Review: Backstreet Boys serve up cheerful show
Oh, how to describe the screams? Try taking a hammer and whacking your big toe. Do it again.

It’s just good hoarse sense.

Backstreet Boys’ fans screamed in line outside the Kohl Center before Wednesday’s concert. They screamed for two dismal opening acts. They screamed for roadies preparing the stage.

Then during the headliner’s lively and fun (heck, cuddly) two-hour show, the crowd noise rarely wavered. Oh, how to describe the screams? Try taking a hammer and whacking your big toe. Do it again. Yep, it was that loud, multiplied 17,000-plus times.

In return, the Backstreet Boys played the perfect gentlemen, happy to be the boy band currently adored by adolescent girls with babysitting money to spend.

There are five Backstreet Boys: Nick! Brian! Kevin! A.J! Howie! (Last names are unnecessary to the faithful.)

On Wednesday, their bubbly pop songs, bouncy R&B tunes and buttery ballads simply provided the backdrop to the concert spectacle.

The Boys didn’t walk on stage; they arrived in harnesses and floated through the air. When dance routines got, well, routine, they added a 10-person dance troupe.

And they changed costumes more often than Cher did, sporting everything from strawberry-colored suits to black leather jackets to stuff that resembled baseball catcher’s gear.

A five-sided stage, placed in the arena’s center, provided the appropriate setting for the Boys’ hi-jinx.

They delivered a surprisingly cheerful performance, considering the group’s detractors often have opinions as strong as the kids in attendance.

The Boys’ songs, like their entire show, are Disney-Channel approved and family friendly. The guys — whose ages are 19, 21, 24, 26 and 28 — seem as threatening as Elmo.

Of course, the music won’t last. I mean, teen tunes, from Fabian’s to New Kids on the Block’s, are meant for the moment, not for longevity.

Two of the five Boys receive practically no solos; and the other three are fine singers, but solo careers aren’t in the cards.

Yet Wednesday’s concerts included a few musical highlights: “Get Down (You’re the One For Me).” “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and the show-closing “I Want It That Way.”

Even the incredibly sappy ballad “The Perfect Fan” was enhanced by inviting five mother-daughter pairs on stage.

How ever manufactured the Backstreet Boys may seem, in concert, at least, they put the show ahead of the business.

The same can’t be said for the opening acts: Britney Spears-wannabe Mandy Moore, 15, and the absurd boy trio E.Y.C.

Leave a Reply