An infamous star-struck scream rose from Central Park early (try 6 am!) on Friday, August 31st, when the Backstreet Boys reunited for the first time in six years to kick off their twentieth anniversary year. The boy band, which had ruled the pop music scene in the nineties, came back for the final, and largest, concert in Good Morning America’s summer concert series.
The concert’s early hour didn’t stop the crowd from getting a chance to hear a favorite 90s band perform. My friends and I heard about the concert through Facebook, like many others who were ready for the Boys to be back. That’s right: Backstreet was definitely back, although the “Boys” are all in their thirties now. But, despite their ages, the five members of the group were showing lots of energy as they took the stage, joking with fans and whipping out dance moves. “It was great to see them chilling on stage like actual people. We got to really see their personalities,” says Emily Wolmark, SCW ’14. The Backstreet Boys only played four songs, but the crowd didn’t care. They sang along with the classics “Larger than Life,” “I Want It That Way,” “Incomplete,” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Everyone cheered for their favorite band member, but there were particularly loud cheers for Kevin Richardson, who left the band in 2006, but has reunited with the group once again.
The moment of most excitement at the concert took place when the Backstreet Boys announced their new album, which will be released later this year, and be accompanied by their upcoming tour in 2013. This twentieth anniversary tour will include many concerts and even a Backstreet Boys cruise. Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer also announced that fans posting on Twitter had made #GMABackstreet the number one worldwide hashtag trend during the concert. This is a testament to the kind of impact that the Backstreet Boys have made on their tween fans, now all grown up.
Despite the devotion that the fans at the concert displayed, some are skeptical about whether the turnout indicates any sign for the upcoming tour. Jamie Bernstein, another SCW ’14 student who was present at the concert, questioned the future success of the band: “Many people, like me, went to the concert for a blast from the past. Attending a fun and free concert doesn’t necessarily mean that people want to buy the new music.”
Follow them on Twitter @Backstreetboys to stay posted. Time will tell if Backstreet’s really back.