Can we just talk about this new phenomenon of adult boybands?
I, of course, am totally and utterly for this movement. In recent years I have been able to check New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys and Boyz II Men off of my boyband-bucket-list and I am eternally grateful for those men who decided to capitalize on the nostalgia fad of today. Because it is a fad, isn’t it? I mean, if you look back at pop music history there isn’t another instance of 80s and 90s boybands or other pop groups coming back to life with such fire and fury and doing it successfully and without (too much) novelty.
My theory is that those of us in our late twenties and into our thirties are yearning for the ease and excitement of our teen years and childhood. Our lives aren’t that great as is, at least mine isn’t. This isn’t what I was promised as an early teen in the affluence of the 90s. This is a joke. So I love to check out of my daily grind and lose myself in a crowd of 17,000 screaming women who are all age-appropriate for the act on stage. I really can’t go around ogling The Wanted or One Direction, now can I? Not outside the privacy of my own home, anyway. It was only a matter of time after so many successful 80s and 90s-themed parties and bar nights, before wildly popular acts from those eras (those who are still marginally attractive) resurfaced and capitalized on the niche. It’s here, we’re queer, get used to it.
Before you launch into a fit of disbelief about the alleged success of these Adult Boybands, I should mention that I’m biased, but I intend to prove it regardless. So shut up.
I just attended the most recent of the three tours on which NKOTB has embarked since gracing us with their presence in 2009 and it was a sold out show of 17,000 people (women) at the Palace of Auburn Hills. So there. In fact, every show on their tour with Boyz II Men and a super-awkward 98 Degrees is sold out or is well on its way. Their respective cruises, VIP Parties and fanclub events sell out as well. I know…I’ve tried to get tickets. You can’t even hope to breathe the same air as these sex-monsters of teenage dreams unless you’re willing to drop a few hundred dollars and a little of your dignity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with throwing my dignity out the door if it means I’ll get to hold on to Donnie Wahlberg’s sweaty bicep, and I have. A few times. I just can’t afford to spend $500 to sit in the first few rows and get my picture taken with nine other women and the five guys. Can’t and won’t. Instead, I employ cheap-ass stalker methods and they generally work. You just have to know how to work the system.
Saturday’s Detroit stop on the aptly named “Package Tour” was my favorite of the New Kids tours. Because yes, I’ve seen them all. They have really figured out how to transition from a boyband to a manband. The first couple of times, it was pure novelty and nostalgia that brought us in. They did their old songs, their old dance moves and sure, it was a little awkward. So I’m told. I couldn’t see through my “Please Don’t Go, Girl” tears. Now, however, they’ve realized that their fans, the “million sisters” they so often reference, pretty much want to see them get all “Magic Mike” on us. They can get completely naked and just walk around the stage for all I care. Let’s just play a track in the background and let them gyrate for 2 hours. I wouldn’t mind. I’ve gotten a little off track. My point, I think, is that they understand their audience and they give us what we want. Pelvic thrusts, shirtless chests and plenty of sexual suggestion.
Do we believe that we’ll ever be on the receiving end of their thrusts? No. Of course not. But isn’t it fun to pretend?
So jump on board the Manband train, ladies and gays! You won’t regret it. It’s super-fun to remember the lyrics to the songs of yesteryear, and even more fun when those lyrics are accompanied by a subtle junk-wiggle and a glistening pectoral muscle. Trust me. I’m an expert.