Saturday, March 24, 2012

Greenwich Town Hall Recap

You don't realize how much you miss those fools until you're in the same room with them, amirite? First of all, there's nothing like that anticipation before a special event like this. I compare it to second date nerves. Not first date, because you've already established you like the guy. Now you're just trying not to sound like an idiot.

Anyway, we got to the teen center around 10:45 for scheduled 11:30 check in. Why, after four years, we all actually believed it would start at 11:30 I don't know. The line didn't start moving until around 12:30. While we waited in line, several local Greenwich reporters took photos and asked if anyone was local that they could talk to. I did not say a word because I did not especially want my coworkers saying they saw me in the paper. A little before we went in, a man went down the line and told us all to go put our phones in our cars. I did, but no one searched our bags, which was surprising.

When I handed my ID to the guy at check in, he said "Oh, we've been waiting for you." Note to event staff: do not kid around with me like that. My brain cannot handle it! We also saw signs that said the event would be recorded for the purposes of promoting town hall events.

Upstairs, we sat in folding chairs. There was a NK backdrop set up in the back you could have your photo taken in front of for the website and poster-making materials in case you did not do your homework. Most signs were of the "I love New Kids" variety. (The best sign I saw was "Short shorts AND mini skirt? WTF #bhproblems")

Eventually, everyone got loaded into the room. Joe was then introduced as campaign manager and gave a rousing speech that promised, among other things, lower ticket prices. Donnie was introduced as president and spoke for several minutes without revealing anything -- a true politician! It was sweet though, and he promised to remove his sunglasses more in the future. Finally, Danny was introduced as vice president and gave a very short speech that said 2012 and 2013 would bring "more sweaty balls."

Next, we went on to questions. For future attendees, if you want to ask a question, you'll do better to be in the back or along the aisles. At least three people asked stupid questions like "I'm cold; can I come sit on the couch next to you?" or "Donnie, if you're Clinton, I'll be your Monica." People booed. I covered my face in embarrassment.

Because 2 out of 3 New Kids tend to ramble, we did not get through many questions. Case in point: girl asked about having an annual holiday show and Joe started telling a story about a jukebox he got 20 years ago that broke, so he had to have a guy from Thailand named Boone come to fix it. This story lasted over 4 minutes. At no point during it did he discuss an annual holiday show.

Good questions that I remember:

  • Q: When are we getting cruise themes? A: Next 2-3 weeks (Danny is a proponent of releasing themes as early as possible so everyone can shop.)
  • Q: Is the Manila concert official? A: When it's official we'll say it's official.
  • Q: Can we have an annual holiday show? A: Donnie - sure/probably/maybe/ok Joe - maybe biannual (I don't think he was on board.)
  • Q (essence): The backrub on the cruise is a cluster****. A: We're working on that. Everyone will get to see the backrub this year.
  • Q: Can you make another DVD? A: You'll see the footage! (Soon it would turn out.)
  • Q: Something about merch. I forget, but Amanda held up the "No kiddie merch" sign, which Joe read and clearly did not understand. We think maybe he assumed it meant merchandise intended for children when it meant merchandise intended for adults but better suited for children.
  • Q: Will Danny make a workout DVD? A: Maybe. 
  • Q: Are you going to continue to tour with BSB? A: We will have other, different balls with us in the future. These balls may in fact be ovaries.
  • I don't think there was a question, but they did say they are back in the studio and they can only sing Full Service so many times. We need new music. (Lots of cheering!)
  • Q: What's the most exciting thing they're working on for 2012? A: A very special event. The best of the cruise, but on land. Something that's everything we love about the last four years in one event. There may be Christmas trees. It's in the summer. Sparkly lights. (Things started to go off the rails during the answer.)
  • Q: Why don't you come to Rhode Island? A: Isn't that like 20 minutes from Boston? Q: It's 45, so are you coming? A: No but this special event this summer will be easily accessible from RI.
  • Q: Are you going to do Fenway again? A: We've decided to bring Fenway to you.
At that point, the lights went out and we started watching Fenway footage. I think everyone assumed we'd be seeing a trailer or short teaser clip. Somewhere during the second song, I turned to Amanda and said "Are we watching this whole thing?" And, yes, we were. We watched it for an hour. The entire Fenway concert minus the BSB songs. Meanwhile it was 3:00 and I was starving. Luckily I had a Clif bar in my purse. Clevelanders, take note. Bring snacks.

