Last Sunday I saw Boyz II Men, 98⁰, and NKOTB on tour in Cleveland, Ohio and came to an important realization – I am old. How did I figure that out? There were several clues. First, every woman in the audience, though most of us were pre-pubescent when the New Kids were at the height of stardom, was able to drink. No ID required. Second, when I put my glasses on so that I could see the stage, I noticed there were quite a few highlight and dye jobs which were likely covering up the white and gray hairs in the crowd. Third, and perhaps the most obvious, Boyz II Men were actually men, 98⁰ worked up such a sweat they were more like 110⁰ and New Kids on the Block were anything but kids. In fact, Joey “The Kid” McIntyre is now pushing forty.
Don’t get me wrong. They put on a pretty great show for a bunch of middle-aged men who were still trying to prove they were cool and the women still swooned over them like teenagers. But, the New Kids, no longer able to produce the high-pitched sounds of young boys, were forced to resort to singing covers of The Jackson Five, George Michael, Queen and… are you ready… Prince! A fair amount of crotch-grabbing and gyrating went on during their renditions of “Kiss” and “Faith”. Strangely, I was more amused than disturbed by that part. I was less impressed by the songs from their more recent albums. (Yes, they do have more albums than you would think, mot just Hangin’ Tough.) I remained relatively calm until they dusted off my personal favorite: “Cover Girl”. During that number, Donny literally tore his shirt in half and threw it on the floor. That brought me to my feet. As I watched him dance around shirtless and heard the thousands of woman around me screaming like school girls, it hit me. It’s not just a GH thing.
For weeks now, the gals on my Twitter timeline have been wondering why exactly Carlivati and company think they can use a few veteran actors to lure in the viewers with the promise of quality and then make up for the absence of a good story by putting your actors on camera shirtless. Sunday night the NKOTB did the same thing. They used Prince and the other classic acts as the tease, and then used flesh to get the crowd going, in the hopes that we wouldn’t notice they could no longer do their own material justice. And much like many GH viewers, the crowd of crazy women in the arena, were pacified. 98⁰ Degrees didn’t go topless, but they stripped down to their T-shirts. Boyz II Men were fully clothed but they did hug and kiss on several fans in the front row and the crowd loved every second of it. Are we, as a society, really so lascivious that we are willing to accept sex over substance?
Maybe I’m just old and cranky, but I’m only momentarily mollified by these types of tricks. After that I want quality. I’ll take Bublé in a tuxedo over Donny half-naked and Robert and Anna over Morgan and Kiki any day of the week and twice on Sundays. (GH fans know what I mean!) And as for the Fifty Shades obsession that swept the nation… Don’t get me started on that again. If you really want to know what I think about that, go back and read my post: 31 Flavors.