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Posts tagged ‘Backstreet Boys’

NKOTB Still Hangin’ Tough

New Kids on the Block
Saturday, May 9, 2015
The Forum

Special guests: Nelly and TLC

The Main Event Tour

Songs performed: E.I., Where the Party At, Shake Ya Tail Feather/Pimp Juice/Air Force Ones, Country Grammar, Errtime/Dilemma, Just a Dream, Ride Wit Me, Billie Jean, Grillz, Hot in Herre (Nelly); What About Your Friends, Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, Baby Baby Baby, Creep, Diggin’ on You, Unpretty, Red Light Special, No Scrubs, Meant to Be, Waterfalls (TLC); Block Party, Crash, My Favorite Girl, You Got It (The Right Stuff), The Whisper/Single/Shout, Let’s Try It Again, We Own Tonight, Didn’t I Blow You Mind/Valentine Girl/If You Go Away/Please Don’t Go Girl, Remix (I Like the), Summertime, Dirty Dancing, Just a Friend/Good Vibrations/California Love, Tonight, Baby I Believe in You/Give It to You, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)/Twisted, I Need You/Lean on Me/Cover Girl, Games, Step by Step, I’ll Be Loving You (Forever), Hangin’ Tough/We Will Rock You (NKOTB)


The New Kids on the Block brought their latest tour to the Los Angeles area last week. This is the 4th major tour since the group got back together in 2008 (by themselves, with Backstreet Boys, with 98 Degrees & Boyz II Men, and this one). This one is being billed as “The Main Event” and features Nelly and TLC as opening acts performing hit after hit as the ad says.New Kids on the Block

So how does a group that has been around for almost 30 years now, keep their audience interested? Up the sexiness, and put on high-energy shows that showcase what seasoned performers they are. You know you are going to have a good time. And the guys work hard to make sure you leave happy.

I first saw this group back in 1989 at the same venue on their Hangin’ Tough tour. This was during their heyday. I remember we saw a matinee performance as they had a performance at night that day too. I had been dating my partner for about 11 months at that point, and he liked them too. Flash forward to today, we are still together and NKOTB are together again (with one openly gay member at that!).

This is the first time that I have seen them perform in the round. There was one major stage in the center that looked like a boxing ring without the ropes, with 2 smaller stages off to each side. There were 4 video screens above the center stage, for optimal viewing from all angles.

A scantily clad female came out holding up a sign that read “Round 1”. First up, was Nelly, the rapper from St. Louis, Missouri. He was joined by 4 booty shaking dancing girls and 2 fellow MCs. Compared to the other 2 acts, I was less familiar with his songs. The crowd was really into his set and sang and danced along. I knew the bigger pop leaning hits like “Where the Party At (w/ Jagged Edge), “Ride Wit Me,” “Just a Dream” and “Hot in Herre.” He didn’t sing “Over and Over” — his duet with Tim McGraw. I was hoping he would do it with NKOTB. His voice seemed a little rough, but his energy pulled him through.

Time for “Round 2”. A man came out and served as the Master of Ceremonies for TLC, the ground breaking R&B, hip-hop act from Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first major tour since the death of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes in 2002. Their backup dancers carried 3 giant fans, and they spread them out to create a dramatic covering for the singers and dancers as their set started. Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Chili’ Thomas proved that the show truly does go on. They performed hit after hit — from the opening song “What About Your Friends” to the finale of “Waterfalls.” They were dressed in colorful graffiti-inspired outfits with metallic accents. Left Eye’s vocals played where you expected to hear them, including during “Waterfalls” which was dedicated to her. The words for her rap were shown on the screen for the audience to sing along with. They performed one new song “Meant to Be” from the VH1 movie, as images of the group through the years played on the video screens.

After a short break and a solo video from New Kid Danny Wood’s upcoming solo album, the group was shown on the video screens from backstage explaining that Jonathon Knight would not perform tonight (nothing was said other than he had an accident, but was fine. Turns out he broke his nose falling on the tour bus). Time for Round 3, the Main Event. They even got the famous announcer, Michael Buffer (Let’s Get Ready to Rumble), to appear and give them an introduction. They each came on stage in boxing robes as they took the stage one by one.

The opening song was “Block Party” a bonus song from their 2013 album “10”. The guys were all dressed in black and white. The stage had 10 squares on it which served as moving platforms during the show. So at times, there were 5 rows of 2, and at other times, all 10 squares moved separately. Madonna used something similar during her last tour. There were also elevated platforms on the side stages at the ends. The band was off to the side of one of the smaller stages.

