Backstreet's Back, Alright!

Sticking with the music theme for today, let's dive into my love for the Backstreet Boys.

I first heard of the Boys way back during my four year stint in Nigeria. It was around '97, maybe, and I was watching TV in someone's living room. A music video comes on featuring a group of guys wearing bright ass jackets singing "Get down. Get down. And move it all around." I remember thinking they looked corny as hell but liking their voices. Glancing at the corner of the screen, I saw "Backstreet Boys, Get Down". Noted it and called it a day.

Fast track to '98 and visiting the States. I wanted to consume as much pop culture as possible during my two month stay. The internet was just beginning to thrive thanks to AOL. And I was heavy into MTV and VH1. Both stations replayed a lot of BSB music videos and I remember saying out loud, "Hey! I remember those guys."

The following year, I'm back in the States - this time permanently. Around September, I started working part time as a pharmacy technician. There I met my soon to be closest friend, Milola. We had a lot in common when it came to pop culture. What I remembered most of all was her absolute love for the Backstreet Boys. And it was she who led me into the light.

I don't know when the tide had turned; maybe when I started buying any and every magazine that had BSB on the cover or watching all the VHS tapes of their concerts with Milola or studying the Billboard charts every week to see where their songs or albums landed or playing the fuck out of Millennium and Black and Blue to the annoyance of my sister and her friends. I can not pinpoint the exact moment. I truly can't. 

But what I can tell you now, as of February 2019, I still stan for the Backstreet Boys.

My first BSB concert was their Up Close & Personal Tour in '04. Their stop in DC was at the 9:30 Club, a standing room only venue. The tickets were sold out before I had the chance to buy but Milola and her friend copped theirs on time. Both still insisted on me coming with them and to just buy a ticket from a scalper. When we got there in the early afternoon, the line was wrapped around the block. It was insane. I searched high and low for scalpers but none to be found. We left the line to find some food. Came back to see the line, of course, grew longer. At least it was getting closer to showtime. And finally a scalper appeared out of thin air. I immediately rushed towards him and copped the inflated ticket. Satisfied, we went back in line. Milola, the ultimate stanner, refused to be far back so once the doors opened and folks started filing in, she left me and her friend to walk straight to the front. We were stuck on stupid like, um, did that just happen?! Quickly, we left the line and speed walked straight to her. Mind you, we busted in front of A LOT of crazy fans who proceeded to rain loads of threats and curses our way. We played deaf and dumb, got inside, and managed to be damn near the front of the stage. It worked. And during the concert, Brian reached out and touched my hand. 

My second BSB concert was the Unbreakable Tour at Wolf Trap in '08. I'm surprised Milola came considering her favorite, Kevin Richardson, had already left the group. Also, this was the night when we acted like straight up groupies and followed their tour bus after the concert. The bus we followed contained AJ and Brian. It was roughly around the 20 minute mark when AJ realized we were following them. He waved, we squealed in delight. We followed the bus until they exited off the beltway.

Third concert was NKOTBSB Tour in '11; I attended twice. Six years later, I went to my fourth BSB concert, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

And now my babies are back and better than ever. Their album, DNA,  hit #1 in the country - their first #1 album in almost twenty years. The album is so good. No bullshit. They look great and sound amazing. It's like their voices got even stronger. I'm so happy to report that Howie (my favorite underdog) sang a lot of leads, which is rare.  Speaking of singing, I've always acknowledged AJ and Brian having the best voices in the group but wowza, AJ blew me away on this album. I'd recommend listening to Chances, Breathe, and my current favorite, OK

This July, they'll be back in DC. Guess who's going to be there singing along to their classics?

*points to self*