The Boys lay it on thick
By KIERAN GRANT
The Backstreet Boys must be determined to go out
with a bang rather than a wimper.
Explosions. Rockets. Big blasts of confetti and
The Orlando boy-group sensation laid 'em all on thick
for a sold-out crowd of 16,000 at the Molson
But no amount of special effects could cover up the
fact that the Backstreet Boys' act was wearing thin.
Instead, they looked like parlor tricks designed to
draw attention away from the show's threadbare
Yesterday's appearances, which included sold-out
concerts at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., marked the Backstreet
Boys' fourth visit to Toronto in 18 months.
A wildly appreciative response from most of the
pre-teen girls in attendance showed that at least the
fan appeal of singer-dancers Kevin Richardson, Nick
Carter, Brian "B-Rok" Littrel, A.J. McLean and Howie
Dorough hasn't faded -- or that they're still in good
physical trim. Well, except for A.J., who tore a
ligament in his ankle towards the end of the first set
and had to sit out the entire evening show.
Canada is the biggest BSB market in the world per
capita, as the quintet were none too shy to point out
mid-set during the afternoon set.
That was no excuse for coasting through the show,
only flipping out of autopilot for an occasional victory
roll or two -- although A.J. did work hard enough to
injure himself in the line of duty.
The constant, screaming din of the audience -- which
the band seemed to feed off in past concerts -- was
just another layer of nonsense for the Boys to hide
The same gags and lines from the group's January
SkyDome show were trotted out in a revue-style
snooze-fest that clearly tested the patience of the
younger kids in the crowd.
This was a band going through the motions, however
unintentionally funny those motions might have been.
Competing for comic relief prize: The curtain
swinging open at the start of the show to reveal the
Boys' six-man backing band and ... the road crew,
fumbling to clear the set for Nick, Brian, Kevin, Howie
Birthday-boy Howie being elevated on stage in an
open red satin shirt and pants and launching into a
striptease that wasn't lurid so much as it was lame.
A.J.'s near-felonious shout-out to "all the sexy ladies
in tha house." Eek.
There were flashes of likability from Brian, who
proved himself a trooper after undergoing heart
surgery earlier this year. Undisputed star Nick -- once
the tiny young one, he's shot up in the last year to
become the tallest of the bunch -- chirped out a full-on
Everything else came off like a two-hour
Cut out the obnoxious amount of dramatic pauses,
awkward between-song stumblings and constant calls
of "Hellooo!!!" and "Wassup Taranto?" and they could
have been out of there in 15 minutes.
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