Backstreet’s back, alright

The Backstreet Boys performing at the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on March 4, 2017. The boy band will be performing in Las Vegas until July. (Claire Galvin/The Daily Campus)

The curtain is swept away, the lights glare down, and the music of five heartthrobs fill the venue. You scream and giggle as the Backstreet Boys serenade every girl in the audience.

No, this isn’t the dream of every 10-year-old girl in the year 2000. The year is 2017, and the Backstreet Boys are still performing.

This past weekend I was sent back in time to watch the Backstreet Boys play in Las Vegas, where they are performing in a residency until July.

Full disclosure: this was not my usual concert. My sister, who is a few years older than me, is a diehard BSB fan. I’m talking owns every album, every documentary. I didn’t know the extent of her obsession until she bought us the tickets. Front row VIP tables, meet-and-greet and official after party tickets. I didn’t go to the meet-and-greet, just because it was VERY expensive, but I got to tag along to the two other events.

For the purposes of this review, I’ll act as a normal concert goer, rather than the VIP ticketholder I was lucky enough to be. Thank you, Caroline.

The 90-minute set started with an adorable, if slightly cheesy, video montage of the 24-year career of the Backstreet Boys on huge screens to each side of the stage. The 10 screens lit up one-by-one, further adding to the anticipation and impatience felt in the room.

Once all screens were lit and the montage concluded, our attention was directed toward the stage, where five huge squares were hanging from the ceiling. The squares were also screens, and displayed photos of the five boys (okay, they are men). The squares started moving closer to us, and lowered to the ground. When the squares started spinning, we realized each man was standing on a small platform on the backside of the square. *Cue shrieking*

The men (Nick, Brian, AJ, Howie and Kevin) jumped into “Larger Than Life,” the name of the Las Vegas residency and a track from one of their most popular albums, “Millennium.”  

They continued to sing all their hits from their eight album career. And yes, they can definitely still sing. With no instruments on stage, the performance was all about their vocals and dance.

The five men (the oldest being 45, the youngest, Nick Carter, being 37) were supported by a group of backup dancers. But, who am I kidding, I only had eyes for the boys.

My sister had a fantastic time and is already planning her next trip to Vegas. When I asked what her favorite part of the show was, she said the nostalgia and hearing all the best hits was what made her happy.

“You wanted to hear the hits and relive your fan girl days and they gave you that,” she said.

She agreed that the backup dancers were a distraction, but they were necessary while the BSB changed from costume to costume.

My favorite part? Definitely when Brian Littrell saw me waving at him and waved back – I almost died. Other than that though, the entrance was killer. This show had the most fantastic light displays I’ve ever seen in a concert. But, we all know Vegas does lights well.

Finally, I have to admit this show has converted me. I was a diehard NSYNC fan, but the Backstreet Boys really do have “it going on for years.”

The boys perform at the AXIS Theatre at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino, and tickets are still available for the upcoming months. Get your taste of the best-selling boy band before they are gone.

Want to know more about my time in Vegas? Check out my travel guide in tomorrow’s issue of The Daily Campus. It’s not too late for a Spring Break in Sin City.


Claire Galvin  is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.