Last May 5 2015, the kids from the 90’s and early 2000’s were treated to an ultimate throwback — the concert of the Backstreet Boys…The group of 5 guys from Orlando, Florida, USA started hitting the airwaves during the 90’s and up to this day, which is on their 22nd year, they still are sharing their gifts thru music.
When this was announced months ago, I only had one thing in mind — I have to get the freaking ticket, no matter the cost and the date…Years back, they already had a concert here in Manila and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch it. Surely, some would wonder why am I that persistent to see them in the flesh. Well, I have a confession to make…They were the first singers I admired and expressed my liking as a fan. Sorry, David Archuleta and Jason Mraz and the rest of I recently like, but these guys were the reason of my fangirl self to surface. A few of my high school classmates-friends and I are fans of these guys. In fact, each of us has his own personal fave from the group. Fast forward to that day, I was actually thinking if the concert last Tuesday would even fill the Mall of Asia Arena with folks considering it was a workday-weekday.
My thoughts were washed away, when my friend and I came to the venue. Not only were the seats were filled, there were even standing folks on the aisles (However, this made me and some fans slightly pissed thinking that SM and the concert organizers oversold the tickets…NOT A GOOD IDEA BTW *tsk*). And when the lights turned off, the screams got louder by the second as they came out of that stage. From start till their very last song, the audience kept screaming and singing along with their songs — IT WAS NON STOP VIDEOKE PLAYING WITH A SEA OF PEOPLE.
And now the concert is already over and I still have what is now recently called as Post-Concert-Dilemma (I don’t want to call it depression…I’m not depressed naman for them leaving…), allow me to run down the highlights of that concert in relation to why are the BSB still relevant after 22 years:
1. They evolved.
It is really obvious from where and how they started in the 90’s till the men I saw days ago. They evolved as artists from just singing and making records to now composing their songs, singing and performing. They didn’t allow themselves to be stuck in a box that majority of boybands go thru. From just singing songs with catchy tunes, they leveled up to delivering songs away from the ‘basic love-hate’ kind of themes. Well, in reality, they’ve always proven to us they are a vocal group, not just a boy band.
From simple swaying of hands and hips or the basic dance steps you would see from singers, their dance moves and choreography evolved too.
2. They kept going.
The one thing that makes boybands end up earlier than expected sometimes is that when one leaves the group or when everyone feels going solo is their way to stardom. For whatever reasons they have, still the one thing remains with BSB, one leaves but comes back while the group keeps going. Well, they went on hiatus for two years, but it wasn’t actually something the fans felt of a major heartbreak. Each had their solo endeavors too. Also, Kevin left the group but they have managed to make use of what is just left and kept going. In fact, the remaining four that time (Nick, Brian, Aj and Howie) were able to pull off a few albums and singles that became hits in the airwaves. Those hits and albums may not have been their bests that time, but definitely, made their fans still see and feel their existence.
Let me give you a sample, this is from their “This Is Us” album entitled “Straight Through My Heart”. The song isn’t just a catchy tune but the way they delivered the song doesn’t sound too pop to me. Adding to the coolness is the concept of the vid.
3. They weren’t engulfed in whole by the fame and the fortune.
Since their fanbase grew worldwide, I haven’t heard so much news from these guys being linked to lavish, overspending lifestyles or attitude problems due to fame.
Unfortunately, majority of those who manage to stay long enough in the business, end up in controversies due to mishandling of the fame and fortune they get. At the end of their tours and media exposures, it’s nice to see that they come back to their hometowns with their families now and spend all the time they can have with them. It only goes to show that it’s the intangible stuff are what they value in life overall, which leads me to the next number…
4. They are relationship-oriented.
This was something time and time again I have learned thru time and have established to keep (thanks to attending the Feast!). Surely, the guys aren’t perfect individuals and may have had their share of mishaps or rock bottoms in life. The best part is that amidst the fame they have been getting since the 90’s, they remained to be loving kids and siblings; now, husbands and fathers. None of them actually married very prominent personalities in their industry — either somebody connected to them pre-BSB days or somebody who they bumped into their journey. Not only were their personal lives kept semi-private, but at least, they get to have a life behind the cameras.
