Why New Kids on the Block Still Rock My World and Make Me Smile

new kids young

My name is Caitlin.  I am 32.  I still love New Kids on the Block.  The confessional part of this blog is now done.

My love of New Kids on the Block goes back to elementary school.  They were the first band I ever truly fell in love with on my own.  I remember trying to decide if I was more of a Joey Joe or Jordan girl.  At some point, I guess I must have decided on Jordan, because I remember that he was the one whose doll I owned.  I gave that doll a haircut, by the way, because I never could back Jordan’s hair tail.  I remember falling asleep upon my official New Kids on the Block sheets in the 4th grade.  Oh, and one of the best Christmas presents I ever received were the Step by Step and Hangin’ Tough VHS tapes! 

jordan sheets<

In January of 1994, when I was 12 years old, my family bought our very first CD player, and I remember that the first CD I ever owned was New Kids on the Block’s Face the Music.  Admittedly, by this point, many of my peers had abandoned our beloved New Kids, which I thought was tragic. Nevertheless, I remained true to the Kids, and convinced by parents to allow me to attend my first concert ever:  It was the New Kids on the Block Face the Music tour at the Palace Theater in Los Angeles.   I. Was. In. Heaven.  I was surrounded by my people.  After the show, I drafted many a letter to Seventeen Magazine to try to convince them to stop making fun of my boys!  I argued that the crowd at the show PROVED they were still relevant.

Flash forward to 2010. The Kids were Men now, but they were back and rocking once more. Sadly, I had missed the previous tour for The Block for some reason that I cannot recall, and I’m sure I’d be ashamed of if I could. However, a friend of mine from High School won 10th row tickets to the NKOTBSB show at the Staples Center, and I begged to be her +1.  We had the most amazing time I think I have ever had at a concert before or since (sorry to all my musician friends….I’m just keeping it real here).  We danced as though we were back in the 5th grade again.  We shrieked and screamed our heads off during the show, and blasted the NKOTBSB CD in her car afterwards.  Ever since, we still recall that as one of the best nights either of us could ever remember having.

All this has gotten me wondering:  What is it about the music that still speaks to those of us who loved them decades ago?  Perhaps it reminds us of a time when we were younger, and things were simpler.  It could also be the infectious melodies and harmonies that we can’t help but sing along with—for me, it’s usually very loud, in my car, ignoring the looks I’m getting from others.  Also, I’m going to be honest:  they still make my heart melt.  I will say though, now that I’m older, I’m finding myself a Donnie girl, which is interesting.  I’m not sure what that says about me and a possible tendency towards bad boys.

The-Package-Tour-900-600<

At any rate, I shall be with that very same friend who rocked out with me 3 years ago when NKOTB comes to the Staples Center July 5 for the Package Tourth.  My only regret is that I’m a broke public school teacher, so the Meet and Greet packages were a bit out of my reach.  However, I am choosing to believe that the dream I had last night, where I met all the boys—er, men—will one day come true!

 

 

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Why Ticket Scalpers Deserve a Special Place in Hell

scalpers

verb (used with object)

6.

to cut or tear the scalp from.

7.

Informal.

a.

to resell (tickets, merchandise, etc.) at higher than the official rates.

b.

to buy and sell (stocks) so as to make small quick profits.

 

Scalpers. They’ve been around for far too long.  It used to be they’d place ads in newspapers or magazines, or they’d walk around before shows and try and get to people who hadn’t been able to get tickets to the event.  According to Wikipedia, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, they ventured online and began the practice of “ticket brokering,” and they’ve been “hard at work” ever since. As soon as tickets became available online, they have tons of people ready to buy them up at face value.  They then turn to sites such as stubhub.com and ebay.com to sell them at a huge mark up. 

For example:  I bought tickets to see Fun. at the Greek Theater.  I was able to get presale tickets, and I got 2 tickets for just under $122.00.  2 tickets in roughly the same area are now on ebay.com for $324.  That is almost a 200% markup!  I also have tickets to go see New Kids on the Block.  I paid about $113 per ticket, and sold 1 to the friend going with me at face value.  Someone now has tickets in the same area on sale on ebay.com for $216 EACH. Again, almost a 200% markup. Finally, I also got Darren Criss tickets on presale this week at $36 each. On stubhub.com, they are starting at $104! That is about 3 times more than I paid.

