Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle!

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Because my depression started acting up long before my birthday, I wasn't sure if I would do anything particular to celebrate.  I was thrilled when Joe McIntyre (from New Kids On The Block) announced he was doing a solo show in Seattle, because you know I had to go!

Along with Joe Mac goodness in the form of photos and videos, I also want to share what is helping make a difference in my resiliency lately and how the frustrating parts of this concert-going experience made me see the progress within myself.

I'll do a separate post on hanging out in Seattle for the short time we were there, and yet another one on the new thing I tried on my birthday.  For now, we are just talking about Joe Day.

As I have been working on myself and trying to find a good balance in life, my body has now decided it has a pretty decent circadian rhythm for the first time in my life.  I'm getting up early in the morning now, yet still not a morning person, and usually start heading to bed by 10pm.  As a lifelong night owl, this has been really weird for me.  But it has been working well for me in terms of getting more things done, feeling more accomplished, and feeling more balanced.  So on the day of the Joe concert, Sean and I left our hotel by 10am, which is a rare thing for us.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Browsing Pike Place Market

We browsed boutiques and walked up and down Pike Place Market, munching on little treats we picked up from various eateries along the way.  This is one of our favorite things to do when we go to Seattle.  In fact, the last time we were there was the day after all the restaurants and bars shut down at the start of the Pandemic.  It had been a while, and we had a lot of fun trying new things and some of our sure favorites.  There were also lots of booths and shops open within the building this time, so we meandered through the stalls, looked at all the fresh fish, and I picked up some incense I have only been able to find online.  There are lots of little touristy shops, but also quite a few really interesting gems as well. I've never been through the entire market because there are varying levels, but I love the artisan booths the best.  There was quite a variety of trinkets, along with live music at various parts of the market.

I also ended up chatting with a German lady who was visiting the original Starbucks down at Pike's. The line to get in is usually extremely long, but this time it was only about 20 people.  The lady and her friend were complaining about how long the line was, but I had to chime in and tell her that she actually lucked out because it was the shortest I had ever seen it.  (So prepare for some lines if you go.

So here's what we picked up this time:
  • Mac and Cheese stop at Beecher's.  We also picked up the herbed cheese curds to bring home, which were delicious!
  • Then Le Panier for some croissants and coffee, though this time we also picked up some sweet and savory pastries for breakfast goodies the next day or so.
  • Next was Piroshky Piroshky for our favorite beef and cheese, which we actually saved for dinner later that night.

This was about the time my anxiety (being around large crowds, lots of noise, etc.) was heating up, so we found a place to chill and people-watch while we partook of some of our goodies and I took my herbal medication.  (This was the first time I smoked pot in public and it felt quite liberating in a weird way.)  Once I gathered my wits, we began heading back up the market and into the building area looking at vendor booths and being kind of overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
A fun mural we saw on the walk to the market

Running into Joe Mac at the Market

I stood off to the side of a not-so-crowded area while Sean went to get us lavender apple ciders.  As he returned and we started talking, I noticed a distracting stance out of the corner of my eye and turned to look at it.  This man was walking in a way that was familiar to me and before my eyes landed on him fully, I remember thinking, 'Oh, he's cute'.  As his face came into focus, it took my brain a few extra seconds and I smacked Sean on the shoulder to tell him it was Joe McIntyre heading our way!  I don't even know if I had a full second to decide what to do, but as Joe started walking by us I called out to him.  

"Hey, Joe!" I yelled as I stuck my arm in the air, waiting to see if he heard me.  He began to turn as he kept walking forward, but I stood where I was and didn't move to rush him.  As he looked at me, I waved and so did Sean.  There was a moment of worry on Joe's face at his name being yelled in a public place, but I smiled and called, "See you tonight!"

Joe's face showed he recognized my words and he smiled, said 'Hey!', and waved as he continued walking.

I desperately wanted to stop him and chat with him and get a photo with him, but I was proud of myself for also choosing at that moment to let him be, while also staying true to myself by NEEDING to say something to him.  Plus, I knew I was getting a photo with him after the concert, so it wasn't like I was missing out.  I just felt like I love him enough to have given him his space and time off that day.  I'm happy with my choice, though what happened later made me question it for a bit.

After seeing Joe, I was elated!!  I voice-messaged a couple friends to tell them what happened, found my favorite Sea Witch Botanicals incense at Tenzing Momo, and we headed back to the hotel to rest up and get ready before meeting my friend for dinner.

I hadn't seen my friend Summer in about 12 years, so it was lovely to spend some time with her.  She is an amazing caregiver to her mother, who has Alzheimer's.  Her mom still loves music, so Summer brought her mom along for the show.  This presented some issues we were all a little nervous about because we had no idea what to expect, but everything worked out fairly well in relation to the things that could have been the biggest hurdles.  We enjoyed ourselves, Joe is always an amazing performer, and we did get to take photos with him after.  But those highlights are not the whole story.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
Once I got back to our rental, I let myself be super dorky and excited about saying hi to Joe!

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
What I Wore:  Moto Jacket & Maxi - Torrid   /   Tee - Teepublic
Nova Sneaker - Dr. Scholl's via Amazon

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

The Show

The low lighting and Joe's bouncy energy were not a good fit for my camera phone, so I didn't take too many photos or videos.  My husband did take a good chunk of videos for me though, so I have compiled all of those into one full video, including timestamps so you can easily navigate to your favorite song.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
Comedian and Joe's pal Adam Ray opened for Joe.  No shade to Adam, but his sense of humor is not mine. I've seen his stand-up and wasn't into it, but this was the most humorous I have seen him.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

The Rest of the Story

At the end of the day, my biggest gripe is that the "professional photos" that half the people paid extra for were completely blurry, including mine, Sean's, and Summer's.  The company that was in charge of the VIP portion of the evening could have been more organized and should have brushed up on proper camera usage/lighting/lenses.  The company did not include any words with these awful photos, even though they attempted to fix them with AI software and took an extra four days to upload them compared to the other shows on Joe's tour.  I know that I and Summer have emailed the company, but they never responded.  Blurry photos were completely avoidable at the very least.

