The Backstreet Boys bought their DNA World Tour to a sold-out Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday, August 7. Twenty six years after starting as a group they’re still selling out venues. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty impressive. Now I don’t know if I’m the best person to be writing a review about a Backstreet Boys concert or not. First of all, I’m a guy. And judging by the ratio of guys to girls inside Vivint Arena, this review might be best written by a woman. I also can’t say I have ever owned a Backstreet Boys album or would call myself a regular listener to their music. But if you were in your teens or twenties in the nineties or early two thousands, which I was, the Backstreet Boys were unavoidable. My friends and I talk about how lame they were while secretly and sometimes no so secretly singing along to “Larger Than Life”. How many of you know the words to “I Want it That Way:? All of you? It’s impossible to not know the words to that song! They were huge, and their fans still love them. So while I may not be the best person to be writing this review I was the one covering this show. I was there on August 7 and I have to say I was amazed at what I saw.
Shawn Mendes is as big a pop star as there is right now. It’s virtually impossible to not know who he is. He has the type of fame that gets him featured on everything from Saturday Night Live to TMZ. He’s everywhere! But on July 16th Salt Lake City had Shawn to themselves at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The arena was packed! I didn’t hear if it was a sellout or not, but if it wasn’t there couldn’t have been many seats left. I walked in just as Mendes took the stage and the audience filled with mostly teen to preteen girls was deafening! The roar subsided (slightly), and I could make out that the first song was “Lost in Japan”. I looked around at the frenzy to get a sense of the crowd and who was there. Next to many of these rabid teenage fans were what seemed to be their parents. I would see a group of about four to five girls and there would be a couple of moms with them. Every so often I’d see a dad in the mix. God bless them.
If you had told me thirty years ago that I would be covering a New Kids on the Block concert I would never have believed you. For starters, I don’t think thirty years younger me would have known that I’d be covering concerts at all. He also probably thought there was no way he’d ever be caught going to an NKOTB show. What boy in his early teens is going to like a group that is taking all the attention away from him and his other guy friends. Now if you told me thirty years ago that I would be going to a New Kids on the Block concert and liking it, well I would have just called you a liar. But I went to the NKOTB Mixtape Tour at Vivint Arena and left extremely entertained! There is something to be said about putting on a quality show. The New Kids invited some artists from their hay day to join them on the tour. Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson filled out the Mixtape Tour lineup. The combination of these 80s superstars filled the evening with nostalgia and a really good time.
Usually, when you see a band you like in concert multiple times, you know what you’re going to get. After a while there is only so much a band can do to keep the show fresh and new for their fans. We as fans will generally accept that because we’re there to hear the songs we love live, so even if we’ve heard them play the songs the exact same way for years, we’re cool with it because we’re happy a band we like has stopped in our city again. That’s not to say the song, or show has become dull. I’m only saying that you eventually figure out what a band is going to do. For example, there are a number of bands that I like, that I’ve seen multiple times, and when they start testing the effect on their guitar, I know what the song is before it even starts. Or if they play a fancy intro, I can make out what song it is already. Sometimes part of the fun of a live show is guessing what the song is before it starts. But try not to be a song predictor too often. It might get old to your friends or those around you. Anyway, the reason I’m rambling about all this is because I just saw Muse in concert. And they put on one of the best live shows out there today. If not the best!