It was upon my greatest surprise that while in Thailand, I got to see Blue.
Blue? Yeah, I asked the same question.
It was about 2 years ago, that my friend, Songie, and I ate brunch at Brio’s Italian Restaurant that she first sang to me One Love. I listened to the song via YouTube but here in the U.S., boy band days have been long over. There were no survivors.
Fast forward to my anticipated trip to Thailand and a couple months after buying the plane ticket, Songie calls me and exclaimed that BLUE IS COMING!!!! Added to my pile of Thailand study materials was now Blue. I wanted to be as educated and involved and research is not only one of my favorite past times, it was my top priority. Language, Customs, Culture, & Blue.
When I think of Boy Bands, I’m thrown back to 1989 when I was 11 and first heard New Kids On The Block on the radio singing Hangin’ Tough. I idolized them and the biggest appeal was their different personalities, charming good looks, and vocal styles. Every Boy Band blends together a winning combination that the industry has tried so desperately to sustain and maintain decade after decade. I was a young mom during ‘Nsync and BSB days but wasn’t interested in their cliche matching attire or dance moves that made girls swoon. So it would be that as we grow and change, the boy band industry wants to remain the same. And the good music dies with it.
I believe that as the industry booms with this Boy Band idolization that it fails to recognize and evolve along with these individuals. I am not an eleven year old child anymore and I didn’t meet Blue as a screaming, hormonal teen. I looked into the eyes of a man who missed his dog, a man who couldn’t wait to celebrate his baby girl’s first birthday, a man who contemplated his spiritual growth and another who talked of disciplining his child if they didn’t clean up their toys. Their commitments and life experiences were not far off on my own and all I could think about was “come to America.”
It was amazing to sit amongst screaming fans. Blue fans were waiting outside their hotel, singing songs outside the arena, jumping up and down. During the opening of the concert, Blue stood there in the dim shadow and their silhouette alone made everyone go NUTS! I could not hide my smile. Fans rushed the stage and who be it from me to not allow a true fan to take my spot as I sit back, observe and enjoy the experience.
Simon, your eyes are absolutely captivating. There were times during the concert that I felt penetrated by your gaze and that you were singing to only me. Wow. Your poise enthralls me and I would notice you walking into a room. Your presence demands it and I freely give it. Our first interaction was laughter and it broke through my serious façade. It is hard not to want to know more about you and as you methodically told me that I am hard to read, know that I am carefully taking all that I can in of you. You remembered my name and took me by the hand and danced with me my last night. It reminded me of Take the Lead where Antonio Banderas explains how a man can learn to touch a woman with respect by dancing. I will allow you to take the lead with me. Truly memorable. I believe Romeo and Krieger will be BFFs.
Antony, you were the first one ready to go. Always on time. That alone, I would bring you home to meet my father. A punctual man is an attractive man! I watched The Big Reunion and couldn’t help but feel torn when you were interviewed and heard you speak of some of the hurtful things people said about you (The Big Reunion season 1 episode 8). It was painful to hear. During the concert, I clapped and cheered more for you. I couldn’t wait to see you perform on stage. I loved learning about your endeavors beyond Blue. You seemed to have a lot more going on than anyone else and I feel I failed my research in missing that you would do Tommy the Rock Opera before playing Prince Charming! I enjoyed your company at dinner, noticing your cues that maybe you thought no one else saw. After we took the dinner picture for the 4th or 5th time and the cameraman said, “No flash,” you held back a laugh. I, in turn, laughed. I can’t really explain it to anyone else how funny I thought that moment was. Oh my god and you were singing, “Valerie.” Hearts, hearts, hearts! However brief my time was with you, it was memorable beyond measure.
Lee, What is not to love about you? Opposites attract and you would be the perfect Right kind of Wrong. You were not shy winking at me, talking to me and it felt really good just to be around you. Where do you find all that energy? You are really charming and have one of those magnetic personalities. I was absolutely mesmerized by you as we overlooked the city, you talked about your son, your writings and your commitments.
You can really bring out the best in people and that was when I felt most special. You love hard. You fall hard. There is no denying that you have the ability to shock and awe everyone and I hope you are encased by people who realize you are a man energized by your passions and they support and encourage you every step of the way.
Duncan, my kids tell me I need to stop judging. I thought I knew what to expect from you, but I was totally wrong. I was so surprised how welcomed you made me feel not knowing who this strange girl was amongst your circle of friends. A standard photo op and you spoke up first, greeting me with your big captivating smile. It was after the concert, the cheers, the screaming, the lights, the interviews…..it was when the cameras were off and it felt like just you and me, chatting like old mates. We shared our heartbreak, our pain, our faults, our spirituality. Then, all of a sudden, the TV turned on. The energy could not be denied in the room at that moment. You called me out on a few things that I feel most insecure about myself but there was no judging. Just a moment where I held your undivided attention. You smiled and spoke Pig Latin. You are a good man. Come to Ohio. No lights, no screaming….but there will be a home cooked meal waiting for you. Soul Food 😉
Blue is the epitome of talented men. No question. But it was their conversation and the ability to connect from personal experiences that captivated me. As an outsider, untouched by their music all these years, there is no doubt that Blue is a revered entity. Loyal fans all over the world have been loyal to Simon Webbe, Antony Costa, Duncan James and Lee Ryan. These handsome men are in my eyes, survivors. Their paths crossed early as young musical dreamers and have endured throughout the ever changing music industry. BoyBand-dom has been long gone. But Blue endured. It’s cool they have been together so long, but it’s the men they have become today that have made me a fan. Let the essence of Blue redefine the music industry’s confines of what it means to be a “Boy Band.”
Talented. Handsome. Mature. Men.
And let me be the first to welcome it.