As September rolls around, the “Agricultural Fair” season begins in New England. It’s a good inexpensive way to spend a day, that is, as long as you’re not into going on lots of carnival rides at $3 per ride.
Yesterday, we spent the day at the Woodstock Fair. It cost us $5 to park and $10 each to get in. Not exactly a cheap day, but it’s all about the quality entertainment. And did I mention the entertainment is second to none? That’s right. Second to none.
We saw Jordan Knight — of New Kids on the Block fame. Don’t laugh. I mean, in some ways it’s sad that his career has declined to the point that he’s doing county fairs and things, with the smell of cow poop and swine in the air, but I found him pretty entertaining.
He opened the performance with an upbeat song I’d never heard — probably something new — and then a couple of the slow NKOTB songs. Not exactly my favorite. I mean, being a guy, I didn’t exactly have a NKOTB sleeping bag in the late 80’s so…let’s just say it wasn’t my thing. I knew their hits though, but just because of their overexposure at the time.
The audience, well, there was a crop of late 20’s aged women singing right along and swooning through out but when he got up to the “Right Stuff” and did a snippet of the “New Kid” dance, well, he had the crowd. And only then could you tell he really was a pro and not just some crappy low budget entertainment.
The best part was that he even made fun of himself, saying things like, “This was a big hit with the honeys back in…”, then he’d pause and sheepishly say, “1988.” The women up front would scream like they would have back in 1988.
We sat a bit farther back and had some of the teenage “Paris Hilton” wannabes standing near us. You know, just kinda standing there with their mouths open in that “this is so lame, but I’m so hot” pose.
They obviously didn’t get it, understandably because of their age, but to not be able to foresee that this was just Justin Timberlake up on stage in 10 years — you know, that sort of thing just went over their heads. At that age, I would have figured that out, but then again, at that age, I wasn’t wearing blinders, err, sunglasses that covered my entire head.
And you know what? Going back to their overexposure in the late 80’s, I wasn’t really a fan, but the New Kids were bigger than the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and ‘nSync ever were, even all three combined. For a few years there, you couldn’t go to any department store without a full section dedicated to them. Towels, sheets, curtains, sleeping bags, underpants, toothbrushes, action figures. They even had their own shampoo. Everywhere you went, at all times, at least one pre-teen girl within a 10 foot radius had a NKOTB t-shirt on. Always. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a t-shirt, or a sleeping bag, with, oh, say Lance Bass on it? Have you?
He ended his show with “Hangin’ Tough”, which he called a headbanger from back in the day. Then he corrected himself and said, “Well, maybe it wasn’t a headbanger…” Either way, just listening to this version, if some band had the nards to cover a NKOTB song, I dunno, maybe a band like the Darkness, that one would work with a heavier sound I think.
During the last song, I think he did some of the old school dancing again, as some of the women in the crowd were doing it along with him. He got the crowd to do the “Hangin’ Tough” arm swing thing — my wife stopped me from doing it, almost immediately — but when it was all over, I was glad I’d sat and watched.