JOE MACS SUMMER VACATION!Posted in BLOG, JOE
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
JOE MACS SUMMER VACATION!
First- I miss you. Second- my vacation on Cape Cod was just so perfect in countless ways, I could do a separate blog for it. I grew up going down there as a kid and this time to have my own, running around the beach with their cousins was heaven. Griffin doesn’t see his east coast cousins much, but you wouldn’t know it by the way they all hang out together. We also had our niece Audrey stay with us to baby-sit, and anyone with young kids knows it’s a treat to go out for a dinner date more than once a month. We shared a beautiful old “cottage” with Barrett’s sister and her family. They have a beautiful little girl. Our days started way too early, but if we made it to the beach before anyone got pushed or bitten, it was a good morning. The weather everyday was A+. We lucked out in every way. Driving around and having all that Americana summertime fun. And I will treasure so many quiet moments with my boys of that sweet time.
Rhys by the way is amazing. Basically right on track with kids that do not have hearing loss. He is hearing all the stuff he needs to with his hearing aids at this point and right now doesn’t look like he will need cochlear implants- which are a miracle if you are a candidate, but may not be a hurdle for us. Regardless, of all that, Rhys is a big chubby, smiling baby and just everything you could want in the “kissy face” department. He is breaking his parents back though now, because all he wants to do is walk- but at 7 months we are doing all the work.
So imagine that sublime vacation starting by jumping in a car packed with your family and all your stuff and your favorite NY pizza, (and a good bottle of wine- we had a driver) ready for a 5 hour ride in the middle of the night- still in your show close from one of the most special performances you have ever been involved with.
For me, the “Casi-NO Tour” was the “Casi-YES” tour. What was not to love about this tour?? You might be thinking what is not to love about all our tours. This is true. But this last one felt so pure. I felt like a baseball player on a mid-summer hitting streak, playing on a team that was in first place by 10 games. I loved the weekend thing, cuz you could be home and see the fam during the week, but then hit the road and take care of business- which for me was: hit the gym and hang at the spa until someone came to get me for sound check and meet and greet. Then rock the house. Meanwhile, the Celtics were having an amazing play off run, so we’d come off stage after the show and have dinner in the dressing room while we watched the C’s win one series after another on their way to the Finals. Nice, right?
Every stop on the tour was so sweet. You know the dates… Vegas. Nuff said. Miami. C’ mon. Cruise. Epic. Foxwoods. Hometown vibes. AC. Fist pump. Always a major party- and the “Best Spa” award- they had to pull me outta that one. Chi-town- 3 shows to the head and never enough. T-Dot- we made you travel to the cornfields but it was romantic :)… Windsor- little bit of “border love”. And finally, the grand-daddy of them all. NYC. At the mausoleum that is Radio City Music Hall. Sound check is even special at RCMH. Each show was unique. We made some changes… And as a performer that was maybe risky, but the idea was to take it to another level. (Donnie is like a pilot at the controls of a rocket ship and you are trying to fasten your seat belt while yelling, “Do you think this is gonna woo….” Too late- blast off!) That first show took me a bit to loosen up because of the specialness of the place and meaning of it all, but then it was on!
This tour’s show was so fluid to me. I did feel great. I always try to feel as good as possible to perform, but this tour I definitely took my conditioning to a new level. There’s a saying, “jump and the net will appear.” Well, I jumped. And I started to fly. Before we get to ‘sweet dreams’… I felt great from the start of each show. We talked about what the “look” would be. Jordan had some strong ideas about that and I thanked him often, cuz I loved what I was wearing for the opening. It was ready-made instant swagger. I never really “went there” in the swagger dept. Normally I want to start more sleek at the beginning of the show, but this tour I came gangster from the start. It was fun and felt like “pow.”
As far as the line up of the show, we as always go back and forth about what song list would work the best. Overall I was relatively confident in rehearsals, but then I thought after a couple shows that the flow was hot and exciting and I felt it every night and was excited about each section of the show coming up. (there’s a theme here, if you didn’t notice, of me going with the flow- Note to self: go with the flow more often. It works.)
Now as for my solo: I have always put extra special thought into my solos. I am grateful to the guys for such a moment on such a stage to reach out and touch all of you and be loved in return. Each tour- from Stay the Same, which was broken down into a quiet moment but ended with ascension on the stairs and lifted by a choir. To my old school medley, that was cinematic, yet pared down and intimate. And was the seed to 5 Brothers. And then the summer Full Service tour- Popsicle??!! You finally got it out of me and it was a blast. Plus I got to sing a song that I wrote about you and us and rock that out every night on top of a grand piano. C’mon! After that, I was feeling that “how could it get better than that” feeling. But I sort of naturally go to a place of trusting myself and letting go. Knowing that I will come up with something. (I wrote the ending of my “old school medley” on the plane to our European tour last minute). For this tour, I flirted with another version of 5 Brothers, but in the end, I felt it really couldn’t get better than the Full Service version (my wife kind of gently convinced me of that…not that I’m never gonna sing it again, but in the context of the NK big picture…). So…as a whole the show had a DJ- shout to CheapShot- and it had a clubby vibe to it and we talked about different “mash-ups” and incorporating that feel throughout the show, so that got me thinking. I wanted to do a New Kids song, but I was running out of songs that I have sung lead on that would fit. So I looked down the list and came to Twisted. And thought right away it was a perfect fit for the upbeat party we were creating. And then I wanted to mash it up with something. At the same time, I don’t know what came first, Sweet Dreams idea or Twisted. But check this out- Both songs are the same tempo AND the same key. (Now, with “mash-ups” it happens all the time that DJ’s change the key and tempo to fit the mash-up. Sometimes that works great, but often it just doesn’t work. It has to feel right. It this case, we didn’t have to worry about that. We tweaked the arrangement a little bit, but it was pretty much meant to be). Now, Sweet Dreams is one of the all time classic New Wave 80’s jams. When that vamp comes on it just fires you up. I remember distinctly, being on my front porch as a kid with my Walkman (most of you weren’t born yet- I looked like I was 8 years old in ‘88, but I had at least 5 or 6 years on most of you). It was a killer song of my youth, so has intrinsic value. So to hear that song come on every night and hear the cheer from the crowd getting fired up and then step up on the stage and walk up to that mic and feel like I was hooked up to wires and being juiced by a thousand volts…Aaauughh!! And then that initial surprise of going into Twisted. And yes, I was feeling Freddy Mercury, and yes, it was misogynistic and a little androgynous. And yes, I enjoyed going there. And yes, it felt good in that tux jacket. And it felt good to take it off- or feel confident enough to take it off. There is no better inspiration to stay in shape than having to take your shirt off in front of thousands of girls every night. It was hot.
The ins and outs of this tour were just a lot of fun. And to end it on a Saturday night in June in NYC at Radio City Music Hall. And oh, by the way, have a surprise special appearance by one of the most successful pop bands of all time and sing one of the greatest pop songs of all time with them. And to be hit by the wave of euphoric reaction to such a surprise. Man! That was something special. So good, you’d hate to think we couldn’t do it again.
How do you top what we (5 bros. and a million sisters) have done for the last 2 years? It is not a stretch, after witnessing our recent love affair, that we can continue to have it all. The ultimate get-away for you. The ultimate get-up for us. Traveling the world singing our song for years to come. I Want It That Way. Don’t you?