The Backstreet Boys landed in Halifax Sunday night to a sold out, energetic crowd of screaming fans at the Halifax Metro Centre. Famous for hits like I Want it that Way and Everybody, BSB came to metro as part of their In A World Like This summer tour.
A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell – AKA the Backstreet Boys – hit the Scotiabank Saddledome Friday night to play for thousands of adoring fans. The group is in Edmonton Saturday, Dawson Creek on Sunday night and Vancouver on Tuesday.
Highlights: We’ve Got It Goin’ On, one of Backstreet’s more booty-shaking dance-pop numbers. 10,000 Promises, featuring three of the Boys playing acoustic guitars, surrounded by 30 or so fans on stage. (Brian Littrell tried to hug all of them before he picked up his guitar.) I Want It That Way, starring the sweet voices of thousands of fans in harmony with the Boys.
Most valuable performer: Can you really pick one? Each played his role to a T. Brian Littrell hit all the high notes. Bearded badboy A.J. McLean praised all the ladies of Edmonton for “looking good.” Nick Carter looked sly and sweet as he ran his fingers through his hair or grabbed his crotch. Howie Dorough … well, he sang and danced around in time with the other guys, right? (OK, he also shook his butt during a flamenco interlude, with a little bit of prodding from his bandmates.) But we’ll give the award to Kevin Richardson, who was making his first appearance in Edmonton since 2005. (He quit Backstreet in 2006, only to rejoin in 2012.)
Most unexpected moment: When A.J. McLean asked fans for a moment of silence to pay tribute to Q, one of BSB’s late security guards. “He says thank you,” McLean said after a few seconds.
Openers (or groaners?): Victoria Duffield, a 19-year-old dance-pop artist from Abbotsford, B.C. Her sexy captain’s outfit — hat, crop top and leather shorts — boasted more personality than her 30-minute set. Most of her songs, such as Shut Up and Dance, Break My Heart, and More Than Friends, sounded like Britney Spears knock-offs, and as Duffield pranced around on stage, she looked like she was lip-synching or at best, singing along with her own pre-recorded vocals. Not surprisingly, her four shirtless male dancers earned louder cheers than she did. Sigh.
Attendance: Once again, Ticketmaster wouldn’t provide numbers. My guess? Almost 13,000. There were no curtained-off sections and even the nosebleeds — in the 300s — were full.
In the crowd: Girls, girls, girls. Or, to be precise, women in their 20s and 30s, reliving their days as obsessed Backstreet fans. “KEEP CALM BSB FANS 4 EVER,” read one fan’s sign, ringed with flashing blue and red lights. Calm? Pffft. I think I’m deaf from all their screams.
Most intriguing item(s) of merchandise: Baby onesies or $250 tickets to the official Backstreet after-party, complete with an “individual meet and greet with select members,” plus an “individual photo on the red carpet with select members.”
When they’re as old as Crosby, Stills & Nash, will the Backstreet Boys ditch their song-and-dance routines and go unplugged? Fans got a taste of what the future could hold when the biggest boy band in history sat down with their guitars in the middle of a two-hour show at WaMu Theater to play an acoustic set featuring romantic, laid-back versions of “Get Lucky,” “10,000 Promises,” “Madeline” and “Quit Playing Games With My Heart.”
The show, which included more than 20 songs, opened with a dazzling version of “The Call,” featuring kaleidoscopic LED lighting and split-second dance routines. The Boys were dressed to impress in matching white jackets and slacks and black shirts. The set list included such songs as “Don’t Want You Back,” “All I Have to Give,” “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,” “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” “The One,” “In a World Like This” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”
At the close of the show, the group brought down the house by appearing in Seahawks “12” jerseys and dedicating the song “Larger Than Life” to the Super Bowl victors. Nearly hoarse from two hours of screaming, concertgoers still managed a collective squeal of delight before heading home.
The Backstreet Boys aren't releasing more new music just yet, but they did recently film a Swedish commercial. The two-and-a-half minute commercial, a spoof on BSB's hit "Larger than Life," features Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough in all their glory singing "Lager than Life" while dancing in a warehouse because "Lager" means "warehouse" in Swedish -- of course!
Although a little on the cheesy side, it's easy to see why the guys agreed to do the spot: they were reportedly paid $150K a piece (that's $750K for the entire group)! Currently, the band is traveling around North America for their "In A World Like This" summer tour.