t have an area like that to mingle at. Instead, we were given the opportunity to have a drink or snack (sans the men) and then put in our groups. We got put in the first group, “letter A” which in hind sight was the worst group to be in. Everyone else was able to stand in line watching us meet them (and getting all of that time just looking at the guys!) and were able to take notes on how to do it better.
When ours started, there was a mad rush to stand by each person’s favorite guy. I am a huge Joey fan, but now have Donnie tendencies, so I was trying to stand by him. I also had met Joe a few times in the past, so figured I’d let someone else get that experience. Right as we were about to go meet them, I asked who everyone was wanting to stand by (since Milwaukee fans couldn’t just choose a group ahead of time like the rest of the BH’s on Twitter did! Believe me, I tried to get a group together for our show and no one was interested) and of course half of my group wanted to stand by Donnie. I quickly realized I was going to be outta luck so I immediately set my goal on Jordan. I’ve always loved Jordan (I also have a son with the same name, coincidence? I think not.) and I had never met him, so I knew it was a good choice. We were given just a minute or so to pick which kid to stand by and then our picture was taken. I pretty much hustled over to Jordan and asked “Can I stand by you?” Which, really Jamie? That’s the best you’ve got?! Of course he said “sure!” and our conversation was pretty much about how flippin’ cold outside it was for being July. (Again, really? You talked about the weather?) After it was done, we were ushered along. Luckily, I was able to still quickly give a hug to Jon and Donnie but there was no time for small talk.
What I learned from this was #1. Don’t do a M&G at a non-traditional venue. #2. Go for the Ultimate! Its worth the extra money.
The show itself was spectacular! We had 3rd row seats and they were in the middle section, which now makes me never want a farther seat again. lol The set was cut a little short because it was not their normal stage set up, but what we saw amazing! Here’s a few pictures I took at the show…
After the show I went through “I can’t believe my NKOTB show is over” syndrome and started talking to a few other BHs about their show experiences. It was then I realized that we really did miss out on seeing their full show with all of their own stages. So, after a few days of consideration I decided to get tickets to their Manchester, NH show that was only a few hours from the beach we were staying at in MA. I ended up waiting until a few days before the show (I’ve been told they release good seats sometimes within a few days of the concert) and sure enough, I got us 3rd row seats.
I have to say, the difference between the Milwaukee show and Manchester was huge! The Package Tour’s own stages and set up really is top-notch. Their rising stages, spinning main stage and individual rising pillars were spectacular! I also loved how you could see the fun playful things they’d picked up or added to the show after doing it all summer long.
I actually didn’t bring my nice camera to this show (the Milwaukee show I actually had a media pass for Fabulous Won), so my images are pretty poor quality. I have to say though, my seats and the experience in Manchester was so worth the long drive through Cape traffic, rush hour in Boston and finally concert traffic (the 2 1/2 hour drive ended up being 6 hours). I’ve seen some great concerts in the past from NKOTB and other huge names (hello Madonna & Janet Jackson?!) and I have to say, The Package Tour is by far the best production I’ve seen. I’m really excited to see what NKOTB comes up with next, because I Like the Remix.