Who: Twenty- and thirty-something women who party like it’s 1999
What: Backstreet Boys After-Party
Where: Epic Events Center
When: July 15, 2011
Why: Who doesn’t want to see their teenage crush up close, in person?
When I was six, I attended my first concert, New Kids on the Block. I sat on my dad’s shoulders, clutched my Jordan Knight doll (with a rat tail hairdo), and held a sign that read “New Kids Rock the Block.” When I was 15, I skipped my high school homecoming dance to see the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium Tour. Since I hadn’t been asked to the dance, I figured swooning over Brian, Nick, A.J., Howie, and Kevin would be the next-best thing.
This summer I had the chance to see both groups again. I, like thousands of other young women, witnessed NKOTB and BSB join forces to become NKOTBSB. The show at Target Center had all the attributes of a great boy band concert: choreography, dance hits, ballads, confetti cannons, and plenty of rhinestoned menswear. When the show ended, my best friend, Nicole, and myself anxiously made our way to Epic for the after-party.
While the concert was massive, the party at Epic had a more intimate feel. The night started off with Backstreet Boys Nick Carter and Howie Dorough playing DJ sets. Partygoers danced while the guys played hits such as Timbaland’s “The Way I Are” and DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.”
The party was advertised as a Backstreet Boys after party, but a couple of New Kids crashed the event. The crowd shrieked when heartthrob Jordan Knight and bad boy Donnie Wahlberg made their way onto the stage.
That’s when the party really took off. The guys took turns singing while young women crowded against the stage. Wahlberg led the crowd in a rendition of Cee Lo Green’s “F**k You.” Several of the guys performed songs from their solo albums, including “Just One Kiss” by Carter, “100” by Dorough, and “Let’s Go Higher” by Knight. There was plenty of bromance between the guys, who looked like they were enjoying the night as much as their fans.
I left the party with sore feet from dancing and a renewed crush on Jordan Knight. The second time around the block—or the backstreet—was definitely worth it.