Gotta start out with what I wore...
|Top: Luci Boutique; Blazer: Gap; Jeans: NY&Co; Socks: American Apparel; Boots: Mr. Shoe|
T and I met in Chicago and killed an hour or so before heading to HOB for our meet n greet. At about quarter after 5, many of the other VIPs were already lined up. There were definitely over a hundred girls there. A couple guys, too, I think. We had to laugh at ourselves because we were getting more and more nervous even though we were not new to meeting musicians, by any means.
Eventually, they let us into the music hall, where were all gathered in front of the stage to watch some of the soundcheck. When Nick came out, I was surprised by how different he looked in person, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. He had longer hair that I was used to on him, and he looked maybe a little tired or older (I think he's gotten better with age, but maybe that's just me). And I guess I'm not used to seeing him so casual--he really just looked like a regular guy. A really cute one with gorgeous blue eyes and smile, but still regular.
He sang a handful of songs, including Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away" and Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" (although he said that Tom Petty was the American Bob Dylan...until he realized Bob Dylan is American, hehe). After the music, he took a few questions from the audience. I can't even remember what the first couple questions were, but the last one was that if he were an ice cream flavor, what would he be? He hedged a little, listing things off like popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, and not chocolate ice cream. But then he suggested that they put all of us in a bowl, and then he would eat us. Hahaha. Awkward. Oh I know, one of the other questions was how to do the "Burning Up" dance. Nick said he does something different every time and busted into a couple dance moves, including the Jordan Knight (New Kids on the Block member).
Next up was the meet n greet part. We all lined up in a somewhat single-file line against the stage while Nick waited at the back corner of the music hall. Some of the fans tried to enforce the numbers we were assigned by a fan upon arrival, but no one really seemed to care where we were standing. I s'pose it was a bigger deal near the front of the line.
T and I passed the few minutes in line geeking out and talking to a couple more hardcore fans around us. While we were all nervous, the girls were like, "awww, it's your first time!" I must've had that same conversation, but I was on the other end, half a dozen times before when I was with people meeting Hanson for the first time. It was kind of exciting being on the other side of it again and not being so jaded. One of the girls said this was her third VIP event and that Nick was actually kind of a shy guy. I had seen a little bit of that side of his personality during the soundcheck, but it was still surprising to me.
T went before me, and I tried to snap a pic of her hugging Nick. Unfortunately, I was all shaky, so it turned out blurry, but it was still pretty cute. And it kind of looks like Nick is looking right at my camera.
Then, it was my turn. I didn't know where to stash my camera, so I just held it as I approached Nick and said to him, "I'm kind of nervous--I have no idea why!" He said, "Don't be nervous," and we hugged (I can't remember if I asked for a hug or just reached for one). We then turned to the dude running the meet n greet to have our picture taken, and I thanked him quickly and scurried away. It went soooooooooo quick. Whenever they post the pictures, I'll be sure to add them to the blog.
After the meet n greet, we had to go back downstairs to get in line and wait until doors opened. I split my time between gushing about how Nick was my new favorite Backstreet Boy and complaining about how thirsty I was. When we were finally let back into the music hall, we found a spot basically right where we were for the soundcheck. I grabbed us some waters, and we waited forever for the opening act to start.
I don't know what it is with Backstreet Boys and their opening acts, but it was not good. I just remember when I saw them back in 2008 (was it 2008?), their opener was Girlicious. Worst ever. I can't say Guinevere was much better. Her outfit was kind of cool, and her dancers were good, but that's about it.
When Guinevere finished, we waited another half hour or so before Nick came on. I was reminded once again how old I am--standing that long is not comfortable. Luckily, I was able to forget about it once the show really got going.
I was surprised by how many of the songs I actually did know. In addition to his new stuff, which I had only been listening to for a week, he performed a couple songs from his first solo album (I shockingly remembered the words to those), a couple covers, and three Backstreet Boys songs. It was a really fun show although some of the fans got a little pushy and annoying. But overall, fun.
The other thing that surprised me was how different Nick's stage presence was from his meet n greet personality. He seemed to transform into the confident and kind of cheesy boyband member that I was much more familiar with. It was interesting, but he definitely knows how to put on a good show and please his lady fans.
If you would like to see the rest of my pictures, you can check them out in my Facebook album.