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    [article]REVIEW: An eardrum blowout

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    Gianna S.
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    [article]REVIEW: An eardrum blowout

    Post by Gianna S. on Thu 13 Nov 2008, 1:15 pm

    REVIEW: An eardrum blowout

    By: Melissa Martin


    Must... resist... the urge.

    Can't resist. Too weak. Here we go. Backstreet's ba...
    All right.
    Now that that's over -- hey! Guess what? Multi-platinum (and famously
    manufactured) pop outfit The Backstreet Boys came back to the MTS
    Centre last night for, like, the first time since 2005.
    This time, they're down a Boy ("quiet one" Kevin Richardson bowed out
    in 2006) and confronting the harsh truth that nobody cares about their
    new music. Their latest, 2007's Unbreakable, slid off the charts after
    two weeks.
    But nostalgia is a thriving industry. Women of the Backstreet era (now
    in their mid-20s) still gladly open their wallets to see the Boys dance
    and croon their chest-thumpingly earnest ballads live.
    And they still open their mouths to scream, too.
    The eardrum blowout started at 8:30 p.m., when the lights rose on a
    centre-stage boxing ring. One by one, the Boys -- Brian Littrell, Nick
    Carter, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean -- emerged Rocky-style in white
    satin dressing gowns and pugilist gloves.
    That imagery was none too subtle -- this is a boy band that takes a
    lickin' and keeps on tickin' -- but opener Larger Than Life was still a
    knockout, with jump-and-jab choreography to match the theme.
    Then the gloves came off, and the next outfit in a series came on.
    Motorcycle jackets and tattered Black Sabbath tees for Everyone,
    business casual for Incomplete.
    The Boys' fancy footwork and clean-cut appeal hasn't changed a step
    since their 1998 apogee. Their voices are still good. But it was the
    audience that set this show on fire.
    The zeal and loyalty in the seats last night was incredible. On You Can
    Let Go, virtually every arm in the arena waved in perfect unison.
    During I Want It That Way (and Quit Playing Games With My Heart, for
    that matter), the sing-along was so loud it drowned out the stars.
    And every time Nick Carter -- once the Backstreet baby, now a man with a checkered past -- sang a lick, the decibels rocketed.
    The Boys fed off of this fervor, and into it. "Winnipeg has the sexiest
    girls alive!" they exclaimed, sitting around a poker table for a
    kitschy performance of Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely. I bet they
    say that to all the arenas, but the responding roar of approval blew
    the air out of the room.
    Every Boy delivered a solo tune, which was received warmly but less
    familiarly. Littrell's Welcome Home, which he strummed on an acoustic,
    was the best of these.
    To close the regular set, the Boys whipped out Everybody (Backstreet's
    Back), which had Dorough spinning so hard it was almost a mosh... and
    the entire bouncing audience followed suit.
    Honestly? Their music is saccharine, their career flagging. But last
    night, in every enthusiastic step and grind, the Backstreet Boys showed
    a heartwarming respect for their audience. And that respect was
    returned in spades. Loud, loud, loud spades.
    Toronto's Divine Brown opened with a super-short collection of retro
    R&B from her latest, The Love Chronicles. Too bad the set was so
    brief -- Brown's classic soul voice is superb and her music is shakin'.
    She was as confident on the big stage as any pop diva... and she sings
    better than most of them, too.

    Source: Winnipeg Free Press


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