I held into this feeling of excitement for a few weeks now until I saw them on TV last night finally announcing they are already in the country. I cried (a little) but could not figure out where those tears came from! Just four weeks ago, my sister and I watched the Backstreet Boys in concert at the Mall of Asia Arena and screamed the heck out of me. Seeing them live for the FIRST time was amazing. It was like ticking one box off from my bucket list. I brought my old BOP posters and ran to the backstage after the concert hoping to get a glimpse of them. Living an old school fan life! But let me tell you this, getting to see Boyzone in concert is different. It’s like going back to your mother country after years of being away. That love and the familiarity you are longing for a long time is finally happening. Coming Home Now Boy bands in the 90s were such a huge thing for teens and I was part of it. I could totally understand my cousin-in-law Anne for having so much feels for One Direction. The significant difference of fans today is that they can interact with their favorite artists now via social media through the Internet. Twenty years ago, we only use the Internet to print out song lyrics and see official websites for tour, news, and merchandise! Send bands snail mails via MTV Singapore or mail it to their PO Box. We buy song hits and teen magazines like BOP, Tiger Beat, Smash Hits, Teen Beat and a lot more for free posters and insider scoop. I used to record radio interviews and compile all Boyzone’s radio guesting in cassette tapes. Fans’ ultimate motto is “If there’s a will there’s a way.” One of my life’s highlights was when my dad surprised me and my sister two tickets to see Boyzone live. I was just seated in front of the TV that time patiently waiting for their noon time guesting. Dude, I almost fainted! We went to the press conference for the Where We Belong album tour at the Hard Rock Cafe. That happened seventeen years ago! Hugging the CD, wearing BZ shirts, singing songs inside the cab on a rainy Sunday of June 12th, 1998 marked the beginning of my teenage years.

photo 1
That’s me on the left holding a “salvaged” stage display during Boyzone press con at Hard Rock Cafe for the Where We Belong album tour in 1998. Danice on the right showing the back design of the shirt from Penshoppe and my little brother Mikee showing his crazy antics.
photo 2
More freebies from Penshoppe. Boyzone used to be Penshoppe’s endorser for the brand before One Direction came along two decades after. 🙂
Isn’t that so classy? Their brand opted for minimalism and quality.

My parents have gifted us so much rare presents. We weren’t demanding for anything but all these were blessings. We didn’t grow up asking for material things, but I think for being good kids and doing great in school paid off!  Maybe this is the reason why I teared up and continues to cry! 20 years is such a long time. From being a nine year old kid who liked Love Me For A Reason because my dad liked it, to being a 29 year old woman who is now married and got herself and her newly wed sister two VIP tickets using our hard earned money.

photo
Crafting Boyzone logo. Left: My parents hand drawn this logo for me then I remember filling up the black space with a marker. Perfect measurements and straight line! Right: My classmate’s sister made this souvenir for having passed 5th grade. So sweet!

“Young girls and young boys out there love to hold on to a little bit of innocence…” I quoted Shane Lynch here talking about pop culture and boy band phenomena. This concert is a recap of those years we’ve lived as kids. Listening to music that my parents also liked, reading books and magazines, asking parents to play the CD for us, asking parents’ permission if we can hang out with our friends, record videos from MTV and Channel V using VHS, swap CD and tapes with friends. These things progressed from being childish to living a young adult life. Going to art school, graduating from college, getting jobs, working hard to buy myself an iPod, went to the USA, moved back, reuniting with college sweetheart and got married. I’ve lost my interest on mainstream after listening to jazz, John Mayer, and Butch Walker.

But all these years, Boyzone songs were playing in the background. The songs I still sing whenever I want to feel happy and light. My husband and I even danced to I Love The Way You Love Me on our wedding day! As how I want to say it, going to this concert is like coming home to me. It’s like seeing my family again. 🙂 Every second is going to be worth it. I just can’t wait!!!

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