The Backstreet Boys
March 13, 2001
Backstreet Boys stir kid crowd to frenzy
By Jim Purdy
The Backstreet Boys boiled up some serious teen, preteen and extremely preteen steam at America West Arena
last night with a rousing show of lasers, flames, fireballs, billowing smoke, video high jinks, athletic dance steps
and a parade of fan-favorite songs.
In return, the fans screamed. Oh, did they scream.
The Backstreet Boys' "Black and Blue" concert opened with a video depiction of a catastrophic meteor storm
hitting Earth, which played out on a large, circular screen behind the stage.
Red fireballs and white sparklers rained down on the stage with a bang. Smoke enveloped the stage. Five
figures emerged on tall pedestals and gave the crowd a syncopated salute.
Unbridled love for the Backstreet Boys flowed from the crowd in waves of giddy screams. They seemed to flow in
pulses from different parts of the crowd, depending on where each Backstreet Boy was focusing his attention.
The packed house of 14,000 - made up of youngster from the ages of 5 to 18, interspersed with a mom or dad
here and there - kept the energy up for the entire 90-minute show.
Some of the tiniest young fans might have needed booster chairs for their seats, but all sizes of fans seemed to
convulse with delight equally at each and every passionate croon or emotive harmonization meted out by these
poster boys of young lust - A.J. McLean, Brian Thomas "B-Rok" Littrell, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson and
The Backstreet Boys mix gutter-punk sensibilities into their music. Every Backstreet Boy, from the dapper Brian
to the grungy A.J., sports tattoos and an unkempt, back-street look.
They jumped, spun and gestured sweatily as they sang "Larger Than Life," "Shining Star," "I Want It That Way,"
and "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely."
The Backstreet Boys sweated the night away, seeming to expend every ounce of energy during the charged-up
performance, down to the last note of "The Call." Hopefully, they have a little left to give to the fans at tonight's
show at America West.
The excitement for the show could be seen on the highway between Tucson and Phoenix as dozens of minivans
- with hearts and the names of the Backstreet Boys soaped on the windows - made the pilgrimage to the show.
The excitement extended to the Backstreet Boys merchandise tables, where $15 posters, $10 photos and $30
T-shirts flew off the racks.
Opening singer Krystal offered up a particularly interesting piece of memorabilia. She held up a water bottle she
assured the crowd that Nick himself had sipped from backstage. The youngsters swarmed the item when
Krystal hurled it into the audience.
And the screaming continued right on out to the parking lots after the show. The crowd left satisfied, to say the