Backstreet's Back (In Detroit!)

6:47 PM

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Backstreet's Back, All Right!

How do I get your attention after a long writing hiatus?

By bribing you with the Backstreet Boys, of course.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Backstreet Boys. It all goes back to my middle school days, when I got my first CD player. "Backstreet Boys" was the second album I bought (the first was B*Witched--who remembers those gals?), and I wore out my headphones listening to it. Over the years, *NSYNC and 98 Degrees came along, and I (along with every other 11 year-old girl) was living in the land of boy bands.

Years went by, the BSB declined in popularity, and my interest waned. The band's members went in and out of the spotlight for good and bad reasons, so I kind of pushed them out of my radar.

Until the day the boys walked back into my life, some 13 or so years later.

Yep, the Backstreet Boys were on their way to Clarkston for the "In a World Like This" tour, and my friends and I just happened to fit the demographic of ticket buyers. And by "demographic," I mean 20-something females re-living their pre-teen glory days.

Oooooooookay, you guys. You twisted my arm. I'll go. Don't tell anyone I still like late-90's pop music (as if that's a secret).

So, when concert day rolled around at the beginning of August, I met up with my friends, Sarah and Renee, for the big event in Clarkston. After a few confusing encounters with the check-in people over our chairs (if you're going to DTE, I don't advise bothering with chairs at all), we found our $20 lawn seats and waited with the crowd as they got pumped up for the show.

No, really. When we walked in, thousands of 20-somethings were fist-pumping to some tunes spun together by none other than DJ Pauly D.

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Pauly D. himself, pretending that pushing buttons is a thing.
I don't . . . I can't . . . let's just leave this one at "no comment."

Concert opener number two! A young, Caucasian version of Psy struts out onto the stage and starts doin' his thang, belting out indecipherable pop music. Who on earth is this guy?

Renee asks someone. Apparently, it's Jesse McCartney.

OHHHHHH, YEEEEAH. I remember you. Back when you were blonde and didn't look like a Gangnam Style double.

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Jesse McCartney without his shades. Ah, okay...consider my memory now jogged.
And then, the main attraction.

Lights go down.

More lights come up.

Screams erupt.

And camera phones line every spare viewing angle.

IT'S THEM! BE STILL, MY BEATING HEART!

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♫ "Let me tell you a story about the call that changed my destiny" 
The Backstreet Boys still sounded the same, danced the same, and pretty much dressed the same. AJ was still wearing sunglasses, and Nick Carter still got the most screams from the audience whenever he took the mic. As I looked at all of the people around me, I tried to imagine everyone as 12 year-old girls, wearing hand-painted fan shirts and dancing around their rooms as they sang into their hairbrushes. Turns out, I couldn't quite combine those two images, but the crowd's hyper-excitement was entertaining all the same.

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♫ "You saw my picture on the Backstreet's Back, all right" 
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It's like 1999, but we're all 25 and have cell phones.
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♫ "Now, throw your hands up in the air...wave 'em around like ya just don't care..." 

Who remembers the fedora-from-head-to-hand-flips? The monster dancing? All that, plus backwards baseball caps and more. It was like being at a semi-awkward reunion, only the guys on stage were unaware that anything was supposed to be awkward at all. So, I sang and danced like an old lady and everything was fun.


Is anyone else going to see the Backstreet Boys this summer? If not, do you wish you could go or do you consider the BSB a random blip that should stay in the 90's?



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