The year is 2022 and Backstreet Boys can still bring down the house. I bought my wife tickets to see BSB live way back in 2020 for her birthday. Little did I know we would have to wait over 2 years to actually see the show, but boy oh boy was it worth the wait. I have absolutely no shame in saying that I have been a fan of Backstreet Boys since they were huge in the 90’s and 00’s. Back then it was taboo for a guy to like boy bands such as BSB or N’SYNC, but I’ve been on the right side of history from the jump as more and more guys have admitted to liking them in recent years. I even went and saw Backstreet Boys live back in 2000, but as soon as they announced they were touring again I knew I had to experience a show as an adult.
I never listened to the DNA album that the tour was for, but the boys didn’t disappoint. They played the hits that everyone in the crowd wanted, Go ahead and kill some time and tell me these aren’t all certified bangers
These all stand the test of time and I will hear no arguments to the contrary; Here’s a few other observations I had from the show:
- They stretch a wide variety of generations. I thought the entire crowd would be 30-year-old women, and while that certainly made up the majority of the crowd, there was plenty of people from all age groups stretching from age 10 to 60.
- Their lights and visuals were top notch. I knew they would have a big budget for these, but their visuals were right up there with some EDM artists I’ve seen and that is saying a lot.
- My wife will never look at me the way she looks at Howie. That’s ok, silver medal ain’t bad.
- Kevin’s redemption story is a la the 28-3 Patriots against the Falcons in the Super Bowl. Growing up he was always the “old man” who no one liked. He got the loudest cheer of anyone when he got his first vocal solo. Chicks love this dude now apparently.
- Brian has lost it. The other 4 members all sounded great, but Brian seems to have lost his fastball which isn’t great when he’s probably the lead singer.
- My sister used to tell my dad that Backstreet Boys were the modern-day Beatles back when we were growing up and he would laugh in her face. Now I’m not saying the Backstreet Boys are the Beatles, but they can definitely be one of these groups similar to old bands from the 70’s that stay touring until they are 60 or 70 years old because people will always come out to see them. I’ve been to a lot of concerts at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater in Tinley and I have never seen it like that. The lawn was shoulder to shoulder all the way to the fence. Thank goodness we had actual seats. There had to be 25-30K people there. I also can only think of one live event I’ve been to where the crowd got louder than when they came out to perform “Everybody (Backsteet’s Back)” and that’s when CJ Beathard hit Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard bomb at the 2015 Big Ten Title Game.
Speaking of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”, that gets my Moment of the Night award. There were several wardrobe changes throughout the night, and I knew this song was coming up. I turned to my wife when they went backstage and said, “You know what would be awesome? If they came out dressed like they do in the music video, but I know that’s not gonna happen.”
Then the screen had a bunch of Dia de los Muertos style skulls on it and it gave off a Halloween feel so I actually thought it might happen, but what they did was a very solid backup choice. These dudes came out in all white, Millenium album style, and the roof just blew off the place as everyone sang along and melted in nostalgia. It was amazing. If you have a chance to see them in one of their upcoming shows, do yourself a favor and go.
P.S. Obligatory CJ Beathard to Tevaun Smith TD mentioned above. This game was 80% Iowa fans and Lucas Oil went absolutely nuts when he hauled this in. This is my favorite sports moment I’ve seen live, but if you weren’t in attendance Gus Johnson does an amazing job on the call. “He Caught It!!!” and “C! J! Beathard!” gives me chills every time I watch it. Just don’t think about what happened the rest of the game after this.
P.P.S. Music videos were so much cooler back in the day. They were legit miniature movies and I miss it.
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