2020 was a hard year for everyone. The world changed on us on a dime.
No one knew what to do, or to expect. People were scared and rightfully so. An interconnected world suddenly become isolated. People stayed home. There were no festivals, parades, events, or even concerts. Things we took for granted were gone, just like that. And for people like us, fans both male and female whose favorite thing might be planning trips to go to shows and see people we wouldn’t normally see in our day to day? That made coping with covid that much harder. I know I love live music, it’s a huge passion of mine both with BSB and other artists I adore. There’s nothing better in my eyes than being in a crowd of people, all there for the same way you are, while an artist sings your favorite songs. You’re screaming your lungs out, living in the moment and simply living your best damn life.
BSB were on the cusp of their second leg of the DNA World Tour which has now been postponed twice, once last year and again this year because capacity limits are still so inconsistent across the country, and vaccination rates aren’t where they should be just yet. But…there’s hope. Slowly, smaller events and tours are rising from the ashes, like a phoenix. A reminder that they’re not gone for good.
Just a week and a half ago, I went to my first live show since 2020, and my first concert since 2019. (The last live show I saw was a zombie burlesque show at Planet Hollywood back in February last year, and the last concert was Christina Aguilera’s residency in September of 2019.) It was a last minute decision, spurred by my friends both here in Vegas and outside of here urging me to go. Mainly because we knew AJ would be there. It was the first safe event a Backstreet Boy was doing. We were vaccinated and…well I didn’t see a reason why not. So I went.
I admit, it felt weird. I was thrilled to be surrounded by friends I hadn’t seen in almost two years, thanks to covid. Hugging them, squealing at the sight of them. Being shown where our seats were. In fact my friend Carrie and I kept looking at each other going…“Holy shit we’re AT a concert!” over and over again. It didn’t matter to us that AJ only sang a few songs. We screamed our lungs out anyway. Afterwards we even got photos with Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees. (He’s actually pretty damn awesome). And we got to see AJ’s first live performance of Love Song Love and a song called Air that he did with ATCK and Chris from NSYNC.
It was just a very hopeful night. And not just because members of once feuding boybands were performing together onstage. It was the fact that yes, it happened, and safely no less! It happened and that means one day huge arena tours will be back for us too. This week I’m planning on going to LA for the pride event being hosted by Nick, AJ, along with Lance and Joey from NSYNC. There’s even an afterparty after. I haven’t left Las Vegas since 2019, nor have I been to any sort of after party since that year either.
Excited in a way I haven’t been since just before covid, really.
I know a lot of you are sad because you feel like your turn to do these things won’t come. But they will. Things will get better. They do. I’ll admit at one point this year, I didn’t feel like they would. Despite how many times I told myself they would. These things will be back, and while it won’t be like these things never happened, you’ll be reminded of how damn precious concerts and moments with friends are. I don’t think I ever appreciated them to the extent I do today. That I did at AJ’s performance. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, snatched away, you know?
My dad always encouraged me to live my life as best I can while I’m still young enough to really enjoy it. Part of me feels guilty to be so happy and excited for the same weekend that Father’s Day lands on. But I know that’s what he’d want. For me to do what makes me happy. If he was here, he’d be laughing at me because it’s such a me way to cope with a weekend that we both know will be hard for me. Spending it with a freaking Backstreet Boy. I’m smiling thinking about it.
So when the opportunity comes for you to do these things? Don’t feel guilty. Be happy it’s there for you to jump on. And live your best damn life. Because life is precious and it’s short and damn if I’m ever going to waste it again. I don’t want to see any of you doing that either. And I’m just thankful that Nick and AJ are back to doing what they love, no matter how small the ways.
Because damn, I missed them.