Backstreet's back, alright!
The boy band is now a man band, and all the ladies squealed like young girls
Backstreet Boys' youngest member Nick Carter, 35, urged the Thai crowd to "act like you're 15" on Wednesday night. There wasn't any need for Carter to offer such encouragement because all 35 year-olds present at Backstreet Boys' "In a World Like This" tour behaved exactly like that.
There was something alarming and, at the same time, endearing to see women above the age of 30 giggling like schoolgirls over an ageing boy band, whose members haven't exactly aged that well. But thanks to the fans' devotion and the band's gratefulness, the night at Impact Arena was good, lighthearted entertainment. The audience got their money's worth because all they needed was to see BSB in the flesh.
Billed as "the biggest" boy band ever, Backstreet Boys have been in the running since 1993. No one could really beat them in the 90s and early 2000, thanks to strings of massive, global hits and a perfect combination of boy band prototypes from the pretty boy, the rapper, the classically handsome and the goofball to the voice.
Backstreet Boys began the night with The Call closely followed by Don't Want You Back and Incomplete. As expected, new songs didn't go down well with the audience who tried half-heartedly to cheer them on, but it was obvious that they came for what they've known and loved for half of their lives. The most amazing thing, however, was that BSB acknowledged that as well, and seemed to have no qualms relying on their sure bets. They even took the trouble to poke fun at such ambivalence towards their newer musical outputs.
All I Have To Give and As Long As You Love Me had the entire hall singing along before they launched into I'll Never Break Your Heart and We've Got It Going On. The ensuing acoustic/a cappella session provided a nice breather for BSB, as well as a chance for the audience to see that the boys also play musical instruments. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) and Shape Of My Heart (Backstreet Boys have a lot of hearts, yes) paved the way nicely to I Want It That Way before an encore of Everybody and Larger Than Life.
Compared to their 2006 gig in the Kingdom, BSB seemed to be more into it with an announcement that they're going back to the studio in the summer. Quirky, fun and energetic, the members thoroughly enjoyed their time together on stage. I was seated in the boondocks with obstructed views to the nearest screen so I couldn't really judge the sound quality properly, but the singing must have somehow been aided. Though far from perfect, it was still an admirable collective effort.
There was nothing special about the lighting while the visuals were so poorly executed to the point of being rather tacky. I'm not sure if it was on purpose to remind the audience of their younger days in the 90s, but this was a pretty bad 90s aesthetics with some graphics looking like shady Chinese New Year celebrations.
The classic choreography if pitted against today's more intricate and complicated footwork would be considered lacking, but this was a rather nice nostalgia. The kind that put a smile on your face. Surely, Backstreet Boys will be back again if they embark on another world tour. It looks like they'll continue even if their fans are going through menopause in a few years time.