The DVD was fantastic! I am not clear on whether or not the BSB parts will be included in the actual DVD. I assume so but rather hope not. We got no information on when the DVD will be released. 

The lights went up, and that was pretty much the end. Donnie gave another speech to the effect of "four more years!" and then they said goodbye.

As the guys tried to leave, they got swarmed from all directions. At first, I thought I would go give Donnie a hug since he was closest to us, but after a few seconds, it got to be a crush and I hightailed it out of there. Future attendees: do not expect any hugs unless you are okay with smashing into people.

Several people asked me if they were letting in non-invitees. It's hard to tell. There was one woman sitting on a bench outside with her two small children who we assumed had not gotten an invite (mostly because she had two children and the invite wasn't good for three people). They did end up inside. I wouldn't have really minded except for one or both of the girls kept talking during the Q&A so that over Donnie's answers you could hear her (them?) whining, "Mooooooooooooom." Very distracting.

Overall I had a great time. It had been way too long! I loved being in a BH group again. However, I think we would have preferred to know up front that we were about to watch a full DVD. Not that we didn't want to watch it, but we kept thinking "Is that going to be it?" and looking around expecting everyone to come back on stage. If we had known from the beginning that we were going to watch it for an hour, I think we would have relaxed. Obviously that is only a problem the first group has. Also, maybe they should screen the questions because we wasted a lot of time on that Monica crap, and there was also a very long interlude about whether or not this couple in the front should get back together. (Answer: no one cares.)

Looking forward to getting more details from the future events! Please let me know if I forgot anything!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ten ideas for the Town Hall

I've been thinking about the ideas I would propose at next weekend's Town Hall, and even without knowing the format of the event, I can guarantee I will lose any articulateness if I get to attend. So I wanted to get my thoughts down not just so I can possibly hand over a piece of paper instead of standing at a microphone, but also so I can get input from everyone who doesn't have a chance to go and try to represent more than just myself. So here's what I've come up with. Please let me know what you think and what you would add.


  1. New album. Period. Before any new tour, we need a new, full-length album.
  2. I have a whole host of issues with the usability of the website (e.g., what is the point of adding friends when you can't search them and everyone can send PMs to everyone?), but those would be better addressed to Ground CTRL.
  3. As I have said before, the points system needs an overhaul. A normal person would take about 9 years to earn enough points for anything, and the only other option is to be a lunatic who blogs every time she sneezes. I posted a list of items that could be used to earn points on the forum a while back.
  4. Although I haven't been to one, I love the brunches Jordan has been doing and would like to see those and events like that continue.
  5. More inclusion of non-U.S. fans. This could be done in several ways: live chats (video would be nice!) held at overseas friendly times to start. Maybe restrict them by geography so it's special for Asian fans or European fans, etc. Second, remember when a BN member would randomly get a phone call from a NK? Do more of these, and announce it like the day before so everyone jumps out of their skin each time the phone rings. Spring for the international phone calls. 
  6. Random Twitter contests. VIPNation does these. Out of nowhere: who wants to win a poster? I seem to remember one or two of these, but doing one a month or so would keep more people engaged.
  7. More subtle, grown-up looking merch. I'm 32. I can't get away with wearing screen printed t-shirts very often. But a simple black tee (or coffee mug) with a subtle logo would be nice. The umbrella was a step in the right direction.
  8. Annual holiday show. Who doesn't want the chance to hear a live version of Funky Funky Xmas? A charity tie-in would be even better. 
  9. Blockstock. Needs to happen. It could be like a shorter, land-based cruise. I'm thinking starts on a Saturday around 1 and ends after Sunday brunch. Fun and games during the day, evening event, all-night party, and then breakfast. This event should take place in Darien, CT. (Kidding! It should be in Boston.)
  10. I know I will get lambasted for even suggesting this, but maybe take a year off from the cruise. I think people need a break to get out-of-their-minds excited about it again. There are so many cancellations, marketing-wise I think it would be a smart move to take it away for a year. Or maybe not even a year; maybe do December 2013 instead of June.  (Update: I have heard you loud and clear in the comments and I will not be suggesting this!)