During the costume changes, there were cameras in the dressing room, so we could see our favorite guys as they undressed and changed outfits. It was all very PG despite the warnings that flashed on the screen.

The guys went through some of their hits as the year the song came out flashed on the screen. Joey even commented on “Please Don’t Go Girl.” He said, “I’ve been singing this song for 27 years… 27 fucking years!” And then he lead the audience along saying he would be singing it for 5, 10 or even 27 more years God willing.

Joey, Jordan and Donnie all took solo time in the spotlight. Donnie sang a couple of New Kids songs (I Need You (who knew he could play piano?), Cover Girl, plus some of Lean on Me); Jordan sang “Baby I Believe in You” with his shirt open, combined with his solo hit “Give It to You.” Joey had the most dramatic and showy solo moment, as he danced and sang a mashup of Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” and NKOTB’s “Twisted” with his shirt off and barefoot. He made full use of all the moving platforms on the stage.

There was plenty of confetti, fireworks, and streamers during the 2.25 hour show. The guys definitely know how to keep the energy up. It was obvious though that some people just came for the opening acts, then left after they were over.

It was good to hear “Games” again… mixed with ‘This is How We Do It” (by Montell Jordan). That was their answer song to their critics back in the day. Joey brought out his young son, and he sang the intro to ‘Tonight” before the guys headed out into the audience for the song as they have done on previous tours. I was lucky enough to hi-five a few of them on “The Block” tour.

“Hangin’ Tough” closed out the evening. Jonathon Knight even came out at the end and took bows with the rest of the guys. It was a fitting close to “The Main Event.”

Thanks to all for another fun concert. See you on the next tour.

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 Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.


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.

Concerts I Am Looking Forward To In 2013

Here’s my list of the shows I am looking forward to this year:

Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa has been on tour with the “Born This Way” Ball for awhile now (She was on my list last year). It is finally hitting the US in the first half of the year.Lady GaGa

Well, the tour in 2012 never developed. And she was in the flop movie “Battleship”. She is touring behind her new CD “Unapologetic”, and is sure to include hits from the “Talk That Talk” album too. The new tour called “Diamonds” tour is set to hit the states in March.

Taylor Swift
Her latest CD “Red” is flying off the shelves… and so are the tickets to her latest tour which includes stadium shows in select cities. With her move fully into pop music with this latest CD, I am sure it will be a very theatrical and entertaining evening.

Maroon 5
I tried to get tickets for the 2013 tour, but they sold out very fast. They have been hotter since Adam Levine has been on “The Voice”. Plus supporting acts Owl City and Neon Trees should add to a great evening of live music.


More Boy Bands

A few months ago E (Entertainment) Channel had a program entitled “The 15 Awesomest Boy Bands.” An hour-long special, it featured interviews and clips of all the groups. The groups (in order from 15 to 1) were: The Wanted, Color Me Badd, O-Town, Menudo, LFO, Take That, Hanson, 98 Degrees, Jonas Brothers, One Direction, Boyz II Men, New Edition, New Kids on the Block, NSync and Backstreet Boys.

The most surprising ranking was One Direction. They are a relatively new band,, so I was surprised to see them that high. But this list got me to thinking of who they left off. So here is my list of more boy bands that should be recognized:

  • Duran Duran
    How this group was left off the E countdown I will never know. During their heyday in the 80’s, they were everywhere…tons of magazine covers, posters and merchandise. They totally embraced the idea of the music video, and saw their career take off as a result. Years of touring and recording have made them a better band. Essential songs: “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World.”
  • Big Time RushKendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, Carlos Pena
    This quartet currently stars in their own self-titled sitcom on the Nickelodeon channel. Campy, for sure, the guys play fictional versions of themselves trying to make it in Hollywood. They have released 2 albums, and have done some major touring this year. Essential songs: “Til I Forget About You” and “The City Is Ours.”
  • Westlife
    This Irish quartet (once a 5 person group) came out the same time as BSB and NSync. They didn’t make a splash the way the other groups did, at least in the US. They are mainly known for love songs. Great vocal harmonies… they have dueted with Diana Ross and Mariah Carey. Unfortunately they broke up this year. Essential songs: “Swear It Again” and “Flying Without Wings.”
  • BB Mak
    This trio from England was also part of the Teen Pop boom of the early 2000’s. They were signed to the Disney label. What set them apart, was that they played their own instruments and wrote their songs too. They only made 2 albums. Essential songs: “Back Here” and “Still on Your Side.”
  • Five
    Five guys from England, also part of the Teen Pop boom of the late 90’s. Signed by Simon Cowell, they had a bit more attitude and had a multi-cultural flavor to them. Essential songs: “When the Lights Go Out” and “Slam Dunk the Funk.”
  • Boy Zone
    One of the most successful bands in the UK and Ireland with approximately 20 million records sold by 2010 worldwide. Famous for having an out gay member of the group, Stephen Gately, who has since passed away. They never crossed over to the US though. Essential songs: “No Matter What” and “Gave It All Away.”
  • Bay City Rollers
    The Rollers were a Scottish pop band whose popularity was highest in the 1970s. They were the “tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh”, and were guided to US success by Clive Davis. Essential songs: “Saturday Night” and “I Only Want to Be with You.”
  • Wham!
    OK, so they were a duo and not a group. George Michael and Andrew Ridgely first came on the seen as “Wham U.K.” — I even have the first album with that name. Who can forget the video for “Club Tropicana” with George in a white Speedo. But when they dropped “UK” on the second album, and took on a pure pop sound, they took off like crazy. Essential songs: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “I’m Your Man.”
  • Go West
    Another duo from England with a short shelf life. They had some catchy dance-pop songs, and some cool videos too. Essential songs: “We Close Our Eyes” and “Faithful.”

