I was sitting in band class, the year was 1999. My best friend was homeschooled, so her mom dropped her off just for band then picked her up afterward. When I entered the room, she was already sitting in her seat, clarinet assembled and looking forward. She didn’t even turn to greet me when I sat down next to her. After a minute I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to ask. “Did you get them?” Her eyes were still locked looking straight ahead, and she simply nodded her head up and down once.
We got tickets to see The Backstreet Boys in concert.
My tiny little 11-year-old heart burst with excitement! I squealed much louder than I should have. Her and her mom stood in the lottery line at the Ticket Master kiosk at Kroger, and their number was called. My whole life so far had come to this moment, and we were victorious. WE WERE GOING TO SEE THEM LIVE!
To this day, that concert was honestly one of the best nights of my life. Sure, more important things have happened since then. But I still look back fondly at the pure joy I felt.
That was just the beginning of my obsession with good looking, dancing young men singing slightly hokey-but-great, songs. Bands like New Kids on the Block, Hanson, O-Town, New Edition, LFO, BBMak, DreamStreet, B2K, 98 Degrees. (*Notice I didn’t include one particular group because, well, let’s be honest. JT is a much better solo artist. Or maybe I’m just biased…)
Things sure have changed since then! With the takeover of online music streaming, it saddens me to know that my daughter will never know the joy of waiting in line for your favorite band’s new CD to come out. She won’t get to run her finger along the plastic or spend the next five minutes pulling off each tiny piece of the factory seal sticker at the top. Heaven forbid if the case had two! No more are the days of putting a cassette in while listening to the radio in hopes that you hear the new song come on because before the CD came out, there was literally no other way to hear the song.
Current music now isn’t bad, it just doesn’t quite bring young people together like it used to. Also, some of the music now is a bit questionable. My mom always knew I was safe when I popped the CD into my boombox when it came to boy bands. Now I feel like I would need to listen to the music beforehand.
Boy bands of the 90s-2000s are now a thing of the past. No longer do tweens pull out magazine pictures from Teen Beat, Bop, Tiger Beat, or J-14. Nick Lachey is no longer with Jessica, O-Town moved on without the beloved Ashley Parker Angel, and Hanson has 13 kids between the three brothers. Times may have changed, but the songs and dance moves of these young gentlemen will be forever imprinted in the hearts and minds of us 30-somethings forever.