Despite us arriving in plenty of time before the doors even opened, the tube was still full, and a steady mass of people walked towards the O2. Immediately after we left the station we were met by HUGE signs with "NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!!!" Mixi took photos, but I haven't had time to get a copy of them yet.
The O2 is impressive! Absolutely HUGE. I'd thought it was "just" a concert hall, but it also has a cinema, tons of restaurants and other shops, so having to waste a couple of hours there was no problem at all. We sat in Starbucks for quite awhile (we'd brought books ;) ) and got chatting to some of the others going to the concert. The woman sitting next to us had bought a programme, and offered that I could look through it, when I asked her how much it was (15 quid for just a bunch of photos? I don't think so!). She was my age or perhaps even a bit older, and was also going for the nostalgia.
The doors opened at 6:30 and we went to find our seats at around 7:30 when the opening act went on. Some American singer, but I have NO clue who she was, because there were no signs anywhere, and if she said, I didn't hear. Not that I really cared - that's not why I came. But it must be such a thankless job to be an opening act. Nobody really cares, they're just waiting for the main attraction to come onstage ;) We had ROTTEN seats. 5th row from the back, waaaay up high, but fortunately a bit out to one side, so we still had a pretty good view over the stage. The atmosphere was terrific though. The opening act ended by taking us through the chorus of "The Right Stuff" and everybody went WILD!
Shortly after 8:30pm New Kids FINALLY came on. Oh. Wow! Sure, I can see all the cheap party tricks for what they were, but the atmosphere was absolutely electric, and I just couldn't get this huge smile off my face and wanted to squeal with excitement. Finally! Naturally they played their comeback for all it was worth, starting by having a voice-over say "15 years ago they walked away. Now they're back. Are you ready to PARTY?!?!?!?!?" Cue thousands of women SCREAMING their heads off. Damn if it wasn't infectious. And I was excited enough as it was ;)
It was interesting to see that the songs from the Step By Step album were clearly the most popular (even if they had changed the rap bit of Games so I couldn't sing along to that any longer. Unfair! ;) ) and definitely the songs where the audience was most "on". ESPECIALLY Step By Step which was the first encore. At one point it goes "Step One - we can have lots of fun. Step Two - there's so much we can do. Step Three - it's just you and me. Step Four - I can give you more. Step Five - don't you know that the time has arrived." NKOTB just sang the "Step 1/2/3/4/5" bit and left it to the audience to shout the reply. Fun! And what a rush it must actually be for them to have people still remember their almost 20-year-old hit! :-D Or perhaps I'm just naive and they're used to it. I'd like to think not though ;)
It. Was. Amazing. I was absolutely high on adrenalin afterwards, and made sure to call Lars as soon as I could make myself be heard, so he could still hear it in my voice. I'm not sure I'd travel abroad to go to a concert with them again (if I do, I'd HAVE to have better seats, that's for sure!), but should they ever make it to Denmark despite my expectations? I'm definitely going.
A 17-year long dream fulfilled... and it was SO worth it.
As for the rest of the weekend? Wicked was good (but not great), seeing Lauren again WAS great, I had lots of fun hanging out with Mixi and as always spent far too much money... (especially as Zavvi had a clearout sale meaning everything was 25% off. I'm actually quite proud of myself that I ended up buying only 6 DVDs! ;-) ). Yup, I had a blast!