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    Gianna S.
    Admin of the MADhouse

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    Concert review on

    Post by Gianna S. on Fri 31 Oct 2008, 2:17 pm

    CONCERT REVIEW: Backstreet Boys keep their hits out front with plenty of show

    By Jon Fassnacht
    Reading Eagle

    Last week the Backstreet Boys made a very public appearance in enemy territory, opening the first game of the World Series with “The Star-Spangled Banner” in St. Petersburg, Fla.

    Thursday night, 24 hours after the Philadelphia Phillies dispatched the Tampa Bay Rays to win the championship, the group visited the suburbs of Phillies country, playing a show in the Reading Eagle Theater in the Sovereign Center.

    To the group’s credit, the members did congratulate the team.

    The boys, who rose to the top of the popular music landscape in the late ‘90s with a string of ubiquitous hits, has shrunk to four members from five and is well past its days of peak popularity. But it was clear they still love what they’ve been doing for half their lives.

    Keeping with the Philadelphia sports theme, the show’s opening resembled a boxing match, with a miniature ring pushed out to center stage and each of the four Backstreeters sporting warm-up robes, while the backing quartet played the beginning of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

    The song eventually morphed into the group’s mammoth turn-of-the-millennium hit, “Larger Than Life,” with the band singing and dancing in the ring, even incorporating boxing moves into the choreography.

    The crowd of a couple thousand was composed of mainly 25-and-under females who screamed, sang along with most of the songs and took thousands of pictures.

    The group’s 90-minute set featured every one of the band’s hits, including “I Want it That Way,” “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and a mashed-up version of “As Long as You Love Me” that bobbed over a foundation of the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around”; plenty of outfit changes; a sizable number of newer songs from the band’s last two albums, a solo performance from each member and a lot of dancing.

    Oh, and quite a bit of pandering to the ladies.

    “If we had the time, we would come up and give each of you a big, juicy kiss,” A.J. McLean told those in the crowd, who immediately screamed with delight.

    Opening for the boys was Donnie Klang, known for his stint on Diddy’s “Making the Band” show on MTV. Now a solo artist, Klang and two female dancers performed a 20-minute set of urban dance-pop. Due to his time on TV, many in the crowd were excited to see him, and it probably didn’t hurt the situation when he pulled up his shirt and gyrated.


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