I'm not going to lie. My first reaction was a snicker. An evil little snicker. Like, oh my God, how lame. That is soooooooo not cool.
But then, out came these guys on the stage, and they didn't look so different than they did 15 years ago. OK, so they dressed a little more slick. And they looked more mature and grown-up. But they didn't look ancient. In fact, I think some of them are more handsome now then they were back then.
Then they did a little medley of their old hits: "Step By Step", "Hangin' Tough", "Please Don't Go Girl", and "The Right Stuff". They had all the cheesy old dance moves, but instead of snickering at them, I realized the people in the crowd were loving it, and I started to love it a little too. It was like I had been transported back to a fun time when I spent hours in my basement, trying to match their dance moves, imagining myself as one of their back-up dancers. My sneer had turned into a smile, and I was enjoying every minute of their performance, reminiscing about my old Donnie doll and how much I used to love him & the rest of the guys.
Suddenly I wasn't thinking of this reunion as pathetic. I was starting to think it was pretty neat.
Then they sang their new single, "Summertime", and be damned if the thing isn't still stuck in my head. It's catchy. It's like old-school NKOTB with a new modern twist. Almost has me thinking I might have to buy their new CD.
It's a little weird. It's been 15 years since the New Kids faded out of the music scene, and for a long time in between, they were considered a joke. "Remember when we liked the New Kids? How stupid were we?"
Then there came the spawn of new-age boy bands in the late '90s: The Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, 98 Degrees, and so on. They were always compared to those legendary pioneers in baggy colourful pants, muscle shirts, and goofy hats - and eventually, they were laughed off the stage too.
But now, the New Kids are back, and something tells me, they just might be cool again. At least for this summer. And I know one thing for sure: I'm not going to get caught up in negativity in dwelling on how lame it all is. I'm going to embrace it and re-discover those innocent years of being the New Kids' biggest fan. Opportunities to return to our childhood don't come along very often, so we should all jump back on the NKOTB bandwagon.
It's the New Kids Revival. And I, for one, don't want to miss it!