| August 6, 2011 | Comments (6)

New Kids On The Backstreet Boys.

I know that isn’t what it’s supposed to mean, but when you use NKOTBSB as the title for the tour, it only makes sense to read it this way.  Confusing acronyms aside, NKOTBSB  ranging in ages from  31-42 years old,  are neither new, kids, or boys.  They are, however, performers and from the sound of the crowd, they did a phenomenal job last night at the Bell Centre.

The Bell Centre was set up with a stage in the shape of a T with a circle platform on each end that rose about 10 feet into the air during several parts of the show, and 2 rectangular platforms on each side.  The design was well thought out to allow for the bands to be able to move around freely during the performance and to allow the crowd to have pretty good seats no matter where you were in the arena.

The concert started when a white curtain unfurled in front of the stage and a 5 minute video introducing the NKOTBSB tour with photos and names of band members in each group.  From that moment on the sound in the arena was deafening.  Once again, I found myself plugging my ears from the noise, but unlike the clapping and hollering for The Black Keys recent concert in Montreal, the venue was filled with about 99% girls, so it was a high pitched screeching that started with the curtain and lasted the entire two and a half hour set.  Directly behind me there was a group of girls that seemed especially gifted in being heard from one side of the arena to the other (and likely outside too), and behind them a group of four guys repeatedly shouting “I love you Nick Carter”.

With a loud POP that sounded like a cannon (and I admit had me ducking for cover), the curtain dropped and all 9 members of the bands were standing on the stage.  They launched into a mash up of Viva La Vida and The One and then the BSB exited the stage and the NKOTB performed a remix of Summertime complete with some raunchy dancing and shirt lifting to expose their older, yet still toned bodies.   After leaving the stage, the BSB came on and performed The call with some flames thrown in on each side of the stage in time with choreographed pelvic thrusts from the members of the band. Although I should add that Nick Carter seemed to do everything about 50% bigger than everyone else and was really loving the attention he was getting.  At one point, he leaned out on the edge of the stage, bear hugged a fans face and then rested his arms on the heads of two other fans in the crowd.  I would be remiss if I didn’t add that he also likes to air guitar sporadically, and at the end of one song ended in what I can only describe as a kung fu pose.  It was pretty bizarre.

The show continued with the NKOTB and BSB taking turns performing their songs, each time coming out in different outfits.  I have never seen so many outfit changes in one performance, but one thing that remained the same was that every outfit they came out with sparkled.  Last night at the Bell Center the crowd was almost exclusively female, but the outfits worn by the performers had more jewels, sequins and satin than everyone else in the room combined.   Whether it was their fedoras, neck sashes, belt buckles, combat boots, shoulders of suits, or Donnie Wahlbergs “Fight the Power” Public Enemy shirt spelled out completely in sequins, they made sure you could see them and definitely put on a dazzling performance.

During the middle of the show both bands had time to go through a couple of slower songs all in a row.  During the BSB time, four stools were brought on stage and the band announced that they would like to bring four girls on stage to sing to.  The place went nuts!  This may have been the most interesting part of the night as girls were pushing each other out of the way and jumping on their seats to try to be one of the four.  They performed I’ll Never Break Your Heart, each BSB signing to one of the girls sitting on a stool in front of them with a rose they’d just been given.  The girls were grinning from ear to ear and  I’m sure won’t be forgetting the experience any time soon.

During Cover Girl by the NKOTB, Donnie Wahlberg looked a little like a male stripper.  Make that a lot like a male stripper.  Who else tears there tank top in half on stage and then does body rolls for the crowd?  I guess compared to today’s performances (ahem, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera) shows are often sexualised to the point of being lewd, but something about seeing this group of men pelvic thrusting to the beat with sparkles and streamers shooting out from little projectiles in front of them was embarrassing to watch, and to be honest, laughable.  I openly guffawed at several points, including when Nick held his pants away from his body, looked down, pointed to his package and then pointed to the crowding while shaking his finger no.

The camaraderie the men showed during the end of the show was great to see. Everyone came out on stage and introduced each other.  Brian Littrell even said that he thinks Montreal “is the best crowd of the tour”, which got a great response from the crowd.  The guys threw a little French into their performance by asking the crowd to yell “plus forte” (much to my dismay since I’d already lost most of my hearing by this point and hoped to keep the rest for future concerts), and explained the 5 personality’s found in most boy bands: the older one, the cute young one, the funny one, the sexy one, and the bad boy.

The night ended with Backstreet’s Back, Hangin Tough,and We Will Rock You. Everything considered, the experience was great.  I may not have my full hearing for a few days, but seeing such influential bands, who obviously still have a strong fan following was really something else.  Here is a great clip from the concert posted on YouTube that has a couple of quick looks at the concert from last night.  It’s definitely interesting, and though I’ve done my best to describe it, you really do need to see it to believe it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bxj8_p-2KI


- Text by Crissy Jarvis - 
- Photos by Claudia Matteau -

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Category: Photo Updates, Reviews