So that’s it. Did I forget anyone? I know, you are probably saying, well… what about the Jacksons and the Beatles? But they were much more than boy bands — even if they started out that way. One thing is for sure, as long as there is music, there will be boy bands.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. The eBook, A View from the Cheap Seats, can be downloaded from LuluAmazon and the iBookstore. It can be read on any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Teen Pop (Where Are They Now?)

Long before Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, we had the teen pop boom of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This was the time of Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney, Christina, etc. So let’s look back to our favorites from that era and see where they are today…

Backstreet Boys. They are the last of the remaining boy bands from that era. All of the others are gone: NSync, 98 Degrees, LFO. This past summer they teamed up with the New Kids on the Block for a sold-out arena headlining tour. Kevin Richardson, who left the band in 2006, even joined his fellow bandmates in the Los Angeles show. I hear the group will be working on a new CD soon.

NSync. The group was the launching pad for singing superstar turned actor Justin Timberlake. I always knew that Justin was a star. But JC Chasez was too. I am disappointed that his solo career never took off the way that Justin’s did. His first solo album was very nice, and he is not using his talents to the fullest on “America’s Best Dance Crew.” I always thought that the band should have carried on without Justin… I think they would have been fine. Joey and Lance have done acting, Chris has not done too much. (Sorry can’t count “The Man Band” show).


Long Live the Boy Bands!

New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB) in Concert
Friday, July 1, 2011
Staples Center

Special guests: Ashlyne Huff and Jordin Sparks

Songs performed: “Viva La Vida/Single/The One” NKOTBSB; “Summertime” NKOTB; “The Call” BSB; “Dirty Dancing” NKOTB; “Get Down (You’re the One for Me)” BSB; “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” NKOTB; 
”Larger Than Life” NKOTBSB; 
”Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind)” NKOTB; 
”Valentine Girl” NKOTB; 
”If You Go Away” NKOTB;  “Please Don’t Go Girl” NKOTB; 
”Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” BSB;
”10,000 Promises” BSB; 
”I’ll Never Break Your Heart” BSB; 
”Inconsolable” BSB; “Drowning” BSB; 
”Incomplete” BSB; 
”Step by Step” NKOTB;
”Cover Girl” NKOTB; 
”My Favorite Girl” NKOTB; 
”Games” NKOTB; 
”Click Click Click” NKOTB; “Tonight” NKOTB;  “Shape of My Heart” BSB; “As Long as You Love Me” BSB; “All I Have to Give” BSB; “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” BSB;
 “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” NKOTB; 
”I Want It That Way” BSB; 
”Don’t Turn Out the Lights” NKOTBSB; “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” BSB; 
”Hangin’ Tough/We Will Rock You” NKOTB; 
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)/Hangin’ Tough (Mash-up) NKOTBSBNKOTBSB

Comments: NKOTBSB (The Super Group made up of New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys) performed a high-energy, fan friendly performance at the Staples Center. These groups definitely still have some life left in them as they kept the crowd on their feet for most of the 2.5 hour show. All the guys are in their 30’s and 40’s now, they are men not boys, but both have a lot of great pop songs in their catalogs. It was definitely a co-headlined show, as both groups took the stage together, traded off with each other throughout the night, and they ended the show together also (something I would have loved Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera to have done when they had their co-headlining tour a few years back).


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