Ok, so a couple nights ago here in Kansas City, thousands of screaming, hormonal pre teens and teenage girls flocked to the Sprint Center. It was all for a 16 year old boy named Justin Beiber. As I decided to completely avoid that area of the city for the night, I was painfully reminded of a very similar time in my life pining over a group of guys.... the Backstreet Boys.
See, when I was 6 or 7, my cousin Niki was all into New Kids on the Block. She had her room covered in posters, had their sleeping bag, the works. It made me wonder how a group of guys that sing songs would engulf my cousin's mind to the point of innocent love. So my mom bought me their cassette tape (remember those?) so I could find out what the big deal was. This was at the end of their popularity on the radio, so I didn't really get into them.
Lets go foward to 1997. I was starting the 8th grade and, in tradition of teenage awkwardness, trying to figure out myself as an individual. I was a big fan of No Doubt at the time and my sister was all about Hanson (I got MMM Bop stuck in your head, didn't I???). So when I hear this song "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," I was in love. Brian, Nick, AJ, Howie, and Kevin were my boys. And I was doomed...
I received the Backstreet Boys cd for my 14th birthday that year. I spent countless hours in my room listening to that cd, while decorating my closet doors and bedroom door with pictures from all those teeny-bopper magazines. I just *knew* that I was going to marry Brian someday (and yes, I did marry a guy named Brian, even though he turned out nothing like my celebrity crush). And, when Christmas came around, I added a calander and concert tickets for January 1998.
That concert was my first real concert experience of my life (I did see Hanson in the parking lot of Ward Parkway mall the year before... haha). I remember wearing Gap Earth perfume (which for a while became my traditional scent for concert going). Mom bought me a t-shirt and a dog tag with the band's name on it. Britney Spears was the opening act, which at the time she only had her first single (Hit me baby one more time)! When my boys finally appeared onstage, I was holding back tears out of shear excitement. I wasn't one of those constantly screaming girls (thank God) but I was definately elated to be in their prescense!
Summer 1998 was when my love for the Backstreet Boys came to it's peak. I grew up loving the video for Thriller, so when I was at a friends house watching the making of the music video for "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," I could not stop smiling. It was Halloween-chic and I couldn't get enough of it! For the longest time, I considered it my favorite song/video of all time. That has since change, since NOBODY can trump the awesomeness that is "Thriller."
It's been 13 years since my Backstreet journey started. To this day, I own all of their cds, seen them in concert 4 times (missed their show at the Midland last month), and have a few random items that represent them. Every now and then, I'll throw in one of their cds to have nostalgic moments. My music collection has definately broadened (to an extreme) since then, but they will always have a special place in my heart.
So for all my friends that are making fun of Beiber-fever, do not forget. That was us over a decade ago. But we had a lot more variety back then....