Approaching the House of Blues in Atlantic City, one would think there was a semi-formal event taking place. Young females clad in short skirts, tight tops and heels lined up outside. What threw most onlookers for a loop was the young men sporting Backstreet Boys t-shirts. Yes, surprisingly enough–it was the men showing the pride while the women strut their stuff in hopes to grab Howie, Brian, AJ or Nick’s attention.
With fifteen years behind them as a band, the Backstreet Boys’ fans are still hardcore. Not willing to lose her spot in line, one woman actually pulled her pants down and urinated right on the floor. Unfortunately for her, she was escorted out by security and missed one awesome show!
The crowd waited anxiously, chanting and screaming every few minutes until the lights went out and BSB appeared onstage. Dressed in boxing robes and gloves and to the beat of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, the group appeared ready to put up a fight. From what StarShine could tell from their interview with the Boys, it may be members of their own crew they are battling. “There are internal people–and I’m not going to say any names,“ explained Nick Carter, “But there are people that we’ve worked with who feel that we are an [Adult Contemporary] act and feel that’s all that we’re capable of doing.” That’s simply not the case. Tell that to the screaming fans at their concert throwing panties and holding signs that read, “I want to have your baby”. They certainly think the Backstreet Boys have still got it as they brought back more choreography to their show and proved their vocals sound just as good as they did in the late ‘90s. “We believe that we are current. All we have to do is get the right tools,” Nick said adamantly.
Blending the perfect mix of new and old, the Backstreet Boys sang all their major hits like “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”, “As Long As You Love Me”, “I’ll Never Break Your Heart” and “I Want It That Way” and their newer hits, “Incomplete” and “Inconsolable”. Surprisingly, the band left out their last single, “Helpless When She Smiles”. Though the song was dubbed as one of the band’s favorite tracks off their latest album Unbreakable back in October 2007, it was not their choice in a single being that it was another ballad.
Backstage in their interview with StarShine, AJ McLean dished on their hopes for the future of Backstreet Boys. “I think it’s a nice mix between–if we go back to being what the Backstreet Boys are known for, it’s Pop/R&B,” he says. “Hopefully we don’t stay in this ballad/mid-tempo world.” On tour, the band has been spicing up their ballads by adding nice touches to the stage. For “All I Have To Give”, a garbage can with a faux fire is onstage as the four guys stand around it singing as if they’re on a street corner. “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” has the guys sitting around playing poker, which creates a great story for the somber song.
Throughout the night, each member of the band had the opportunity to showcase their solo talents. Brian Littrell sang his hit single “Welcome Home” while Nick sang “I Got You”, a European single from his 2002 release Now or Never. Both Howie Dorough and AJ performed songs off their upcoming debut albums. Howie sang “She’s Like The Sun”, a Spanish flavored song he rhythmically moved his hips to. While AJ came out with “Drive-by Love” and both scared and seduced the crowd with his wild energy and pelvic gyrations.
Though each member of the group is working on solo records, it looks like another BSB album is front and center. “We do believe there’s enough space out there for all of us to exist as solo artists,” Howie explained. “But at the same time supply our fans with what they want to hear overall, which is the Backstreet Boys.”
It looks like BSB won’t be slowing down after the American leg of the Unbreakable tour wraps up. The Boys will be going right into the studio for the next album all the while progressing with solo plans. They’re not crying about the lack of time off, either. “That’s a wonderful thing to be busy after fifteen, sixteen years in the business,” Brian says humbly.
Closing the show that night with “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” seemed even more fittingly than ever before. Watching the group perform and after everything that was said in the interview, it felt like it was 1999 again and the Backstreet Boys were breaking all the records. No matter what happens in the future of the Backstreet Boys, they will always be legends, but let’s not say their story is done. We only had Chapter One…there’s no doubt that the Backstreet Boys have the ability to reign the charts once again if the industry would just let them. Either way, they’ll always be number one to their fans and you can see the feeling was mutual as the band jumped into the crowd and waved to crying girls every other minute.
It’s been said many times before, but we will always say it again…Backstreet’s Back, alright!
Sandy Lo is an author, blogger, journalist, and digital strategist. Her personal story is inspiring. Sandy started StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.