Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Backstreet's BACK, and Big Willy Gets a Hug

Note: Pictures below!

So I met Will Smith tonight. And the Backstreet Boys. Okay, okay, so I didn't really "meet" the Backstreet Boys because I entered the girl-filled press room just as they were leaving. BUT just wait 'til you read what transpired between Will Smith and my sister Summer!

Before I get there, though, I'll start from the beginning (since I'm such a beginning-to-end kind of storyteller).

Summer's friend Kirsten is married to a stone worker. That is, he lays stone floors, sidewalks, fireplaces, and so on. Well, he (Shaun) does stone work for one of the Backstreet Boys, Brian Littrell. When Shaun found out Summer was going to the Q-100 "Frosty the Showman" concert, he told her that he could make a deal with Littrell. He would cut $200 off Littrell's bill, if Littrell would get Summer and her friends backstage passes.

Well, you know how a friend of a friend's backstage passes never quite work out. But Summer and Susanne were going to get those passes, no matter what! Honestly, I didn't really care about seeing the Backstreet Boys, but Summer thought that if we were backstage, we might run into Will Smith, who was scheduled to be the final and climactic act of the night. So we tried to find our passes. These "passes" eluded us, though. Apparently, our names were not on any lists. So from portal to portal of the Philips Arena we went. Were our passes at Will Call? No. Were they with the usher near our seats? No. Were they at Guest Services? No.

Several phonecalls to Shaun later, however, and we finally made it on a list. Here are our official backstage wristbands:

This "list" included about 30 other girls who had won free tickets from the Q-100 radio station. They were dressed from head to toe in sparkles, skin-baring tops, and high heels. Make-up? You bet. And lots of it. We found out that we were being sent to a room below the main level for a short chance to meet the band. So we went from cold cinderblock-wall room to cold cinderblock-wall room, waiting to find out what was going on. Here we are, waiting:

Finally, we got to a waiting room with an adjacent press room. The Backstreet Boys had just finished their Q-100 interview, and all of us were going to meet them for a few minutes. This is what I waited for? Backstage pass, huh? We were supposed to be wined and dined. We were supposed to be backstage!

But we weren't. Instead, I got this crummy picture of one Backstreet Boy, and I don't even know who he is.

So amid the rush and confusion of Backstreet Boys, Philips Arena workers, and excited girls, we got shovelled out of the press room and into the waiting room again. Since it was mostly empty, except for a few groups of new people, Summer had the bright idea to just wait there -- in case Will Smith came by. We asked the new people if they were waiting for Will. Indeed they were. He was about to have an interview in the same adjacent room! So we waited around and pretended like we were supposed to be there.

Well, you can guess what happened after that. We were able to slip into the press room for Will Smith's interview. But what you can't guess is that Will Smith didn't just answer questions; he went around the room shaking hands. And when he got to Summer, she didn't just shake his hand. She practically jumped on him in excitement! She gave him a HUGE hug, and he was like, "Uhhh. Hey." And everybody laughed. She didn't plan this, so I don't have a picture (Don't worry; there are other Will pictures.), but she was really excited afterwards.

Then we were able to listen to his interview:

Summer's excitement quickly turned into embarrassment. Throughout the interview, Summer kept saying things like, "I'm so embarrassed. I probably scared him. I feel so bad. I wish I hadn't done that. I'm a grown woman with children! I should apologize."

"Hm. Those are only her feelings," I thought. "She's not really going to apologize." But she really did! After the interview and marketing photos and just before he left the press room, Summer strategically positioned herself by the exit door. As he came close, she said to him: "I'm sorry I scared you. I shouldn't have hugged you." Or something like that.

He said, smiling, "Oh, no; it's okay. It got me pumped for the show."
"I almost knocked you over!"
"Well, I was about to take you down myself!"

They smiled and laughed, and Will Smith gave Summer Snow a hug. And I got it all on camera:

Here is my favorite picture:

On our way out of the "backstage," we even got some free drinks!

Next up: the actual concert! But we had to wait, some more. (There really is a lot of waiting at concerts, now that I think about it. I think I was standing for about four straight hours.)

When the show finally started, Will (We're on a first name basis.) came out in a type of sleigh contraption. I guess since the show was called "Frosty the Showman", and he was the the "best" saved for last, he decided he would arrive in Santa fashion.

It was "snowing."

When he landed, he wouldn't talk until the crowd screamed as loud as they could. He kept acting like we weren't making enough noise.

The effects of this concert were pretty spectacular, actually. There were fireworks, breakdancers, and of course, Cirques du Soleil:

Perhaps you can see DJ Jazzy Jeff on that podium. Celebrities definitely look larger-than-life on that super-super-size TV screen. I bet they love it. I know Will Smith did. He really knows how to make a crowd love him. And the cheers and screams he gets in return? Loves it. You can just see the joy on his face. And that's pretty cool. I think that's why I like him so much. He seems pretty thankful for what he has.

Another thing about him -- he likes to talk! During one schpiel about dreams, I thought, "I bet he wanted, or would like, to be a preacher. Later, he said he had wanted to. (That must've been before he started making millions of dollars.) :)

Anyway, he talked and talked and talked (much like I'm doing now), but I didn't mind. He seems like a decent enough guy.

For the finale, fireworks exploded, and TONS of large-size confetti came out of somewhere. Pretty, huh?

And so that was the end. The place was a mess!

I definitely had fun. But I wished he would've played more of his recent songs. He wanted it to be more about rap, I guess.

All in all, it was a good night. On our way home, Summer and I even saw a few snowflakes! They definitely didn't stick, obviously, but it was the perfect ending to our night!

Thing I'm thankful for: Summer letting me sleep on the way to D-ville. Thanks, Sum! And thanks for the concert ticket!


Blogger Lauren said...

That's fun!

(And I believe the Backstreet Boy is probably Howie. Just in case you really cared.)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Ezra said...

Holy Crap, you guys met Big Will!?! That's awesome!!! Kudos to Summer for doing something that if you didn't do you'd be kicking yourself.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

What a great story and with pictures to document it really happened!! Well, you and Brooks always said I was a lot like Summer, well, I would have never dared to steal a hug from Will Smith, but I certainly would have apologized (sheepishly) and then made friends with him if it had somehow happened...

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just needed to correct Shaun's name. It is Sean. Also, I wasn't embarressed, I felt horrible about scaring Will Smith and choking him. And, I never wished I hadn't done it, I wish I had done it with a bit more class, however, it was a spur of the moment thing. Hence no photo of it. It was a good story Sara.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

What can I say? I've always had a difficulties with the name Sean. :)

12:19 AM  
Blogger Jacki said...

um Girls... who is always the runt of the jokes because she likes the backstreet boys, nsync, Will and yes even Britney? That is right... and who did not get the invite or even a shout-out while you were at the show?!?!? HMMM yes that is right Jacki!!! Just checking... now I am not upset... that Summer got to hug the 2nd man of my dreams! I am proud to be a pop fan... and it looks like you guys have now officially come to my side!! WE WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS!!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Yeah, um, Will Smith doesn't go in the "Bubble-gum Pop" category. So we can still tease you, Jacki.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:01 AM  

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