Beyond 5

April 17, 2016

I am about to very publicly admit the most embarrassing thing about me. As a freshman in college, I was obsessed with a boy band. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but they were local and not very well known, and therefore, my antics were easily seen by them, their families, and all those around me.

It all started in early July of 2013. I hadn’t even been at BYU for a month. I got dragged (JK I wanted to go) with Alena and Melissa to some choir camp performance thing that their friend was singing in. During the intermission, 5 boys who very much resembled One Direction came on stage and did a boy band mashup. I was so confused the whole time. Like, where did they come from? Why are they here?
Afterwards, Alena, Melissa, and I, being the hilarious individuals that we are, decided to pretend to be fangirls and get a picture with Beyond 5 (see top left picture). About a month went by and I hadn’t thought of Beyond 5 once. One night in August though, we were super bored, and again, being the hilarious (or creepy, whatever) individuals that we are, we made a fan Instagram account for Beyond 5. We followed the guys and even called one of them, Zac (sorry Zac!!!!!) and sang a song of theirs to him. On camera. And posted it.
The next night, I kid you not, we ran into two of the guys, Patch and Zac (see picture two) outside of our apartments. Needless to say, we were pretty embarrassed for calling Zac the night before and they knew who we were because they saw the videos of us on our Instagram. They were so nice though and THIS IS WHERE IT ALL STARTED.
We were like wow they’re actually cute and we are so awkward and no boys are interested in us (this is mostly me talking because everyone was in love with Melissa and Alena always had random things with guys and I really like cats) and for some reason we just felt really star struck and started being super awkward and fangirl-y all the time (especially me!!!!!! Yikes).
A couple of weeks later, they wanted help advertising for their first concert. Alena had agreed to go with me but she ended up staying up late talking to a boy or something (ew) and Melissa did the same, so I literally showed up at Melissa’s apartment and woke her up and forced her to go with me. If you can’t tell, I’m already way more obsessed with them at this point than Melissa or Alena were but they still indulged me. The boys were so cute and I just remember that they all knew my name (because I’m creepy and memorable for it) without me saying anything and it was just a jolly good time and we made a couple of cute lil fangirl friends (see picture 3).
Well a couple of months later, they had a contest for VIP tickets to their concert. I had already bought us tickets but out of like 300+ people, Alena somehow managed to win (FATE. DESTINY. A HORSE. (name that reference (it’s Tangled))). We got to chill with the guys before the concert and their families (see picture 4) and also did I mention I have known Ammon’s grandpa since I was like 9? Small world.
While the guys toured Asia, we had seen some pictures of them bringing girls up on stage and singing to them. When “Serenade” came on, we were all dying inside because we were 18 year-olds in a crowd of middle schoolers but we all secretly wanted to be serenaded. I was just singing and dancing and maybe very much reaching my hand towards the stage wHEN AMMON LOOKED AT ME AND POINTED AT ME. I did that awkward thing where you look behind you and point at yourself making sure this is really meant for you and it was and I ran up there (see picture 5)!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so fun and honestly the month prior to this had been the worst of my life thus far and I was really depressed and felt ugly and hated myself and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ammon brought me up there. I needed to feel special more than anything at that point and that’s exactly what happened. When it was (too quickly) over, Ammon helped me off the stage and I ran into Melissa’s and Alena’s arms and I’m pretty sure we were all crying from shock and also happiness. The guys always did signings after their concerts and when I got to Ammon he hugged me hard and he was like “I just saw McKay and knew I had to have her up there” *swoon*
Like a month later, I won tickets to a Christmas concert that the guys were opening for and obviously forced Melissa and Alena to come (btw this is where I start forcing my friends with cars to drive me to concerts and attend them with me I LOVE YOU HALEY). We of course saw the guys afterwards (picture #6) and pretty much they loved us that’s all.
A few weeks later, the boys were having a concert in Logan, Utah, about four hours from where I was living. A few problems: 1) I don’t have a car as previously stated, 2) It was the day after finals and a few days before Christmas, and 3) I was a bridesmaid in a wedding the same day. So, naturally, since I was now considered VIP (literally) by the managers and I got to see the guys before the concert again, I tricked Haley and our friend Ben to go with us (and Ben to drive us) to Logan in the middle of December at night. NO REGRETS. I won a CD at the concert and Zac wrote “We love you McKay!!!!” or something on it and it was precious (see picture 7).

Then my five boyfriends had two concerts in one day and I was VIP for both (see pictures 8 and 9) and went to one with my friends I had met putting up posters and went to the other with Haley (I STILL LOVE YOU HALEY (by the way, Haley is like two years older than me and married so this wasn’t really enjoyable for her, she’s just a great friend)).
The boys sang at a high school dance competition (see picture 10) a few hours away that I forced a girl I knew from a class to go with me to and my cousin Kyle took us from the train station to the school (I’m seriously so sorry how many times I bummed rides off of people for these concerts). The guys moved to Tennesse after that but came back for another concert, and the week of that concert, I had gotten out of class early and was walking home when I hear “McKay!!!!” I look over and cute little (The Real) TJ Ryan was there and they all hugged me and we (me mostly) were all so happy (picture 11).
Picture 12 is from their VIP concert that I got a seat reserved front and center for and this was probably my favorite concert mostly because the boys brought up their Moms to sing “Serenade” to and at this point I was friends with pretty much all of their families and honestly their mothers are 10x greater than the guys and that’s saying a lot because the guys are great.

I won a contest to have dinner with the guys before their next concert (Picture 13) and Ali was supposed to go with me but she wouldn’t be in town yet so naturally I forced Alena – who was 1000000% over my obsession with Beyond 5 at this point – to come with me. Ali and I had VIP for the concert though (Picture 14) and Ali is so cute I love her (this is pretty much how our relationship began and I have no shame).
There were a few other concerts in there – both with Ali – that I love love loved. I made so many friends from my experiences with Beyond 5, and after I became such good friends with the boys as well, I had to awkwardly explain and apologize for my embarrassing behavior when it all first began. Anyone who knew me my freshman year knows how much I love those 5 guys (haha kinda like the burger place (now I want burgers)) and I wouldn’t change that for anything. So much of why I love myself is because of Zac, Ammon, Patch, Tanner, and TJ. Although the four LDS guys are on missions now and the band has since disbanded, they still have a wonderful Christian album and multiple songs – both individual and as a group – featured on multiple EFY albums. You should check ‘em out.
I bawled like a baby the entirety of their last concert because Beyond 5 had taught me so much in the year and a half that I had known them. Plus they were really cute and who knows if I'd ever see them again (I did)? 
"One of the most popular ways people like to hate teenage girls is to complain about their “insane” crushes on boy band members. Now, let me tell you something: those big dumb crushes are what helps a teenage girl develop her sexuality in a safe environment that she can control. In her world, she can listen to One Direction and hear all these songs about how great she is, and how much these cute non-threatening boys want to make her feel special. Why is this so important? Because no one is pushing them. There’s no fourteen year old boy shoving his clammy hands down your shirt without your consent. These fantasy boys are not convincing a girl to send naked pictures, only to show all their friends and call her a slut. In the fantasy land of boy bands, the girl has all the power. And we need to stop judging them for wanting to escape into that."
Although this is semi-embarrassing, I have no shame in my love for Zac, Ammon, Patch, Tanner, and TJ. I really wish everyone could fall in love and personally know a boy band, because it was a magical experience that I will never forget.
Yours truly,


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  1. That was a great walk down memory lane! Miss you, sweet McKay! Good luck with finals this next week!- Much love, Mama Love