Review by Lauren Barthold | @bylaurenb
Photos by Scott Hunter | @dangerfiasco
Backstreet Boys (BSB) returned to Detroit on Thursday, August 8th at DTE Energy Music Theater for the first time solo since 2009 on their “In A World Like This” worldwide tour. There, I channeled my first grade self, and loved every second of it.
DJ Pauly D from MTV reality show, “The Jersey Shore” opened up the evening, followed by Jesse McCartney. At exactly 9pm, red and purple lighting fell over the outdoor venue, and five middle-aged gentlemen in white suits with matching shoes emerged from behind the stage with ‘The Call’. They then went into ‘Don’t Want You Back’ and ‘Incomplete’.
The rest of the evening was a mix of throwbacks, as well as some new songs. AJ, Brian, Howie, Kevin, and Nick performed exactly half of the tunes (6/12) from the new album, including title track ‘In A World Like This’. While the new ones are not bad by any means, the enthusiasm and overall energy of the crowd was certainly less than that of when they played their classics such as ‘As Long As You Love Me’, “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely’, ‘We’ve Got It Goin’ On’, ‘Quit Playing Games’, and ‘I Want It That Way’.
For the encore, backstreet came back alright with ‘Everybody’, and finished with ‘Larger Than Life’ around 10:30pm. (“Napoleon Dynamite”, anyone? It took everything I had not to form a butterfly with my hands.)
The only negative response I have towards this show is that there was not a live band, but a few men sitting behind a computer playing background tracks. However, as the six year old who blared the entire “Millennium” record in my Discman for months, the show was truly amazing. I would be lying if I said I did not choke up a little as I got closer and closer to my row five seat. I witnessed every drop of sweat, pelvic thrust, and synchronized move the boy band made up close, and I can only hope that they continue for another 20 years.