Saturday 17 November 2018

Review: Backstreet Boys, 02 Dublin

Backstreet Boys on stage at the O2.
Backstreet Boys on stage at the O2.
Ed Power

Ed Power

"WE'RE not Backstreet Men -- we're Backstreet Boys." So goes the T-shirt slogan for the current 'This is Us' tour, which can be all yours to take home for €30.

This year the O2 arena has already hosted New Kids on the Block and witnessed Boyzone's last Dublin headliner with Stephen Gately.

In June, Take That dramatically raised the bar for boyband reunions with a dazzling Croke Park date.

While one may snigger at this prospect of a bit of cheesy mid-1990s nostalgia, Backstreet Boys genuinely are one of the most successful acts of all time with over 100 million album sales.

Sadly, the stage set for 'This is Us' contains no surprises, opting for the usual ' The X-Factor' meets 'Eurovision' format. Indeed, most of their music plays it very safe, ploughing the same well-worn furrow of generic boyband pop by numbers.

It's a night of sugar-sweet saccharine vocals and banal lyrics, but a close-to-capacity crowd lap it up.

To be fair to the Backstreet bunch, they've enough of a catalogue of hits to keep the show ticking along.

'Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely', 'Everybody (Backstreet's Back)' and 'Quit Playing Games with My Heart' are signature songs which have aged remarkably well.

Indeed, Nick, Brian, Howie and AJ are also well preserved, much to the delight of a noisy, fluorescent, and mostly female, crowd that frequently threaten to break screamometer records.

Backstreet also deserve credit for not over-indulging in the customary patronising patter you get from most pop acts. Instead of repetitive shout outs of, "how you doing Dublin", the Boys simply churn out hit after hit without pausing for breath.

Sure, they haven't re-invented the wheel musically, yet they prove in style that they've already left a considerable legacy of entertainment.

Irish Independent

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top