I have been going to concerts since I was in fourth grade and I saw New Kids on the Block for the first time. My mother, who bought the tickets, didn’t know what she was doing and had no fandom/fangirling background so we had nosebleeds. But during my high school years as a country music/rock music fan, I learned the process of getting closer to the stage.
That all came together in 1998, just before high school graduation, when I became a Backstreet Boys fan.
Since May 1, 1998, I have learned the process of getting to places early when a show is general admission. I’ve learned the importance of patience and waiting in line or in one spot for hours on hours. I stood at a stage in downtown Tampa (Ybor City) for eight hours for Nick Carter’s first solo show. I waited in line for probably that same length of time for the Backstreet Boys’ first show back after their break in 2004 in Orlando. Me and my girls waited in front of the deck stage for like five hours to be front and center for the ABC party on the 2014 Backstreet Boys cruise.
And let’s not mention waiting in line for VIP to start.
So to say the least, being a Backstreet Boys fan has taught me how to manage myself in a fandom situation.
Case in point: Last night I had tickets to see one of my heroes – director/writer/producer/all-around bad ass Kevin Smith. You may know him as Silent Bob. He’s responsible for the majority of Ben Affleck’s career, “Mallrats,” “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” “Tusk,” “Red State,” and my favorite, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.”
And even though I’ve had a hellicious week and a half of moving, my mother going into the hospital in the midst of moving, starting a new job and having to finish moving on my first day off, I put on my fangirl goggles. I had tickets to the last show of his in Atlanta (the others sold out) that was supposed to start at 10:15 Monday evening.
I got there at 7:15 p.m., just as the first show was starting. I was the first person in line. The staff kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to stand there and I said yes, that I’ve done worse.
And when I said that, Kevin Smith himself came out, said hi to me and went in for the first show.
I almost died.
Shortly after, people starting crowding in…
This was about an hour and a half after I got there. It’s hard to see, but the line started wrapping around the building and I was at the front of the line.
But the show didn’t start until around 11 p.m. and when we got in… I was front and center.
Omg look how close I am pic.twitter.com/BoSmxFUAD1
— Karah (@Princess_Karah) August 11, 2015
So, thank you Backstreet Boys for teaching me the fangirl ways. I kept telling everybody that as a boy band fan, I’ve learned the process of being a true blue fangirl.
And because of that, I sat and watched one of my heroes stand and talk, telling stories, for over three hours.
Who said being a Backstreet Boys fan was just about lusting after hot boys who can sing? It’s an educational experience!