If we had the opportunity to relive fun moments from our younger days, most of us would jump at the chance.
As teenagers, my sister Amy and I were full-blown teenyboppers, admiring the boy band Backstreet Boys. I was a hard-core fan — collecting memorabilia, daydreaming about the youngest member of the band, and screaming in excitement at multiple concerts of theirs.
Fifteen years sped by quickly, and the five-member boy band, while still around, became a distant afterthought for me — until recently.
Amy informed me that the Backstreet Boys would be in Phoenix for a concert this month. Now in our early 30s, we thought it could be fun to relive our teenage years. So the two of us married gals, both with children, made the decision to temporarily step out of our matronly comfort zones and spend an evening re-creating our teen moments.
I have to admit I was excited when we bought our tickets. And we didn’t have to persuade our husbands to let us take what turned into a nearly 12-hour adventure. They were happy we were going on a girls’ trip, and they also looked forward to some extra bonding time with the kids.
The day of the show Amy and I belted out Backstreet Boys music on our road trip to Phoenix. We also reminisced about our adolescent years such as dancing to our favorite tunes in front of the mirror at our parent’s house and Amy accidentally changing a word in the song “As Long As You Love Me” to make for a not-so-appropriate verse.
We listened to “old school” songs from several of the band’s early CDs, released from the late 1990s to 2005 — the last year that I bought one of their CDs.
Amy and I had a couple minor glitches when approaching the concert venue in downtown Phoenix. We had some trouble finding the correct parking garage. And we accidentally drove the wrong direction down a one-way street, which resulted in five police officers running toward us, hands waving and yelling for us to stop. Oops. Still, we didn’t let that dispel our excitement.
Approaching the arena, we knew it would be an all-ages show. Waiting in line were a few children with their moms or dads, some older teens, and a crowd of people close to our age, who were teens or young adults when the band was first popular.
Once the opening acts took the stage in the nearly sold-out venue, Amy and I were hit with the comical realization that we aren’t as young as we used to be when we attended concerts back in the day.
With most of the audience on their feet, Amy looked at me and asked, “Did we really stand for the entire Backstreet Boys concert before?” Yes, we did! As teenagers crushing on members of the band, we wouldn’t chance missing any move that the guys might make. As adults, however, we welcomed taking a break to sit in the comfy seats throughout the evening. I noticed many fellow concertgoers doing the same.
Amy and I also caught one another yawning – at only 8:15 p.m. We laughed at the sight of us slightly sleepy sisters waiting for Backstreet Boys to take the stage.
As expected, the music, combined with screaming fans, made for a loud environment. Amy was quite perturbed that she forgot her earplugs and after a while, she put toilet paper in her ears to block out the sound. She cleverly covered her ears with hair so her noise-obscuring approach wasn’t so obvious.
Another observation: I realized that in lieu of getting our “teenage dance on,” Amy and I both practiced our “mommy swing” during slower songs, swaying back and forth as though we were holding our kiddos.
All in all, the concert was great, and Amy and I definitely were re-energized upon singing along to many of the bands’ songs. Backstreet Boys were the same energetic guys that we remembered, even if we last saw them in concert a good 10 or so years ago.
At one point during the show, Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson said to the audience, “We grew up. We’ve got babies. You’ve got babies.”
That’s definitely true. Life is quite different now, but in a very good way.
Years ago, we would have waited for a glimpse of the Backstreet Boys boarding their tour buses post-concert. On this particular evening, we happily strolled to the car, anxious to get home to our sweet babies and loving husbands.
Amy and I set out to relive our teenybopper days, and that is just what we did. We sure aren’t teenyboppers anymore, but we’ll always have great concert memories, both from years ago and from this most recent venture of ours.