Backstreet Boys at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 8/31/13
The title of this article could be a lot of things, but none of them would be more fitting than one that read, "How the Backstreet Boys changed the mind of a former 'N Sync fan."
And really, nobody is more surprised by that than me.
When I heard that Backstreet Boys were returning to Houston, I had mixed feelings, my main one being whether or not they'd be any good. The 90s are over, after all. But any doubts I had melted away almost immediately.
Women and men of every age were on their feet, screaming loud enough to be heard on the other side of I-45. I guess once you start loving a boy band, you never really stop, because the screams only got louder and more urgent as Backstreet Boys emerged on a platform made entirely of LED lights, amidst smoke and spotlights.
Dressed in matching gray suits, black shirts and leather gloves, Backstreet Boys sang their hit, "The Call," while working through a choreographed dance.
As the group worked through the next couple of songs, it became apparent that while the Backstreet Boys have grown up alongside their fan base, they never lost their ability to perform. Instead, their voices sounded stronger than ever, and it's the kind of talent that's hard to deny.
While this show could be considered a reunion in some ways (Kevin Richardson left the group in 2006 before returning in early 2012), their In A World Like This Tour isn't a ploy for easy money, nor is it a comeback. Really, Backstreet Boys never left the show business, and with 130 million record sales under their belt they remain the best selling boy band in history.
As I watched the five members gyrate on stage to "Incomplete," I remember watching MTV's Total Request Live in 2000, when Brian Littrell announced that two crazed fans had stolen his beloved dogs. Only one year later, the group returned to TRL to announce they were postponing their Black and Blue tour while A.J. McLean entered rehab for "anxiety, depression, and excessive consumption of alcohol."
But McLean isn't the only one who battles addiction.
Nick Carter, the youngest and arguably most popular member of the group, has been upfront about his own addiction issues in the media. But watching them Saturday, you'd never be able to tell.
All five members of the group looked and sounded healthy as possible as they sang "Permanent Stain," a single from their eighth and most recent album, In a World Like This.
Of course, it can't hurt to know that the ladies still want you after 20 years.
Review continues on the next page.