After we received our incredibly disappointing photos, Summer tried to further fix them with different AI software, which resulted in a usable photo.  But the AI added extra wrinkles and I can tell it isn't my eyes or nose.  It's me, but it isn't me.  So I further edited the shit out of that photo to try to get decent results.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
What We Received versus What It Was Edited To Be

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

My other gripe, but also the reason I noticed my self-growth in this situation, is the attitude of quite a few of the other fans that were there to see Joe.  Sometimes I think these behaviors are regional because I do find that fans act differently in different parts of the country and world.  People even act differently towards me when my husband is my plus one, compared to if I was there with a woman friend.  But lately what I have seen is grown women getting completely wasted on too many vodka drinks and making a complete ass out of themselves in the name of fun.  There is an incredible amount of selfishness and entitlement in these women that doesn't surprise me, but always astounds me when I see it in person. (Like the drunk girls who tried to fight me at the Backstreet Boys concert.)

It just feels very frustrating to be a person participating in an event where, most likely, we all showed up to have a good time, but some people want to make it all about themselves to the point it takes away from the experience we could all be having collectively.

So when Karen and Shiela spent a few songs yelling at each other about getting Joe to see their clipboard sign, I really just wanted to smack them with it.  Actual things two at least 43-year-old women were yelling at each other right behind me during the Joe show:

  • "You aren't holding it high enough! Hold it higher!"  (Her arms were extended all the way up and she was in row 5. I am sure her stupid clipboard was all some people could see.)
  • "He saw it. I know he saw it. Why isn't he acknowledging it?"
  • "I don't think he saw it. Wave it around more."
  • "We need to make him acknowledge it.  I know he sees you." 
  • Etc. etc. etc.

These women kept on until Joe had to stop the show and ask them what they were carrying on about.  And Sheila says to Joe, "My goal in life is to have you take a restraining order out against me!", to which I thought, 'This is a good start.'  Joe misunderstood and thought he already had a restraining order against her.  He looked over the fake restraining order she made on her computer and then asked her to put it down. He saw it.  He wanted her to enjoy the show.  (I do have some video of the exchange, but I refuse to post it anywhere because Sheila does not deserve the attention.)

Joe was also at fault for eventually rewarding the bad behavior.  That gave rise to people rushing the stage with their Joe Funko still in the box in an attempt to get it signed.  Spoiler alert: Don't bring a fountain pen to a Sharpie game.

I'm still absolutely happy I went because nothing will stop me from having fun at any New Kids or Joe event.  I had a great time with Summer.  Her mom even danced during at least one song!  Joe is amazingly talented and wonderful and I have loved him since I was eight years old.  I'm not stopping now.  I just wish people would act right and think about the people around them, and do the inner work needed so that they don't feel so desperate for attention that they fake a restraining order and consider it love.  

Joe deserves better than that.  With all the hollering of asinine phrases, I don't even feel he was receiving the respect an artist deserves when they are performing what they have worked so hard on.  Even though I was a bit pissed at him for rewarding the behavior, I was more pissed about how disrespectful everyone was towards his work.  It's a different setting than a large concert arena.  It's a different vibe. 

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -
The weather on our walk back to our rental was so wonderful!

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

Anyway, I'm still complaining about it, so how in the world did this show me I've grown as a person?  Well, I would have been a lot more anxious about every part of the evening - meeting Summer again, getting a good seat (it was general admission, which I am admittedly too old for), meeting Joe, etc.  I really didn't freak out or have a panic attack about any of those things. I stayed pretty chill and went with the flow, for the most part.  When Sheila was acting out, I rolled my eyes with Summer a bit, but I didn't let it bother me enough to take away from my experience of the show.  I vented about it afterward but didn't let it overtake me.  I didn't get crazy nervous meeting Joe and didn't constantly doubt myself.  What happened happened.  I reacted to the best of my ability and dealt with what I had control over.  And when the photos came back completely effed, I shed some tears about it because I was incredibly disappointed.  Then I made a colorful wallpaper for my computer/Facebook page and moved through my feelings.

Joe McIntyre Lights Up the Showbox in Seattle! - May 4th, 2023 -

I have been doing a ton of inner work on myself for a long, long while now, but I also have to credit smoking CBG (a type of cannabinoid found in cannabis) with my more balanced state too.  It has been so helpful to me, like a natural anti-depressant, if you will.  I feel things SO intensely and the CBG has helped tone down many of those incredibly overwhelming feelings.  I told Sean it's like I used to feel in bright, saturated colors, and now things are a bit more mid-tone.  It was scary at first to feel so much less, but I've been trying to find just the right amount that keeps things at the saturation I feel comfortable with.  I also credit the CBG with helping balance my circadian rhythm, helping me sleep better, and helping balance my body better overall. (I'm not a doctor, yada yada yada. But I had no idea CBG would be that helpful.  It is also helping with my chronic pain.)

I've been pushing myself to my emotional limits in dealing with so much inner turmoil that was beaten into me as a child.  To see progress, to find helpful processes and medications, feels like a relief after a lifetime of struggle.  I still have anxiety and depression and complex PTSD and who knows what else, but I am getting a better handle on things, even if it doesn't always feel that way in the moment.

So cheers to 35 years of loving Joe Mac, legal weed, and personal progress and growth! 😍

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