The frustrating thing is that places who sell the tickets in the first place, like Ticketmaster and Live Nation, are not really doing anything to try to prevent large numbers of tickets from being bought up by these “ticket brokers.”  Even though they may set a ticket limit, which is ridiculously easy to get around.  Regular folks, who just want to buy 1, 2, or maybe 3 tickets, find themselves unable to get them at face value and unable to afford to buy them anywhere else. 

Another thing that works against the average concert goer is that tickets often go on sale at 10am.  This is sometimes done during the week, when many people are at work and not free to conduct personal affairs.  They find themselves quickly and figuratively screwed in terms of getting tickets to see their favorite performer(s).

It’s a sad situation, and honestly, as long as there is supply and demand, and the loopholes exist, scalpers will continue to make their astronomical profits.

My Non Adventures in Wonderland….or how it was impossible to get Darren Criss “Meet and Greet” tickets

darren

This week, Glee’s Darren Criss announced he was going to be going on tour this summer.  Amazing?  You bet!  I saw him a few years ago, but I had not started watching Glee yet, so I did not fully appreciate his talent.  This time, however, I WILL!

I was apparently lucky enough to get presale tickets on Wednesday by downloading the Live Nation app.  I secured 2 tickets for myself and my friend, Sara!  It was when I tried to get meet and greet tickets through www.adventuresinwonderland.com that my misery began.

I tried to get them when they first went on sale, but to know the details on when and how, you had to be on a special mailing list.  I was not.  I was out of luck…or so I thought.  Then, I found out that they’d be putting more on sale this morning when the public ticket sales began. Perfect. This time, I would be prepared. 

Last night, I set my alarm for a little before 10, which is when they posted it would be.

When I got up, Adventures in Wonderland had tweeted the tickets would be on sale at 2EST or 11PST.  Okay, no problem.  I would have some breakfast first, and then I’d be good to go!  Or, so I thought.

With a few minutes to go before 11am, I logged back on both on my computer and cell phone  The site had already begun having issues, which was not a good sign.  I kept refreshing the main page, with only some success.  Half the time, I get an error message.  It also was still saying that the meet and greet tickets were “Coming Soon.”  A few minutes after 11am, they tweeted a link to get the tickets. Okay….I went to the link, and they all said “Sold Out.”…seconds after the link was posted.  WHAT?!  I refreshed…again getting error messages.  Finally, it said “buy now.”  Cool.  I click.  I get kicked off some more, right before putting it in the shopping cart.  Grrr. Right then, they tweeted that all were now sold out. 

It is not a good business practice to take on something like selling popular tickets if your website cannot handle the traffic. The server being used needs to be able to handle heavy traffic without crapping out.  Darren Criss has been popular since before Glee, thanks to his collaboration with Starkids on the Harry Potter musical spoofs.  Obviously, there was going to be a huge demand for his first major tour since starting Glee.

Thus far, I have not heard of a single person on Twitter and Facebook who were able to get meet and greet tickets today.  Everyone has been posting the same issues as I experienced. Some even got to put the meet and greet tickets in their shopping carts, only to get kicked off the site. When they got back on, it was sold out.

Hopefully, either Adventures in Wonderland or Darren Criss’s management will do something so that the fans who made every effort to get the meet and greet tickets will have the opportunity to meet Darren.  I saw stories of people who are planning on traveling some distance for the shows, and it’d be nice if they could purchase this extra experience.

Update: I spoke with Karen from Adventures in Wonderland this morning. They do seem to be making a honest effort to speak with people who had problems yesterday. She explained that no one, including Darren Criss, expected the demand to be this high. If you look at his Twitter feed, you CAN see that he seemed genuinely surprised that things were selling out so fast. She also said that they had approximately 6,500 clicks a second (which is about 390,000 per minute), and that this did cause difficultly on the site. They aren’t Ticketmaster, and don’t necessarily have the capability of handling that traffic. She also informed me that each show had under 100 meet and greet packages available so that each person could have time with Darren Criss. She said that the waitlist was legitimate, and that if anything opened up, people would be contacted. All in all, it does seem as though they are trying to handle things the best way that they can. Hopefully, the company will learn and grow from this experience!