Backstreet boys

Playing in Edmonton on August 26, the Backstreet Boys master boy band longevity

Of all their contemporaries, the Backstreet Boys continue to find new fans

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In preparation for this important milestone in their career, the American vocal group consisting of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and his cousins ​​Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson are continuing the postponed 2021 DNA World Tour. The concert series around the world in support of the band’s ninth album, DNA, has been postponed due to the pandemic. It resumed last June. The tour wraps up in New Zealand next year and sees the band visit Edmonton on Friday.

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That the quintet is still going strong while most of its contemporaries are scrapped is a surprise to the casual observer.

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The truth is, with a five-episode docuseries called Making of The DNA Tour and a proven draw as a Las Vegas residency, the band is stronger than ever. After a return to the top 10 with ADN, A Very Backstreet Christmas – slated for release on October 14, 2022 – should prove that the group can also chart seasonally.

It’s a mystery to many who believed that the whole explosion of boy bands in the mid-90s backed by Swedish hit factories would fade away as another forgotten trend in pop music would be replaced by the next team. of choreographed hotties spreading the gospel of Autotune. The truth is, BSB has relied on its chart-topping predecessors such as New Kids on the Block and others with an ear for the kinds of songs that don’t go away.

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One of the things that always set BSB apart from the rest was the fact that the members took every chance they had at press conferences to harmonize around a single microphone to prove they could actually carry a tune. without technology. While the only time this reporter experienced such a display was less than impressive, it was real. This gave the group an advantage against opponents at a time when shooting them was de rigueur.

The other was the band’s ability to repeatedly relive just when its original fanbase was ripe for a nostalgia tour to share with its children and grandchildren. A BSB concert is a multi-generational affair.

One of the ways that bond was forged was NKOTBSB’s 2011 joint tour with New Kids on the Block, which saw perennial fan favorite Richardson return to the ranks and firmly cemented the continuum of the pop culture between the two groups of boys. NKOTBSB’s joint hit compilation album produced a hit with single Don’t Turn Out the Lights and the tour – it grossed over US$53 million and sold 650,000 tickets – won a NewNowNext award for the best new indulgence.

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All of this proved BSB to be a kind of enduring cultural memory that piques the interest of pop consumers the same way KISS has for decades. But, like this glam rock machine, what keeps punters coming back is the material. Unlike N’Sync – a distant memory for most, much like the result of various BSB members’ solo careers – the band’s recorded legacy has longevity.

Of the 13 tracks included in 2001’s Greatest Hits: Chapter One, at least eight are likely still played daily on a wide range of conventional and digital delivery systems. Many of today’s big stars have covered the band’s hits, in particular, I Want it That Way. Charlie XCX’s slow-burn version of the ballad is a fan favorite and Lil Uzi Vert’s reimagining of That Way is a hit. Florida Georgia Line not only covered the band, but eventually collaborated with them on God, Your Mama, and Me.

Few legacy acts can claim the love of pop, hip-hop and country artists.

Initially, it was safe to put it all down to the nostalgia built up around BSB. However, returning to the charts with DNA brought the group squarely back to “active” status. It seems that these boys have also made the transition to men in the minds of the public.

OVERVIEW

Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour

Where: Rogers Square, 10220 104 Ave.

When: Friday, doors at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: Available at rogersplace.com

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