Post NKOTBSB thoughts

To think I almost missed it. I had second thoughts about watching the NKOTBSB concert in Manila, held on June 3 at the MOA Arena (mainly because I couldn’t find someone to watch with and didn’t want to watch alone). Thank goodness my sister finally decided to go, or I would have missed out on a really, really fun and entertaining night.

My head is still in a blur, to be honest so this post’s format is going to be a little lazy. So here are my thoughts on the NKOTBSB concert, in bullet points!

The MOA Arena is a good venue but… A lot of work still needs to be done on getting things organized. There was more than one entrance to the venue but only one was open. The lines were so long, that at one point people were lined up on the street. It was also disorganized inside the arena, especially at the point where they check the tickets before you enter your section. One line literally went in circles, in a corkscrew shape because the ticket holders were left to their own devices in forming the lines.

Also, less than a month into the Arena’s opening, some things already need repair. In the women’s toilets I went to, one faucet was already detached from the sink while another was already clogged.

SM is touting the Arena as world class, but they need to get their act together if they want the venue to deserve the name.

I need to start stalking golf courses – Saturday morning, Brian Littrell and AJ McLean played golf where I live. And I had no clue whatsoever. And I think it’ll take a while for me to get over the fact that I missed them when they were so close. I know it sounds pathetic (it probably IS pathetic) and I think only a diehard fan of any band/singer/athlete will understand how disappointing and heartbreaking this is. They were practically in my backyard! I know for a fact that they were in my street! The street where I live. MY. STREET. BACKSTREET BOYS ON MY STREET. aweursvhoafhweurfgfvnhopqwrhfnsdblauqr!!! So yeah. The next time the Backstreet Boys come over, I’m stalking golf courses.

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It’s true. First love never dies – Cheesy, I know. But I think the tens of thousands of screaming women (because let’s face it, there were very few actual “girls” in the audience) is a testament to that. These boys came into all our lives somewhere between the ages of 10-12 and, as much as we’ve grown, as much as we’ve moved on to other crushes and to relationships with actual boys, as much as we thought we’ve gotten over them we never really did. All it took was the lights turning off to signal the start of the show to reduce us to screaming, giddy, fanatic thirteen year olds again.

Donnie Wahlberg – There can’t be a NKOTBSB post without a section dedicated to Donnie. Before the concert, he was just Mark Wahlberg’s brother, Lipton in Band of Brothers or the guy in Blue Bloods. After the the concert, he is now known as Donnie: the guy with the abs. The guy with the hip cuts. The guy with the guns. The guy who thankfully ripped his shirt off… Mark Wahlberg who?

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I’m sorry, but I don’t get the falsetto – I might get a lot of hate from NKOTB and Jordan Knight fans for this, but I really don’t get it. It sounds… bad.  His normal singing voice is good and I think the falsetto in I’ll be Loving You Forever is tolerable (although it has to be noted that he didn’t even try and made the crowd sing the really high parts). But in Please Don’t Go, Girl it was just… bad, I’m sorry. Outside of the fact that it’s off-putting to hear a 40-something man sing with a prepubescent boy’s voice, it’s just too shrill for my taste. Sorry.

I miss Kevin – And not just because another good looking face on the stage never hurt anyone. I miss his voice and the way his bass just gives their songs an additional layer of depth. I noticed this particularly in As Long as You Love Me. Plus, it never really felt right that someone else sings “Love me mouth to mouth now” in Drowning (although AJ does a good job of it) or his solo in I Want It That Way. So I’m really happy he’s back in the group. I can’t wait to hear their new stuff and see him back on tour with the guys. And yes, I fully expect a final reunion tour with all five of them.

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Those “Philippines” jackets – That was sweet. Most of the time when bands and singers say that “This is the best crowd ever” or, in this case “We saved Manila for last, we planned it that way!” or “This is the best place to end the tour in!” it’s probably a case of them saying what the fans what to hear (not that I fault them for it). But the wearing those jackets was a really sweet gesture. It may have been a PR person’s idea, who knows, but it still comes through as a genuine show of appreciation.

And I guess on that note, it’s my turn to show my appreciation. Thank you Jordan, Joey, Donnie (for tearing off your shirt!), Jonathan, Danny, AJ, Brian, Howie and Nick for such a fun night. It was fun to be thirteen again, even for just a few hours.

KTBSPA! If you know what this means, high five, sistah (or brother, I won’t judge)!


 

An Open Letter to Ovation Productions

Dear Ovation,

First of all, I’d like to thank you for bringing over NKOTBSB for a concert in Manila. I’m a big Backstreet Boys fan, and anyone who brings them to our country can’t be all that bad in my book (even if I don’t really understand some of the people you bring over for concerts).

However, I do still have a few bones to pick with you.

First, the pricing of the regular lower box seats is particularly problematic. At PHP 7,920, they were only PHP 500 cheaper than Lower Box VIP. Probably anyone willing to pay PHP 7920 would be willing to spare the additional 500 bucks or even PHP 1000 (for Patron) for the better seats. Then the jump in the price between the upper and lower box tickets was too big. Upper box tickets cost less than half the lower box tickets at PHP 3,700. With the VIP and lower box tickets so closely priced, wouldn’t it have made sense to lower the price of the LB tickets, so as not to crowd out those who were willing to shell out between PHP 6,000-7,000? The result of this was that these fans had to settle for upper box tickets (therefore crowding out those whose budget was around the PHP4000 mark), and the arena ended up looking like this:

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Pretty full at the top, pretty pathetic at the bottom

And this was already after you did the second thing I want to talk to you about: selling the tickets at half-off. As a diehard fan who bought her ticket early, I think I speak on behalf of the other diehard fans when I say that this is unfair to us. We love these artists so much that we make sure we reserve and purchase seats early, the best ones we can afford, only to find out that we could’ve bought better tickets if only we waited.  It’s frustrating to find out that our VIP tickets are now more expensive than a half-off SVIP seat, or that we just needed to add PHP 800 to the purchase price of your upper box ticket to upgrade it to a half-off VIP seat. It’s heartbreaking to realize that fans who didn’t care enough to buy their tickets early now have better and CHEAPER seats than we do.

To add further insult, you go and oversell the General Admission tickets past capacity, resulting in people sitting on the steps, and standing behind the row of seats. To remedy the situation, you allegedly took the excess General Admission ticket holders and transferred them to Lower Box. LOWER BOX. People who likely paid PHP 500 had better seats than people who paid PHP 3700, and likely better seats than some people who paid the full PHP 7920.

How is that fair? How is that right? How is that not infuriating?

Wouldn’t it have been a fairer to move the rightful lower box ticket holders at the sides further front? Wouldn’t it have been more equitable to move some people from the upper box to lower box and then moved the GA viewers to the upper box seats?

I realize that I need to let this go, that there’s nothing I can do about what happened, despite how angry I am right now. The only thing I can hope for is that you change your tactics the next time so that this won’t happen again. How about pricing your tickets more reasonably the next time, so you won’t have to sell them half-off at the last minute, so that the eager, diehard fans don’t get screwed over? How about selling the right amount of tickets so that, again, the fans don’t get screwed over?

Because while it’s probably all about the money for you, for the fans, it’s about an experience of a lifetime, about dreams coming true, believe it or not. And really, as much as we shouldn’t let you, we can’t help but feel that you ruined it a bit for us.

Respectfully,

Me

PS: Please bring the Backstreet Boys back to the Philippines again. With KEVIN this time.