Because of how they developed to become matured adults and family-friend-oriented folks, they were able to establish a good rapport with their fans. They treat their fans their second family, which again will link to the next in my list.
5. They got the humility and the gratitude.
These two qualities are what really sets apart those who stay in the industry and are being noticed still in a good way. Backstreet Boys have set records in music history just like any artist who have reached worldwide fame, but…instead of letting that stature get into their heads, they remained to be the crazy, cool boys 20 years ago — from the way they dress up to how they spend time with their families and friends to how they still goof and joke on each other (and even with their fans).
A very recent example of this is when they took a time off (away from their families and the limelight) to London to stay in one house and go back to the drawing board; thus having an album we now know as “In A World Like This”. I maybe bit of a lame fan recently, but when I listened to the entire album, I was overwhelmed with joy knowing that after 20+ years, they still make beautiful music together…and they even got way better…
Just like any other being and artist in the music industry, the group had their share of mishaps — management dilemmas, illnesses, dependencies on vices (alcohol and drugs to be exact). Amidst these, they accepted and learned from these mishaps and bounced back to where they are now. Instead of allowing the group to go down the drain, they drew strength from each other, from their families and even from the fans. They’ve always been vocal in being grateful to their fans, that they wouldn’t be “THE BACKSTREET BOYS” if it wasn’t for the fans. No wonder the fans in return have been understanding and supportive to them, whatever endeavors they took.
Lastly, I believe this item I would share is what really kept them all together and relevant for quite a while already…
6. They keep their faith…
In two avenues —- faith in the Supreme Being and faith towards each other…
They may come from different religious groups, but it doesn’t matter. They very obvious thing in them is the belief that their success and their gifts in the field of music comes from God.
They may have experienced hardships just like any other person, but it’s their belief that things will get better thru time that makes them the vocal group that’s still standing.
One thing that would also set them apart is their relationship towards each other. Two of them are cousins, while the rest were friends. They met at a common point — the passion for music and the gift of singing. As they got older, the friendship grew stronger. In fact, they treat each other as brothers. I remember seeing a post when Brian mentioned on how he sees Nick to be a younger brother he never had, which lead Nick into tears on his wedding. I’m sure there were more than that off cam…
Fellow fans, especially those who get to follow them more in their timelines, can give more than I listed.
Time to break the truth (well, I might have shared this much na…haha) — Howie Dorough is my most loved from their group. He was (and I think I still have a bit…haha) my high school – college celeb crush. Of course, I respect their own personal lives now and I’m happy he has found his match and soulmate with their kiddos. But, I love them all, cause they wouldn’t be the Backstreet Boys, if it was just Howie in it, obviously?!
Overall, I am just grateful to have seen them altogether, along with the fans of my generation in that concert. It really gave me goosies most of the time hearing the fans sing along with them — in every song, pramisssss!!! I know time is short and nobody knows until when they can still keep up with the dance moves of ‘Everybody’ or ‘As Long As You Love Me’. One thing certain, while they are still able and here, gotta make the most out of it. And if they would still have the chance to go on a tour again (especially here in the Philippines), NO hesitations, count me in…NO shame, I grew up in the 90’s! This is one part of my past and present I wouldn’t hide…
And hope the younger generations would ponder a bit on this…It might help…
Again, to the guys — Nick, AJ, Brian, Kevin and of corrrrrzzzz, HOWIE!!!! — thanks for giving us an awesome concert here in Manila…TOTALLY UNFORGETTABLE and one of the BEST for me!!! Please don’t get tired of visiting us in our 7107 islands!!! And thanks for your efforts, passion for music and being the inspiration to many…God speed to you and your families!!!
I’m sure I’m not the only one saying this…They are back and better than ever…
From the BSB fangirl (that I’ll always be),,,xoxo,,, Calai ^_^
ps: For those who can tolerate screams and moving vids from concerts, I uploaded a few of my personal takes from that concert…Here via my YouTube account — luvinlifebycalai (click here). Just don’t forget to credit if you wish to share, highly appreciated!