Monday, August 5, 2013

In a World Like This: Chicago

Well, my summer concert fun has come to an end with two Backstreet Boys shows this past weekend. In a way, I'm relieved because it's exhausting and expensive; but on the other hand, I'm sad that I don't have any concerts coming up until the end of October. This was turning into a pretty huge post, so I broke it into two—night one in Chicago and night two in St. Louis.

Before I get into the recap, I should tell you the story of the airbrush tan that I got Thursday right after work. My reasoning for the tan, which I think I have to rationalize because I'm a pale person, was that part of my Platinum VIP package I purchased for the St. Louis show (on Saturday) included going up on stage with the Backstreet Boys. With the stage lights and all that attention, I wanted to look my best. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen me freaking out about the results of my airbrush tanning session. Let's just say I should've gone with the lighter color instead of the darker one. People kept telling me it wasn't as bad as I thought it was, but it sure was a shock to see myself go from pale to that dark. My friend said that she's seen better results with the automatic spray tan booths rather than when someone uses the airbrush gun or whatever; IF I ever felt the need to get a quick tan in the future, I'd try that route instead. Thankfully, it looked more natural to me on Saturday than it did on Friday.

Anyway, Friday afternoon, my friends T and E picked me up from work, and we slowly made our way through rush hour traffic in both Milwaukee and Chicago. It ended up taking us an extra hour to get to our destination, but luckily, we had left early and had time to spare. Plus, we didn't know it at the time, but everything at the venue was running super behind apparently due to getting the stage set up.

We parked, finished getting ready in the car, and then took a convenient and free trolley from the parking structure to the amphitheater.

Since we didn't have much interest in seeing Pauly D, who was the first opening act, we checked in to get our passes for the after party and then got some drinks and food to kill time. And we had a lot of time to kill. I don't think Jesse McCartney went on until 9. When he did, we made the trek up to our bleacher seats, which would best be described as treacherous. Whenever people would start to dance around, the bleachers would sway back and forth, to the point that T and I were holding onto whatever we could in fear that the whole thing would collapse. It didn't help that she had just had a dream about bleachers falling down at a concert. We ended up living, of course, and thoroughly enjoyed the show even from as far back as we were. That is until they had to shut the whole thing down early.

Chicago has a curfew, which we knew about from past House of Blues shows, and they (I don't know who "they" are exactly) literally turned off BSB's microphones so that they could not continue the show. The guys were on stage trying to negotiate and pump the crowd up, but nothing could be done. Eventually, they bowed and walked off stage. Justin, the guy who runs the meet and greets, was saying the next day that the guys were pretty upset about the whole thing. The three of us, however, weren't terribly broken up about it since we had the after party to look forward to and the St. Louis show the next day. By the way, while Ground Control, the company in charge of the fan club and VIP packages, kind of sucks sometimes for being so last minute and disorganized, Justin and Eddie, whom I presume are Ground Control employees (but maybe they work for BSB), are awesome. Those two were the ones getting us organized and making sure we weren't freaking out too much. So high five to them for keeping all of us crazy fans in line while being very friendly and patient.

Our view from the treacherous bleachers—pretty skyline though

Zoomed in—I believe this was during "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"

Vying for more time on stage

On our way to the after party tent, we acquired some free beer (free beer!), which up until that point was probably the highlight of the night. I had another highlight when I realized that there was a red carpet at the entrance of the VIP tent. Woohoo! My first red carpet! Nevermind that it was just my friends and me taking pictures of each other—it was still exciting.

Most of these pictures are mine, but a couple of them are from T's Facebook, like her red carpet pic.

We didn't really know what to expect since there was supposed to be a meet and greet included with the after party (with the more expensive package that we didn't purchase), but that meet and greet didn't end up happening until the very end. Before the party really began, we waited outside the tent and watched Howie, Kevin, and Nick walk from the buses to the tent and take the stage.

Nick spent pretty much the whole time DJing while Howie and Kevin mingled, which basically entailed them working their way through mobs of people and taking pictures. It took awhile and some effort, but we all three got pictures with Kevin! I have to post T's and E's, too, because they're too cute not to. Kevin told T that she has the softest skin ever.

I'll try to remember how our conversation went:

Me: I've been waiting to dance with you!
(We start kind of dancing and face the camera. T or E takes the picture and shows it to us.)
Kev: It looks like I'm doing the face from that one movie. (He sucks in his cheeks and reenacts the face.)
Me: (poking him in the chest) Blue steel!
Kev: Yeah, that's it.
Me: Do you need another drink or anything?
Kev: (looking at his half-full cup) No, I'm good.

And then I probably thanked him for the picture, and that was about it. We tried to get to Howie, but they announced it was time for the meet and greet and had all of us non-meet and greeters leave before we had a chance to reach him. We lingered a little bit afterwards and were about to leave before we saw AJ milling around by the buses. I called out to him, and he made his way over to us. E got a hug, and I got a picture right as his security guard was saying "no pictures." Whoops? I mentioned something about the show being cut short, and AJ said, "That was not our plan" or something like that. Knowing how upset they were later, I kind of regret bringing it up. Must've been a sore subject.

By that point, Nick, Howie, and Kevin had apparently finished their meet and greet because they were heading back to the buses. We hurried over and T got a picture with Nick before we left. After that, we walked back to the car and drove a little ways down the road before stopping for the night in Bloomington, where there was a baseball tournament going on and we had to check three different hotels before we found a room. Less than five short hours of sleep later, we were back up and getting ready for our VIP day in St. Louis!

1 comment:

  1. The After Party seems like you have a chance to interact with some of them even if you don't get the meet and greet, which is very cool!