Inner Child Awakening/The Package Tour With Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees & New Kids On The Block

There is something to be said about reliving good childhood memories. It keeps you young at heart, it can rejuvenate you and definitely make you smile. All those things and then some happened to me last Friday when I saw The Package Tour. The tour consists of 3 'boy bands' Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees and New Kids On The Block.

I was maybe 11 or 12 when I first started to love New Kids On The Block. Donnie Wahlberg has always been my favourite. I never realized how long it had been, perhaps it's my mind denying how old I really am but I never thought about it until this tour was announced. Their last album is called 10 to commemorate the number of releases they have. Really? They've been together for 25 years? Geez, where has the time gone??
Back in the day, my cousins and I had the music, posters, shirts, dolls, bed sheets etc. We went to all the concerts too. Years later, the group broke up and we grew up. We weren't as crazy about them and there was a time I was actually embarrassed to admit I liked them despite keeping tabs on Donnie's blossoming acting career. NKOTB reunited in 2008 with a new album and tour and of course, I went. I was a little low key about it too. I think I mentioned I went after the fact on here but was still a little embarrassed. LOL!

Fast forward to now, here I am with a well respected blog and known for having a strong love for music in particular for Hip Hop and Soul. NKOTB announces a huge tour with 98 Degrees and another group that I loved growing up, Boyz II Men. I just HAD to go and this time after all these years, I decided to splurge a little (the show was a week after my birthday) and get the VIP package which consisted of premium floor seats, pre show party, gift bag and a meet and greet with NKOTB.

By the time show day came, I was excited yet nervous. My girl put it best when she said, 'which Vee is going to show up to the meet and greet? The shy and quiet one who will barely say hi? Or the one who will take advantage of her only opportunity to speak to her childhood idols?'. If you know me, you know I get very shy and quiet in social situations especially when meeting someone I admire. It's happened plenty of times; many of those times have been documented here! Lol!
My 2 friends and I arrived hours before show time as instructed and waited in line outside of the Air Canada Centre. I knew there would be a ton of chicks but there were way more then I expected. We stood out there for longer than I would've liked but eventually got in. Once registered, we were ushered into a big lounge. First thing on the agenda for us was the ladies' room! Since it was crowded in the washroom, once I was done, I told my girls I'd wait in the hall for them. As I came out, a guy came towards me saying the group will be arriving shortly and that we should hurry back to the lounge so we don't miss our group being called. I told him my girls should be out any minute now and he nodded, walking away. I stood there for a few before I noticed a bunch of people gathering down the hall that we were supposed to go through to the lounge. As the people started to walk towards me, my girls came out and were not too far from me. Then I realized, IT'S THEM! One by one, Joey, Jordan, Jon and Danny turned the corner to go down the other hallway, all waving, smiling and saying hi to us. Donnie was last in line and I'm not sure if he could tell that I gasped under my breath and froze when I saw him but he just stepped out of line with a big smile. He came right up to me, said hi and gave me this huge hug, swaying with me for a bit. He then went to hug my girls and said hi to a few other girls that were there before security yelled saying for him to hurry. I was beside myself! LOL!

Soon, it was time to go in for our meet and greet. We were called in by groups of 10 that were assigned to us when we registered. Once I knew who was in the group with us, I knew I wasn't going to be able to stand beside Donnie for the photo because 1. the chicks that were ahead of me were both Donnie fans (I overheard them talking when we were outside) so they would beat me to him and 2. I was last in line in our group. We went in and Joey was the first one I saw. As I walked towards him and said hi, he opened his arms to me and said, 'how are you, sweetie? Nice to meet you." We chit chatted a bit and then they took our pictures. After that, I was determined to take advantage of being last and made sure I spoke to each of them. Jordan was next and I was able talk to him a bit and give him a hug. Donnie stood next to him and as I was pulling away from a hug with Jordan, I felt him take my hand. "Hello again!" he greeted and all I could do was smile. Donnie  turned to Jordan and said, "We had a moment in the hallway earlier." Jordan just smiled and nodded as if to say 'ahh okay'. I just looked at Donnie and said, "Really? You can tell I'm freakin out right now, right?" He just laughed and pulled me for a hug. "But why? What am I doing? I ain't doing shit!" he said as he hugged me tighter. All I remember was me just mumbling "oh my God, oh my God, oh my God" loud enough so that he could hear and him laughing and kissing my cheek repeatedly. We spoke for a bit and before I moved on, I got another hug and Donnie gave me a kiss! I swear I felt the little girl inside me squealing! Smh! He was extremely fact, all of them were. I was rushed a bit after that because security started to yell but I did hug Danny and managed to talk to Jon, my second fave, for a bit too.

