Picture Book By: Deidra Pinion
Live Review By: Molly Segers
Backstreet Boys paid a visit to Chastain Park Amphitheater Thursday August 22 to celebrate their 20th anniversary and their new record, In a World Like This.
Seeing a “boy band” that’s been doing their boy band thing for so long is a unique experience, whether it’s the first time or you’ve been seeing them since they were selling out the GA Dome. There’s an unspoken agreement to suspend disbelief so we can all revert back to about 13 years old for a night. And yea, The Boys know it. It’s all about nostalgia, and they go so far as to ask if we’re ready to party like it’s 1999. And yes, we were.
The audience ate up every bit of the set, which included just as many new album cuts as classics like “As Long As You Love Me,” “The Call,” and “We Got It Going On”. There were even surprises like “Don’t Want You Back,” an album cut from Millennium. Every song was a sing along and everyone was dancing. The only exception I saw was the gaggle of guys dressed up as their version of Backstreet Boys, who were posing for photos and mocking them the entire set. This of course earned them side eyes from everyone around them, as if to say, “Who let these imposters in here?”
Mid set they did an acoustic set with the comment that they probably wouldn’t be able to dance for the next 20+ years. Here they sat, playing their own instruments on songs like “10,000 Promises” and “Quit Playing Games”. This is when the 15 to 20 fans that ponied up the cash for the VIP experience got to join them on stage, beaming and singing along from their place on the risers.
They may keep their shirts on now, and this tour may not command the crowd or carry the pyro and spectacle of the Millennium days, but there were still multiple wardrobe changes and the choreography was the same as the music videos, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. For the 6k or so people in that audience, the moves are just as iconic as the songs. Can you imagine “All I Have to Give” without the hats? Or “We Got It Going On” without the basketball toss? No. And those steps never faltered, except during the encore of “Backstreet’s Back,” when they weren’t as sharp with their steps and they all seemed to be laughing at themselves. Maybe that’s the secret to a boy band lasting 20 years. You have to be in on the joke.
DJ Pauly D: