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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

THIS IS US TOUR: Concert Review: Backstreet Boys

With: Shawn Desman, Dan Talevski

When: August 9, 2010

Where: Rexall Place

EDMONTON — It may have been a thunderous night in the sky outside, but if the Backstreet Boys proved anything at Monday’s show at Rexall Place, it’s that 5,000 screaming girls can drown out pretty much anything.

When the sound got knocked out mid-song for a few moments, the Boys’ fans just kept chirping right along — every single lyric, too — even as Nick Carter nearly stopped dancing and confusedly tapped on his earpiece monitor.

It was a momentary snag in the well-oiled machine that is Backstreet’s This Is Us tour, and was soon forgotten as the guys realized they only had to flash their pearly whites bigger and jump a little higher to thank the gaggles of tweens and their barely legal counterparts for sticking out the technical trouble.

Though they’ve been steadily releasing new albums since 2005, the Boys’ set list kept to a lot of the late ‘90s favourites from their Millenium and Black and Blue records. Really, it just wouldn’t be a Backstreet Boys show if they didn’t lay down “I Want It That Way” and “Larger Than Life” at some point. They opened with “Everybody/Backstreet’s Back,” and even played their very first single, “We’ve Got it Goin’ On,” too.

Supported by a foursome of female dancers/set-movers, the Boys don’t give any indication that they’re going through the motions, either. You actually get the sense that they’re still enjoying themselves and can even poke fun at their oddly unflappable stardom, as they did during the concert’s costume breaks with a series of film re-makes, one featuring each singer edited into a role from a hit movie. Imagine Nick getting dropped into The Matrix and asking Trinity why Morpheus keeps talking about ‘N Sync — you get the idea.

After playing this boy-band game for 17 years, Brian Litrell, Howie Dourough, the aforementioned Nick and A.J. MacLean (Kevin Richardson left a few years back) may have slowed down a wee bit — after all, they’re actually men now. Like, 30 year olds. The dance moves aren’t quite as sharp or polished as they were back in the “Backstreet’s Back” days, and the higher notes in the cheesy love tunes have been replaced with more characteristic poppy harmonies or lower, shorter solo notes — not that anyone in the audience seemed to mind. The crowd was singing as hard as they could, too.


Did you see the show? Share your take on the concert in our Review by You.

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