It would be my 12th Birthday, and my Mom and Dad bought me the “New Kids on the Block” cassette. I will never forget putting it in my walkman, riding in the car, headphones on, and drooling over “Please Don’t Go Girl.” Looking out the window, dreaming of Joey, and thinking this was the best group on the planet. It’s funny how music can take you right back in a moment that you may have long forgotten. Fast forward a couple of years and I found “Boyz 2 Men” where I would listen to “Motown Philly” every day before heading off to High School- it had such a fun beat and always got me up and ready to face the day. If you had told me at 12, at 14, that when I was 38 I would be seeing them in Concert, WHILE LIVING IN ORLANDO… I would have told you were certifiable. Like so many dreams coming true for me since moving here, this was a big one- enjoy!
When the tickets when on sale, I called my Disney sister, Shelley, and said “WE HAVE GOT TO DO THIS!!” So the idea was born, and we were so happy that Marisol was also able to come and also celebrate my Birthday for the evening. With only a few snafus with the GPS, we were able to get to the Amway Center safely, and parked in the GEICO attached parking garage. I would HIGHLY recommend this as we were able to pre-pay the $20 parking fee from home, and like I said, it was attached. This is a HUGE factor when the FL weather changes constantly- being able to walk from the car, to the bridge, and then be inside the Amway Center without needing an umbrella was a God send for us (it had been storming pretty good later afternoon). We were also fortunate enough to get right to the car with no problem and out of the garage without getting held up for hours on end.
We were SO ready for this- we were like 13 year old fan girls again. Security was no problem, just a simple bag check, and they were ok with us bringing our phones in. Since the merch stand was right there when we walked in, we decided to grab our stuff before it got busy. I was a bit sticker shocked by the t-shirt prices- $45 for just a Tour shirt, and $75 for a Jersey. Shelley got a tote bag, and I bought a tour shirt. I LOVED that they had the dates on the back, and that Milwaukee, WI was also listed next for July, which coincidentally is where I used to see Concerts AND where a good pal is going to see them too.
We had planned to eat downtown Orlando, but with the cruddy weather, we decided to find what Amway had to offer meal wise. We all agreed that the quality of the food was excellent- chicken tenders and fries were delicious. BUT, the prices made Disney look like a steal. Sodas were $5 each and the meals ran around $10. I will say the Employees were extremely nice to us, and it came hot and fast. We did have difficulty in finding seating to actually relax and eat- eventually something opened up and we were able to chill before the show.
Our seats were located in a great spot for everything- row 20 in the section on stage left. They had 2 stages set up- one was on our immediate right, and the other was in the center of the arena. I don’t think there was a bad seat in the house, although those seat that were super high up had to rely on the large screens showing the guys.
Boys 2 Men opened the show and they were ELECTRIC! I would say they put on a VERY good show, and kicked off the night perfectly! The energy was high, people were pumped, and every song they did jelled with the next. They kept my interest, and that’ what I LOVED about them- I have been to enough Concerts where there sometimes is the odd lull that doesn’t seem to make sense with the song sequence- this wasn’t one of those times. Where we were sitting we could see them getting ready to come on stage, and that was super exciting with each group. The Concert started at 7:30 p.m. and I believe they sang about half an hour.
Next came 98 Degrees…which I was excited for because I was HOPING they would sing “True to your Heart” since we were in Orlando AND near Disney turf, but it was a no go. They did sing several ballads, but I did notice the crowd didn’t seem very into it. They were all very pretty to look at it, but there wasn’t that excitement and “flow” that the Boyz brought before them. I’m happy I got to see them now, but I wouldn’t pay to see them headlining by themselves.
After their set, from 8:30-9:00 p.m. was a 20-30 minute intermission to run to the bathroom, grab drinks, etc… It flew by and before we knew it, “New Kids” were walking on stage and I was screaming alongside Shelley and Marisol. There he was…the object of all my affections in my teen years…Joey McIntyre. He was beautiful, he was real, and I was over the moon in love at the sight of me only feet from where I stood.
New Kids sang for TWO straight hours- they had several costume changes, two stages, a rotating group stage and their own rising pillar stages, along with walking through the audience at one point where you couldn’t see them anymore. They sang all of their old songs…and then came “Please Don’t Go Girl” in which Joey got emotional with the crowd cheering for him. I was smiling, laughing, crying, and singing along. They had pyrotechnics, confetti several times, and sparks falling down on the end stage at one point. Donny took his shirt off…and I was pretty sure every girl in the place needed a moment.
They did sing some songs that were from other bands and singers, including “It’s getting hot in here.” There were kids in the audience, to each his own, but this Concert had a small layer that I would say was definitely PG-13.
All in all, I felt Amway did an excellent job hosting the event, and that the “Package Tour” was well worth the money and the wait. New Kids brought out Boyz 2 Men at the end, which was super sweet, but they never did it with 98 Degrees- maybe they possibly aren’t as buddy as buddy as we hope they are? It just seemed off that they would make such a deal about the Boyz, but not the other group. If anyone knows WHY they didn’t, please leave a comment.
If you are going to see this, you will have a GREAT time! It was so much fun, and I would see them again in a heartbeat. A HUGE thank you to Shelley and Marisol for making my Birthday so special and for enjoying all the goodness that the Boy Bands brought us that night. Until next time… I’ll be “Hangin Tough.”
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!