Friday, September 6, 2013

The Backstreet Boys: September 5, 2013

"I'll be the one to hold you, and make sure that you'll be alright."
Pop stars are the saints of this century, and BSB is Jesus. I'm not trying to be funny. Those boys worked their buns off last night. They seriously danced (in miraculous sync) for two solid hours. While singing. While singing five part harmony. And while sometimes wearing those stupid fedoras from 1995 that I'm positive they tried to talk their costume designers out of.
Shellz and Meep witnessed three hours of my fan-girling.
This was an event. This was big. Larger than Life. And I've really got to hand it to them. I suppose I could say I shelled out a lot of scrilla ($70) to scream at Brian Littrel from my very mediocre seat, so I deserve to want things. These men have made their living off of me after all. But, truly, what I expected of these guys, what everyone expected, was not what they wanted to do if they truly had it their way. I want it that way. I wanted them to sing every hit, nothing from their new albums, dance just like they did in 1999, and generally be charming, and thank me for, you know, just standing there. And for the most part, that's just what they did. How could you not despise "We've Got It Goin' On" after singing it for literally 20 years? And, yet, it was their first single. They do the body rolls, the exaggerated "AhHhH!" Their cross to bear.

The PR work for this concert was phenomenal. This was not just a comeback tour. The dudes have all learned instruments--stating they're not "just a boy band" anymore. And we're like, uh. Yeah you are. They were good to us! They would do a huge laser-light shooting, ground-stomping hit and then explain a little about the success of their new album. (I mean, it got to Billboard Top Ten...their 8th consecutive record to do so. Only two other musical acts can brag that in the world.) They'd give a sentence about what the song means to them (so we can try to care) and say which guy wrote it (they wrote this whole new album themselves, and, frankly, it shows). But, the audience still would sit down, literally be checking e-mails, go to the bar. If we had it our way, they would just perform Millennium in full and never progress. Our saints aren't supposed to change. That's the point. They're saints. We change, and they ground us. And when AJ and Kevin talk about being dads? We're like, "Uh uh. No way. You're not a dad. You stick to that chair routine from 'As Long As You Love Me.'" Which, by the way, was done extremely well--the backdrop looked just like the original music video, all those metal fans and bluewhite waves.
"Jam on 'cos Backstreet's got it." 
The truth is I will always love BSB. Incidentally, I actually don't know who they are, where they're from, or what they did...but I still love them. And as long as I (collective I) do, they'll still be poppin' out from backstage in that unified "Alright!" and doing the exact same typewriter arm movements I mimicked off MTV when I was in fifth grade. I mean, it was hilarious to me that I was there...and then I'd look around and realize...there are literally thousands of people here, arms raised in worship, chanting, taking pictures, feverishly trying to document the moments. We have come to collect something we think is ours. We clap at the alter, and the saints perform the same garbage city to city year after year lest we lose our faith.

They sang it on their first album, and they couldn't have known how true it would be:
As long as there'll be music, we'll be comin' back again!

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