The Journal: Generation game at arena

The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block at Metro Radio Arena COMBINING their boy band appeal, the two American five-pieces served up one enormous, scream-inducing show. Although both massive in their heyday, they never overlapped, with NKOTB disbanding as Backstreet were starting to make waves. NKOTB formed in 1984 but didn’t hit the big time until second album Hangin’ Tough in 1988. It was later that the Backstreet Boys leapt to fame. Put together by pop mogul Lou Pearlman, they released their first album in 1996.
And so it was that two generations of pop fans descended on the arena for a night that was to bring out the teenage girl in us. Hanging Tough, You Got It and Step by Step were devoured by NKOTB fans while the Backstreet Boys wowed theirs with classics such as Backstreet’s Back, As Long As You Love Me, and Larger Than Life. First crushes were re-ignited, despite the odd wrinkle and paunch, and grown women launched themselves at their heroes when they made their way through the crowd, the Backstreet Boys at one point picking a girl each to serenade on stage.
The bands performed together and then separately, appeasing all fans. For any true pop fan it was a show to be devoured. The cheesy dance routines and questionable stage attire were a small price to pay for watching two great boy bands make their return. For me, at least, it was a childhood dream come true and something to be cherished for a long time. Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of either of these classic groups.
Philippa Goymer 


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