The pre-show party was pretty decent. The lounge was really nice. There was lots of food and drinks. We were also given 2 drink tickets and even though I don't drink much, I downed 2 rye and ginger ales before we headed to our seats. I obviously was in a helluva good mood! Ha!

My seats were some of the best seats in the house! The simplest way to describe the set up: think of the shape of a dumbbell with 2 stages as the weights and a walkway in between. One stage is on the far side where the band is set up then a walkway leads to the centre stage which is right in the middle of the floor. The centre stage was also shaped like a flower with 5 pedals for each guy to stand on. Also certain parts of the centre stage raise up above the crowd. It was a really great set up and I would imagine everyone would have a good view. I didn't stay in my seat at all and was right at the walkway by the steps to centre stage. My view was amazing!

Promptly at 7:30, Boyz II Men took the stage. I was surprised they were on first but I was happy to see them because it was my 1st time seeing them live. They sounded amazing but to me, they punked out in the part where they break it down and harmonize in Motown Philly which was their finale. They had the fans sing it but I guess they did that because they no longer have Mike McCary doing bass. Overall, great performance. I enjoyed it.

Video: A snippet of It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
(Friendly reminder: Don't forget to pause the mp3 player at the bottom left of your screen before pressing play!)

Up next was 98 Degrees. I have to admit I knew very little about them. I knew one of them was married to Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey and his brother, Drew won on Dancing With The Stars. I also knew some songs; a few that I even forgot about until I heard them sing them that night. A couple of other things I realized that night was Jeff Timmons is kinda handsome and Drew is REALLY short! LOL! I enjoyed their set. They were entertaining and they sounded really good!

Lastly, New Kids On The Block took the stage. Their performance was about 2 hours long and was very entertaining. There was a great mix of old and new songs. They also did a couple of covers in a segment where they wanted to sing a few songs they loved back in the day: Tender Love by Force MDs, Faith by George Michael and Kiss by Prince. Even though the covers were well done, I would've rather they did other songs from their own catalogue. All in all, NKOTB sounded great and you can tell they were enjoying themselves. Numerous times you can see them laughing, joking around and of course, teasing and interacting with fans. 

I enjoyed myself thoroughly that much that I'm no longer embarrassed which is why you see this post here. Folks can make fun of me all they want but I don't care...I met my childhood crush! Not a lot of people can say that so why be embarrassed? I should even be more proud at the fact I didn't shut down when I met them! It was awesome to relive that time of my life...too bad I don't feel the way I did back then, my back, legs and feet were KILLING ME that night! I felt like they made me feel like a young girl again and when they were done, they also reminded me that I'm not that young girl anymore! Very painfully, I might add! LOL! I was extremely exhausted but, it was so worth it to me. If you're a fan of any of these guys, you should definitely check out The Package Tour!

They opened with We Own The Night
This was when centre stage raised high up!
Despite reports of severe anxiety throughout his career, Jon is doing really well!

"The Right Stuff"

ABOVE: Donnie looking at us while the spotlight was on Joey

ABOVE: I'm so shocked at how great this shot turned out! My fave pic of the night!

"Hangin' Tough"

Video: Survive You from the latest album, 10
(Friendly reminder: Don't forget to pause the mp3 player at the bottom left of your screen before pressing play!)

Video: The Whisper from 10. They were all high up on individual platforms so it was a little hard to film. At about the 3 minute mark, you see Donnie looking right at me and shimmy! LOL
(Friendly reminder: Don't forget to pause the mp3 player at the bottom left of your screen before pressing play!)

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