February 21 13

It was 1990. And it was New Kids on the Block.

I will never forget it as long as I live.

I wore a pair of black leggings and a massive black and white houndstooth tunic sweater and hi-top Converse all-stars. And my Debbie Gibson/Joey Jeremiah hat over a really bad idea perm. I sang through the entire concert set. I cried when Joey McIntyre took the stage. I cried when he left the stage. I screamed until my voice was completely gone. I was convinced that Jonathan Knight was totally looking at ME during one of the songs. It, at the time, was the best thing to ever happen to 12-year-old-Ali.

I smiled about that night every single day for an entire year each time I opened up my locker and My Teen Beat Magazine cut-out of the boys stared back at me. KISS. KISS. Love. Love. Joey McIntyre was going to be mine. I knew everything about him. His birth date, his hometown, his favorite songs, his favorite color, how he liked to eat his pizza. I memorized every single thing I read about him. I learned all of his dance moves and could do them—badly.

On Tuesday, I took my kids to see their very first concert. I sat in the third row of the mezzanine with my favorite little ladies in the entire world.

Maroon 5 and Neon Trees at the Air Canada Center.



Emily wore her white and navy striped Aritzia off-the-shoulder shirt and grey leggings and combat boots. Isabella wore skinny jeans and her favorite balloon shirt and UGGs.

They made a sign. They cried when Adam Levine took the stage. They cried when he left the stage after moving like Jagger. They were up and dancing and singing along to every single song, even his old stuff that I didn’t know they had memorized. They screamed until their voices were hoarse. They gasped when he said the s-word. They were convinced that he was looking rightatthem.

They will be smiling about this concert for a long time. They are currently fighting over which one of them is going to marry Adam Levine. And they both, of course, want posters for their rooms.

I know they will remember it forever, and probably blog about it one day. And I’m so thankful that I was there to see their faces, to dance with them, to hear their squeals.

I’m just glad neither one of them had on a Joey Jeremiah hat to blame me for.


Who was your first?

  1. This was me and my girl. Second row, Hilary Duff. Adam Levine is much better looking.

    Comment by mara on February 21, 2013
  2. …While I’m not the biggest fan of the pop-y Maroon 5 (I preferred him when he was more alt-rock-esque) I certainly can appreciate the man’s, uh, derriere and, erm, stage presence. It could have been way worse. hee!

    Comment by ali on February 21, 2013
  3. I have a crush on Adam, too.

    My first? Honeymoon Suite and Haywire. (Related: I’m old.)

    Comment by Angella on February 21, 2013
  4. NKOTB was my first concert too!

    Just tell them I am marrying Adam and if they are nice, I’ll invite them to the wedding.

    Comment by Kristabella on February 21, 2013
  5. My first paid concert was 1989…or 1990? I think ’90. It was Depeche Mode the Violator tour at the Exhibition. My friend Chandra’s dad drove us and we were scandalized that he bummed a cigarette of the dude behind us and tried ever so nonchalantly to hide it between his legs. That’s a really happy memory…I love that I got to back there for a minute! Thanks!

    Comment by Colleen on February 21, 2013
  6. Well, as a former Maroon 5 fan club member who’s seen them more times than I can count, I heartily approve this post. 🙂

    My first concert was sophomore year of college and it was Harry Connick Jr. It was amazing.

    Comment by Nanette on February 21, 2013
  7. My poor mother had to take me to NKOTB in 1990. Afterward she said to my dad, “The last time I went to a concert where everyone stood up the whole time was The Beach Boys, and at least then I knew all the words.” I wonder what your mother’s New Kids/Maroon 5. I wonder what my daughter’s will be.

    Comment by Megan @ Mama Bub on February 21, 2013
  8. I went to New Kids ALONE with a friend. No parents! oh, the 90s.

    Comment by ali on February 21, 2013
  9. I am going to see Maroon 5 in Calgary and I AM SO EXCITED!!! I am so going to somehow rub my hands up and down Adam Lavine’s abs…

    Comment by Shelly on February 21, 2013
  10. First? Billy Vera and the Beaters. 1985. House of Blues in Los Angeles. For the record? I was five years old. My parents man, they were funny. Second was NKOTB in 1990.

    Comment by Issa on February 22, 2013
  11. My first concert was 1987. Debbie Gibson! My mom bought VIP seats which at the time I thought was AMAZING but I now know was because the VIP = booze included.

    Comment by Heather on February 22, 2013
  12. This is so sweet. I remember my first concert too. Sadly, it was Air Supply. I don’t remember what I wore and there were no tears. Did I mention it was Air Supply?

    Comment by Lisa on February 24, 2013
  13. Oak Ridge Boys…don’t hate. I was 3 or 4, my parents were HUGE fans, and my mom forced her way up front, so the bass singer could kiss me on the cheek.
    Real concert? New Kids on the Block, WV State Fair and I thought I was going to die from excitement and my love for Jordan. Went on the cruise a couple of years ago and can say, they still make me giddy and smiley and crushy. (Also, the first year they went on tour, I got to go and again, it was AWESOME. And now I’m feeling like a dork.)

    Comment by Spring on February 25, 2013
  14. New Kids will be in Toronto with Boyz II Men on June 7th. You can pull your Joey hat out of storage and go hang tough once more. LOL They were my first concert too, in 1989. My favorite was Jordan. I might have worn a NKOTB shirt to the concert. Eeeek.

    Comment by Alison on February 26, 2013

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