Okay okay, it doesn’t fit the usual pattern, but hey I was a teenage girl once and boy was I into the Backstreet Boys. So when they came into town with The New Kids On The Block I could not say no. I knew every word of every song on every album, yes. My walls were covered in posters of Nick Carter & Co when I was 14. I was convince I would one day marry him (good thing that didn’t happen, eh?). Teenage dreams and songs that blasted through my stereo day in and out, my poor parents. So I grabbed a friend and we headed on down to the arena. It wasn’t sold out but who cares. We weren’t sure what to expect and the crowd seemed to think the same. 90% females of our age or older who decided to take a girls’ night out and party like it was 1999.
First on were the New Kids On The Block, I was too young to be a fan, but enjoyed the nostalgic old-school pop nonetheless. They even made their way into the screaming crowd. What is it about boybands that makes even the most educated and self-respecting adult woman act like a 14-year old pubescent girl?! I never got that anyway. Screaming my lungs out to songs, hell yeah! Screaming because someone from a band is on a stage… why? Moving on.
The Backstreet Boys belong to my growing up as peanut butter belongs to jelly. I got to see them once as a teenager when I won a trip to Orlando to see them on their Black & Blue tour. Still the most surreal thing to ever happen in my life. And also one of the most awesome things I got to do as a teenager.
Nick, Brian, Howie, AJ and Kevin – although Kevin had left the band in 2006 after over 13 years together. So the other four kept going and as soon as they hit the stage everyone felt like it was 2001 or 1998… whichever was your favourite album. The song choices and dance moves as predictable but enjoyable as always. However, seeing it all with a grown-up sense of nostalgia and slight humour made it even more special. While as a teenage girl you thought that every wink and every girl that got to go up on stage was sincere and from the heart, you now had the grown-up knowledgee that it’s all show. But, boy, what a show. Like a PG version of a strip club.
The singing was average, as you’d expect from a pop act but most of it was supported by the whole stadium singing and dancing along so the odd off-key note didn’t matter.
I can genuinely say I would whole-heartedly see them again anytime. Not because the music is so good, but because it reminds me of why I love music so much to begin with and how they’d take me to a place I could feel like I belonged when that wasn’t always the case as a teenager.