Monthly Archives: June 2011

Battle of the (Boy) Bands

NKOTBSB Concert

A phenomenon of mass proportions hit Fenway Park a few weeks ago. No, I’m not referring to the Bruins strutting out the Stanley Cup during a Sox game. I’m talking about the NKOTBSB concert. If you don’t know about NKOTBSB, it is a joint concert tour by 80s boy band New Kids on the Block and 90s boy band Backstreet Boys. (Apologies in advance to any mega-fans, as I am in no way capable of doing the concert or these bands justice.)

The concert was quite the event! New Kids are originally from Boston (which I did not know until a week prior), so the audience freaked out every time one of the guys made reference to the their roots. It was also fitting that Mayor Menino declared the day NKOTBSB Day in Boston and introduced surprise guest Mark Wahlberg who then introduced the bands. They entered Fenway in true Red Sox fashion, as each was individually introduced by the Sox announcer and ran across home plate before making their way onto the stage.

Mark Wahlberg - NKOTBSB Concert

The other huge effect for the concert, beyond the fireworks and thrusting (yes, I said thrusting), was the NKOTBSB banner that was hung off of the Green Monster. Of course, there was a ton of concert merchandise that looked like Sox gear.

The audience was mostly comprised of women that had followed the bands in various stages of their careers, and who knew the words to the more obscure songs. I was definitely taken back by surprise when the crowd not only screamed at the start of every song, but also sang along!

NKOTBSB did not disappoint in the dance moves or singing. As someone who never really got into boy bands, I was absolutely impressed with how they could still belt at the top of their lungs and manage to make thousands of women weak at the knees.

And of course, it wouldn’t be an outdoor concert without some kind of crazy weather crisis! About an hour into NKOTBSB’s act, it started POURING!! I have immense respect for all the women who stayed and powered through it (which were almost all of them in attendance). Even more props to the bands who turned the stage catwalk into an adult slip and slide for several of the songs.

The Boys

My biggest regret is not having more excitement for boy bands. I definitely left before the end – and I know a lot of other people who would have jumped through a ring of fire to go!

However, it was epic concert and I’m glad that I stuck it out as long as I did!

Boston hearts NKOTBSB!


Keno and Candlepin: The Makings of a New England Weekend

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a themed bar crawl (it was jorts related – also known as jean shorts for those not from the area). Besides the silliness of the theme, the crawl included some essential New England activities such as Keno and Candlepin bowling. Let me address each individually!

Keno

The Massachusetts state lottery has a very popular game called Keno. What’s great about the game is that it is similar to the lottery – not scratch offs. Players choose from 1 to 12 numbers in a series of 80 and select the number of games they are playing in. Getting 2 to 10 numbers correct within your designated game can award you money. Obviously, the more numbers you match to those randomly selected will win more money. Based on my observations, Keno is everywhere in Boston. From gas stations to convenience stores to grocery stores to bars. Playing in bars seems especially fun as you can watch your favorite sports while gambling with relative ease.

I do find this concept interesting because Massachusetts has very adamantly opposed casinos within the state but when it comes to the lottery system, it’s all good. It seems like an interesting dynamic to me as a somewhat outsider. Don’t get me wrong though; I had a blast playing and won $2.00. Jealous?

Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin Bowling

So, disclaimer first. I have a family that has very strong roots in bowling and it was something I grew up with. So when I got to Boston and people started discussing candlepin versus “big ball” bowling, I almost lost it. For those that haven’t played, since it is truly a New England sport, the pins are much smaller and resemble candle sticks. The ball that is thrown down the aisle is also much smaller, and is about the same size as a bocce or skeeball. It also seemed that the lanes were longer and more narrow than what I will always refer to as “normal” bowling. Oh, and another important distinction, you get three throws per frame.

Candlepin was also pretty fun. However, I was not able to use most of my bowling poses or techniques on candlepin. Since it’s not the same, it took me a while to get the hang of how to throw. I would definitely recommend playing this for any out of towner or new resident – it will certainly make you feel like a native!

I will give New England a lot of credit – indoor activities are at a premium and things like candlepin or keno wouldn’t be around still if they weren’t enjoyable.

Don't forget your candlepin technique!


Bruins Fever

The Bs

The Boston Bruins

It’s hard to avoid major sporting events in a city like Boston. Especially when a team advances to a huge finals tournament – and hasn’t been to said tournament for about 30 years.

Hello Bruins and the Stanley Cup.

Boston is already a sports powerhouse of a city; with the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. It’s a trifecta of teams that were underdogs and rose to a very prestigious sports status. What was most interesting to me, as a resident, was how residents in the city of Boston have come down with Bruins fever. From what I understand, there are a huge contingent of fans but the Bruins are not necessarily the favorite of the teams (sorry to offend any crazy Bruins fans out there – that’s just what I’ve heard). With the advancement into the Stanley Cup finals, Boston fans flocked to local bars to be a part of an epic event.

I don’t want to say that everyone is a fair-weather fan but it naturally happens that they come out of the woodwork for these sorts of occasions. However, there is something to seeing so many people in black and yellow. It’s the same feeling I get when I go to Sox games and see so much blue and red; and a sea of burnt orange throughout a 100,000 person stadium (hook ‘em!).

It’s hard not to feel pride when something so huge happens within a city. Despite not being a Bruins or hockey fan at all, that I’m proud of my city. It’s a nice reminder of how great it is to be able to call yourself a Bostonian.