Backsteet Boys w/ Dan Talevski & Shawn Desman

Backstreet Boys – Rogers Arena (formerly GM Place) – August 6, 2010

Friday night and thanks to a good friend I had two tickets to the Backstreet Boys show so May and I went off to our first show at the newly renamed Rogers Arena (the last event in the venue when named GM Place was Rhianna, see the recap here).
There was two opening acts before BSB took the stage, first up Dan Talevski a Canadian YouTube discovery managed by Backstreet Boy’s Howie Dorough, who introduced him to the stage. I admit having to Google him when we saw his name on the bill but then I remember seeing some of his YouTube covers and thinking he was good.  For his first ever concert performance and doing all original music you could definitely see there was potential for stardom from this young artist. Being on tour with veteran artists like BSB will help him learn from those who’ve gone through it all already.  Although it may seem odd to call them veterans, BSB have been around for 17 years already. After a short 20 minute 4 song set Dan made way for the next act.

Shawn Desman

Shawn Desman followed on quite quickly with a very upbeat lively 45 minute set that really got the crowd warmed up for the main act. Being on his 3rd album, Shawn has enough familiar songs to get everyone up and dancing to his lively blend of pop/r&b.  May and I had a few of those “I forgot he sings this?” moments.   The bare stage, just him and 4 dancers, meant all eyes were on him the whole time, I was pleasantly impressed and surprised by his ability to fill the arena with his stage presence. I can really see him headlining and putting on a really good show in a midsize venue.

Backsteet's Back

Now on to the main course…after the two warm up acts the mostly female audience was really ready for the Backstreet Boys. Onto the stage spotlight came a small blond boy of maybe 5 years who, mic in hand, introduced AJ, Howie, Nick and “my dad” …hard to believe there’s a next generation BSB already!
As they came onstage, it seems the teenager in the girls still comes out at the mention or glimpse of the Boys (especially for Nick Carter).  These are definitely more mature and experiences Boys than they were in their late 90’s heydays and their staging and performance reflect this maturity (and probably the economy as well).  Gone were the massive pyrotechnics, elaborate staging and costumes…now it was just 4 men, 4 dancers and a DJ/percussionist. They still have the dance moves and ability to turn the girls (and I’m sure some boys) in the front rows into a screaming wreck with a wink and smile.  The huge hits of their early years; Everybody, As Long As You Love Me, Shape Of My Heart, I Want It That Way are hugely welcomed by the audience.  So much so that they their more recent, lesser selling singles, are received with an awkward silence from the crowd but they mix the old and new enough to not ‘lose’ the crowd for too long.

Backstreet Boys

You can’t help but sing and bounce to the ‘hits’, they were so ubiquitous in their day everyone knows a BSB song and if you don’t you’re lying.
During the 90 minute set there was 4 costume changes that were creatively filled on stage by 4 ‘movie trailers’ featuring each of the boys in place of an actor in a real trailer, to quite humourous affect. Howie replace Paul Walker in “The Fast and The Furious”, AJ replaced Brad Pitt in “Fight Club”, Brian channelled James Marsden from “Enchanted” and Nick filled in for Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix”.
As they show began with them walking down a lonely street and onto the stage through the screen it wrapped up with them leaving through the screen and onto their next tour date, leaving a satisfied audience wanting a little bit more. The perfect way to end a show! Well done Backstreet Men!

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