Backstreet Boys/ Shaggy / Krystal : Atlanta Philips Arena

They may have downsized their tour but the Backstreets still know how to put on a show...

Backstreet Boys/ Shaggy / Krystal : Atlanta Philips Arena

Who knew, when the Backstreet


Boys
released their last album, 'Black and Blue', that the title


would be such a good diagnosis of the outcome of the boy bands war? Because black and blue


is how *N Sync have beaten the Backstreet


Boys
.








Indeed, the Boys


felt the sting enough to downgrade the current leg of their 'Black and Blue'


tour from stadiums to arenas, to "get closer to the fans". But Philips


Arena
isn't even full as the first opening act, Krystal, takes the stage.


Basically Pink with a piano, Krystal bangs out her tunes, including a cover


of the Jackson 5's, sorry, Mariah Carey's 'I'll Be


There,'
in Joan Jett-inspired all black.








Shortly afterwards we find Shaggy along with his


band, back up and booty-dancers. There's something sickly satisfying about


leather-clad 'Mr Luvah-Luvah' swiveling his hips for 15-year-old girls too


young to remember his first hits.


But the crowd knows and enjoys Shaggy's


current hit, 'Angel,' as well as 'It Wasn't Me' and


the Michael


Jackson
-sampling closer 'Dance and Shout.'








Finally, after a thinly disguised, manipulative live commercial for the tour's


sponsors Pop Tarts and Polaroid, the real dancing and shouting begins. As the lights go


down on the set, like the bow of a futuristic pirate ship, video and fireworks depict


Earth exploding. And the din of high-pitched pre-pubescent screams for the next hour is


ear-exploding, if not Earth-shattering.








Along with a full band and nine dancers, the older, wiser Backstreet


Boys
give thanks and enthusiastically travel their entire songbook, as well


as the length of the arena, performing briefly on a small round platform opposite the


stage, and even on a metal bridge lowered from the ceiling to get them back across the


floor seats as they catch tossed teddy bears.








So, the Backstreet


Boys
may not still have as many fans as *N Sync,


but the Boys


are certainly still in sync with the ones they have.











Tony Ware

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