*NSYNC : Boston Foxboro Stadium

As *NSYNC prepare to release the greatest pop single EVER, we check out the extravagant live show...

Blah, blah, blah. Words mean as much to an *NSYNC show as the men’s toilets do. T-minus two minutes to *NSYNC‘s ‘PopOdyssey’ tour and for some reason the opening video montage is in etymological mode. Pop: “music popular with the general public.” Odyssey: “a long series of travels.” PopOdyssey: “an adventure towards popularity.” And then some newfangled manifesto about “Dirty Pop.” Bring on the action.

Fact is, there is only one compound word that Pop’s favorite pupils, the

thirteen year old girl, will be forming tonight. Yes, as the boys rev up their

new single, ‘Pop’, the 40,000 pre-teen Muppets, tucked so neatly into parent-turreted rows, erupt into a dolphin-beaching shrill: “Ohmigod!”

‘Cause while Pop’s favorite sons the Backstreet Boys spend their time

rebelling and growing their facial hair, Lance, Chris, JC,

Justin, and Joey have embraced the family business. And with the new stuff all roughed up by R&B’s most elite producers and worked with the feisty enthusiasm of a pole-dancer, they’re killer enough to do


There’s the Justin Timberlake-led heatseeker, a Spanish-guitar slow jam ‘Gone’, which makes the older ‘God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You’ seem every bit as crap as spray-on cheese. Then there’s ‘Up Against The Wall’, a slick bit of electro-squiggle disco a la Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’ that flaunts a John Travolta pose and a trampoline and Velcro trick that has them literally sticking to the walls.

Sure, the patchwork wardrobe seems like second-hand donations from the cast of ‘Oliver’ and ‘Starlight Express’, and yes, the new track ‘Game Over’ is nothing more than some silly Power Rangers outtakes. Even more worrisome is that the cynicism that creeps into ‘Celebrity’ ([I]”would you still be nice to me if I wasn’t a celebrity”[/I]”) may become self-conscious, whinging, karma policing in a few years – the very death of Pop. Luckily, tonight, any hint of all that worry is dressed funky enough to get by the bouncers.

Just one look at the frivolously mechanical bulls and chaps ending to

‘Space Cowboy’ or the brilliant synchronized pogoing and artificial sweetener harmonies of ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’, and there’s no need to bother defining it, let alone worrying about it. *NSYNC are living it. They’re the new kings of unapologetic Pop indulgence – bouncing off everything they see, dousing it in glitter, ripping off its sleeves, lacquering it in gloss, and humping it in unison for the Jumbotron screen. The girls have it right. There’s no better way to say it. “Ohmigod!” indeed.

Ben Wolford