On August 30th, 2013 I arrived at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas. I was there to see Backstreet Boys. This was my second time seeing them. The first time I saw them, I was 13 years old. I had been in the whole Backstreet/Nick Carter fandom for almost 3 years. But that’s another story for another day.
As soon as I got there, I went around back of the venue. I got to a gate. There was a group of fans standing there waiting to catch a glimpse of the Boys. They could see their buses parked. We all exchanged hello’s with each other and we just talked about our experiences with the Boys, and other concerts, venues, etc. We all had a good time hanging out back there. We even took a picture of the group that was there. All of the sudden we saw Nick get off his bus, so we all shouted his name. He looked in our direction and we all waved. Ha! He waved back. I was ecstatic because I had been dreaming about this man for a long time. As soon as he walked into the venue, I took to Twitter and Facebook. Posting a status saying that I had already seen Nick!
It was time to go in. I had to go Check in for the After Party, which I was beyond excited for. At that point nobody knew which boys were going to be at the After Party. I checked in and got a drink. Hannah, one of the girls in the group that was also going to the after party, and I agreed to meet up at the door after the show so we could go to in together.
At 7 sharp I got to my seat. The lights had been turned off. The show was about to start. The opening acts performed from 7-9:30pm. It was Baylee opening up. Then it was supposed to be Jesse McCartney but instead we got a group called B5. Then Dj Pauly D revved up the crowd. There was an intermition of about 10 to 15 minutes for what seems like an hour. The lights were completely out and the intro music came on. It was like a James Bond movie trailer where the boys were shown on the big screen with suits. They looked badass. The letters Spelling’BSB’ flashed on the screen and the Boys came out with a bang. The intro to THE CALL started playing and the boys walked off the risers and onto the stage. The crowd went insane.
I was beyond excited. I couldn’t believe that after 12 years I was able to see them once again. I was old enough to understand my emotions and my fangirling. They performed for almost 4 hours. They performed most of the songs from the IN A WORLD LIKE THIS album and many of the older songs that they made hits. And every song they performed went right through me. It was a feeling like no other. It was like they had struck me with lightning. I thought it was one of the best shows I had ever seen. Yes, I had seen full shows on YouTube. And by far In a World like This tour was the best.
At the end of the show it was announced that Nick, Kevin, and Howie were gonna be at the After Party. I squealed. I couldn’t believe that I was gonna see Nick up close. I walked out of the theater area and met up with Hannah just like we agreed we would. We stood in line to get in. 10 minutes later they opened the doors to the Lounge where the party was happening. I proudly showed my pass! And in the door I went.
I stood behind the small crowd that got in before I did. They were setting up the equipment while the boys finished up their VIP appearances. 20 minutes later in came one of the bodyguards with Nick’s Mac Laptop. Once again I squealed. I was excited because I knew that it was Nick’s from seeing pictures on his Instagram and other sites that I’ve been following him on. I also knew that they were about to make their entrance. One thing I knew was that it was gonna come down to pushing and shoving to get closer to him. I was determined to do so.
The doors opened and in came Kevin, then Howie, and finally Nick. The crowd went wild as expected. Nick went to the DJ booth and he started playing music. Then Kevin and Howie were up closer on stage to the fans. Occasionally, Nick would come out of the DJ booth to interact with the fans. It was a really intimate lounge. Perfect for an acoustic set, kind of setting.
The Boys announced that they were gonna bring groups of 5 girls onstage. And that they could go up and dance with them and take pictures. They all got excited. The party got started. Nick continued to spin and they were all dancing and screaming and doing everything that is expected in fangirling. The groups kept going up and taking pictures. And the closer to the stage I got the faster my heart was beating. But while the girls were going up on stage and I was waiting patiently to get up there myself, Nick kept looking up from the turntable, in my direction. Not exactly at me…well it was one of those situations that he was looking straight at me but not paying attention to me. I knew he was just lost in the music. But to me it felt like he WAS staring straight at me. And he was stripping my soul. I felt him go through me and my soul was naked for him to see. At that moment the song “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees was screaming in my head.
“Strummin my pain with his fingers,
Singin my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song”
Exactly how the song goes, is exactly how I felt. As weird as that sounds. So I finally got next to the stage. I was in the next batch of girls to get on stage. The music stopped. Kevin proceeded to tell us that they had to head out. It was just my luck to be so close but so far away. I got sad because I had been waiting 12 years for that moment. And it felt like he had broken my heart. And not only that, it was my birthday. Nick sets up the next song, and then he picked up the microphone and joined the other Boys at the front of the stage. He started singing one of my favorite Journey songs, Don’t Stop Believing. As I got into the song, I reached out my hand to him. He grabbed my hand. And he held it for a good minute. He looked at me. The feeling was so strong that I thought I was gonna collapse on the floor at that moment. I didn’t. I sang along with him. The end of the song came and they said their thank you’s and goodbye’s. I snuck out to the hall where the Boys were gonna walk out to. There were 2 bodyguards standing in blockade. I tried getting past them because Nick was the last one to get off the stage. I was trying to get to him. The bodyguards succeeded in holding me back. So I yelled at Nick “Nick!!!…It’s my birthday!!!!” He didn’t turn around and left. I made her way to the entrance of the Venue. I ran back around the venue where the buses were parked. As I got to the gate, Kevin was leaving the building to climb on his bus. He saw some fans standing over there and he came over. He took pictures and gave autographs. When he got to me, he signed my After Party pass and I asked him, “Can you get Nick for me please, it’s my birthday and I want a picture.”
“I’m sorry sweetie, Nick’s already on the bus.” I thanked him. But I was very disappointed. I waited till the buses left. Then I walked over to catch a cab. But as I was walking to the front of the venue, the moment from “Just Want You to Know” video where Nick gets out of the car and is walking toward his house and he says “That was awesome” came into my head. I said it aloud and giggled.
I watch footage of any concert from the In A World Like This tour and I get chills. It takes me back to that night. And I do have to say that I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of IAWLT tour!