Views on pop culture through my eyes

Backstreet’s Back, Alright!

Backstreet Boys in Concert
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Gibson Amphitheatre

In a World Like This Tour

Special guests: Bailey Littrell, DJ Pauly D, Jesse McCartney

Songs performed: Fantasy, I Want You Back (Bailey Littrell); Leavin’, How Do You Sleep?, So Cool, Body Language, Shake, Checkmate, Back Together, It’s Over, Beautiful Soul (Jesse McCartney); The Call, Don’t Want You Back, Incomplete, Permanent Stain, All I Have to Give, As Long as You Love Me, Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of), Show Me the Meaning (of Being Lonely), Breathe, I’ll Never Break Your Heart, We’ve Got It Goin’ On, Safest Place to Hide, 10,000 Promises, Madeleine, Quit Playing Games (with My Heart), The One, Love Somebody, More Than That, In a World Like This, I Want It That Way, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), Larger Than Life (BSB)American boy band Backstreet Boys perfor

Comments: Backstreet’s Back, Alright! Celebrating 20 years together, the Backstreet Boys took over the Gibson Amphitheatre for one of the final shows there. This was the first time in 10 years that it was all 5 members of the group: Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. Kevin left the group after the “Never Gone” album and tour.

So they may not be filling the seats like they used to (leave that to boy band du jour One Direction). What can we expect from BSB 2013? The Boys showed that they still have the hits and the moves to keep the crowd on their feet for most of the 2 hour show. This was the smallest venue the band has played in a while, so it was nice to see them up closer.

The Boys came on around 9:30 PM, with a video intro set to the James Bond theme. They emerged at the top of the stairs, with AJ singing “Everybody”. “Everybody” was just the rallying cry for the real first song which was “The Call” from their “Black & Blue” album. They were all dressed in designer suits. But that didn’t stop them from dancing.

The stage itself was made of lighted platforms on the sides, and a staircase in the middle. The front of the stage was a T-shaped walkway that lead into the party pit (so they could get close to their fans). They also performed at the back of the stage too, with a video backdrop.

The show provided hit after hit, with some new songs from their latest CD “In a World Like This” thrown in. Kevin hit it on the head, when he said, “Who wants to party like it’s 1999?” Referring to the band’s hey day of the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. The bulk of the show was from the group’s first three albums: “Backstreet Boys,” “Millenium” and “Black & Blue”. With a few selections from “Never Gone” too, but nothing from “Unbreakable,” “This is Us” or the NKOTBSB joint songs.

The New Kids probably caused BSB to step up their game. I saw that joint tour, and felt that New Kids were better. This was the first time in years, I have seen BSB dance as much as they did during this show. And to look and sound good doing it too, is a testament to what great entertainers these guys are. They are and always have been much more than a boy band. They are a vocal group!

The audience was very hyped for the show. They knew all the words to the songs, and sang along loudly to all the old ones for sure. And yes, they were still screaming for the Boys (as they still look good). The new songs were decently received by the crowd, though some of my favorites from the new album were not played.

An acoustic segment during the middle of the show featured “Safest Place to Hide” (just the chorus), “10,000 Promises,” “Madeleine” (which they said they were inspired to write after hearing about LGBT suicides), and “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)”. A crowd of around 50 people sat behind them on stage while they played their instruments. Howie, Brian and Nick all played guitars, while Kevin and AJ helped out on percussion. This is the segment I thought I would hear ‘Try” and “Trust Me” from the new CD, since they have a stripped down folk-vibe to them. But they did not sing them. Instead we got “10,000 Promises” which they played on the NKOTBSB tour.

The weakest part of the show were some of the transitions. A little video Q&A session with the Boys (asking who’s the sexist, funniest, etc.) seemed to be there to pass the time during a costume change. They also showed a preview for “Backstreet Boys — The Movie”, a new documentary coming out about the group. Plus all the guys took time to thank their friends and family for their love and support (there seemed to be a lot of them in the audience.) I would have liked to have heard more from the band, some solos maybe, or a number by a backgound vocalist (but I don’t think there were any, plus the band was pretty much hidden on stage too).

Opening acts could have been cut or shorter in my opinion. So Brian is pushing his son to be a singer. His voice is not quite there yet. He did better on the Jackson 5 song than the Mariah one. DJ Pauly D was a decent DJ, mixing old school favorites in with today’s top hits. Jesse McCartney was a good performer — but I was very disappointed with his song selection. He basically ignored his 1st and 2nd albums in favor of his 3rd CD, and some new songs. He can definitely sing and dance — I just wish it was on other material.

The 1-2 punch of BSB favorites “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and “Larger Than Life” closed the show.  The crowd was with them for it, dancing and singing along like they had been all night. Thanks, guys for a great evening. You are true entertainers and have earned your superstar status.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.


Comments on: "Backstreet’s Back, Alright!" (1)

  1. Marcelo Castilho Rogedo said:

    Backstreet Boys were part of my childhood too…but as I still was in the closet, nobody knew that I enjoyed them….not only as singers. They came in Brazil, I think more than once with also sold out tours. Everybody and Larger than Life are songs that I used to sing and and dance a lot. NKOTB….I have to admit that they didn’t catch my attention that much…I remember Step By Step being a greatest hits here…but BSB are in my mind in a easier way. I think my favourite ones were Brian and Nick….that I used to let my heart, in my so hidden sexuality, jump. Now I am 37 years old…..but clearly, I remember dancing his songs…..

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