I had a great time in Las Vegas last week, but when haven’t I had a great time in Las Vegas? I saw three great NKOTB shows and won some money. What could be better? I left Baltimore Wednesday evening July 9 and arrived in Vegas five hours later. I checked in at Ballys, where I always stay, unpacked and was in the casino just before midnight.
Thursday morning I walked over to Planet Hollywood to pick up my NKOTB tickets. Not so easy though. I went to the Axis Theater Box Office where everyone who ordered from tickemaster were picking up their tickets – all of their tickets for all shows. But those of us with NKOTB Full Service memberships who ordered through Ground Control in the presale had to wait in an hour plus line and could only get the ticket for the show that night. We would have to return each day to pick up our ticket to the show that night – in 100 plus degree heat.
Opening Night of NKOTB After Dark on Thursday July 10th was my favorite of the three I saw. I think maybe because I was just so excited it being the first time I had seen NKOTB since last year. The guys had such a great energy! My seat was in the center section right in front of the soundboard. The show started at 8:17 and was over at 10:00. It was great to hear my favorite “Single” again in its normal format. The guys came out into the audience for my other favorite “Block Party.” Donnie was right in our section, literally. And then during “Favorite Girl” Joey, then Jon, then Danny all came over, but never Jordan. I was excited to hear “I’ll Be There” again like on the Step by Step tour of 1990, and even more excited to hear Wham’s “Careless Whisper.” Wham was my favorite group in middle school before U2 and NKOTB. Jordan again sang Prince’s “Kiss,” but no abs this performance. I looked behind me right before “Tonight” and Jenny McCarthy, the soon to be Mrs. Donnie Wahlberg, was at the soundboard. She waved and talked with us. She was so nice and so stunningly beautiful. During “Cover Girl,” Donnie announced that his cover girl was definitely in the building, so of course we all turned around and looked at Jenny. Then Donnie said he was in Vegas and was one beer away from getting married – again we all turned around to look at Jenny who was playing along.
The set list was very similar to the Package Tour with the exception of the absence of “We Own Tonight,” and it was the same set list for every show. The set list for NKOTB After Dark Las Vegas July 10-13 was as follows: Crash, Remix, Summertime, The Right Stuff, The Whisper, Survive You, Didn’t I Blow Your Mind, Valentine Girl, If You Go Away, Single, Please Don’t Go Girl, Block Party, Favorite Girl, I’ll Be There, Careless Whisper, Faith, Kiss, Dirty Dancing, Tonight, Step By Step, Cover Girl, Games, I’ll Be Loving You Forever, Hanging Tough.
Friday I had a great time at the casino in Ballys. I walked away with an $800 ticket, although I had spent a few hundred prior to that. The NKOTB show that night was great, but I was way more into opening night. My seat was closer and just to the right of center. Saturday I spent six hours in the casino in Paris, which is connected to Ballys. Even after playing all day, I was still up. I decided not to go to the NKOTB show. I sold my ticket to my friend who had just flown out at the last minute and only had a ticket to Sunday’s show and was looking for a ticket for Saturday’s show. Sunday was the final night of NKOTB After Dark, and I was fifth row on the floor just to the left of center. It was such a great seat! I am glad I had three distinct views of the shows. After the show, I played in the casino for a bit, got some Sbarra pizza and then packed. I didn’t sleep because I had to catch the shuttle to the airport at 4:30am.
I had a wonderful time in Vegas. I didn’t go around exploring up and down the Strip like usual because it was just too damn hot (110 degrees Sunday). I spent all of my time at Ballys, Paris and Planet Hollywood – Ballys and Paris are connected and Planet Hollywood is next to Paris. I came home with $600 out of that $800 I won, but in reality I was only $100 up (because I had lost $500).
For all of my NKOTB Las Vegas pictures, please click here.