{Fanny Fangirls} Backstreet Boys 2017 : Larger Than Life

Oh my God, we’re back again~

So a few months back, there was that little news on my Facebook that Backstreet Boys were coming back to Singapore for one night only – and it’s their only stop in Asia in 2017!

Did I rush to get the tickets? You bet I did.

But this is to note that Singapore Sports Hub ticket system sucks – that virtual waiting room just got me so nervous. I needed to open few different browsers so I got more chances in the ticket!

Anyway, I got the ticket and I upgraded myself (and Husband, of course) to the …2nd cheapest class available. Haha.

Oh well, at least this is not our first time. I mean, we saw them back in 2015 (has it been 2 years?!) and we pretty much knew what we were expecting.

The concert was held in NATIONAL STADIUM. OK, they only opened half of the stadium for the concert but man, I was really surprised when I saw the venue! I imagined it’s going to be big and full of a blast!

But was it?

The concert was supposed to start at 8.30 pm so we did Maghrib first at home. When we reached the venue, it was close to 8 pm. We thought we still had time for some snacks cause we were both quite hungry. Alas, we didn’t.

My friend who was already inside the stadium since 7 (!!) texted me and said that the security check took a while so I better queued early. Meh.

So we ditched our original plan and went to queue early. Poor Husband who was so hungry :(. When we reached the first security check… oh man, I started to appreciate how swift security check at Star Vista. They were fast, efficient, and most importantly, everything was done in an airconditioned room!

I digress – but the weather was really killing us outside even at night.

When we finally passed the last check, it was like 8.20 pm so we rushed to our section which was…. so far at the back LOL. Even my seats back in 2015 were SO MUCH BETTER and I paid less!

Anyway, enough of my rants. Let’s get on with the concert review.

***

At 8.30 pm, the big screen played a medley/remix of Backstreet Boys’ songs. That’s new (for me). The screen also flashed lots of clips from their music video – kinda like a mash-up.

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That’s how far our seats were from the stage

The medley went on for about 10 minutes before finally, the concert started with “Larger Than Life”. So apt.

The crowd went wild but I stayed calm in my seat. LOL. Age is really catching up with me now. The boys (well – men) looked all smiley and did their best to open the concert with a bang, but I noticed that everyone’s voice was too tired.

Next on the list was “The One”. Brian’s voice was a bit off and he couldn’t hit some of his notes in this song. And, as usual, the crowd cheered the loudest for Nick. Ah well, the teen heartthrob still has it.

They continued with “Get Down”. Not my favorite so I tended to skip. Kevin had a long hair and meh. Seemed like they toned down some parts of the choreography – maybe to cater to their age. After all, they are all backstreet dads now. Heh.

When the song was done, they started the first chat session. AJ has always been the heart of the party and this time it was no different. Nick followed afterwards and man the cheers could make my ears go deaf! He complained of how humid Singapore was that night and …. *drumroll* he also announced NEW ALBUM.

PLEASE OH PLEASE MAKE IT BLACK AND BLUE VER 2.0!

Next was Kevin and I just wanted to chop that long hair of his.

After that short break, “Drowning” was played. Everyone looked so mellow. And at this point of the concert, I was starting to get annoyed at how bad the sound system was and how Brian still couldn’t hit some of his high notes right. What’s up with these?

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The mellow mood continued with “Incomplete”. Meh. I am usually OK with Backstreet Boys’ slower songs but they didn’t sound… suitable for this open-air concert.

Luckily the next song was more upbeat. Now, this is weird but why was everyone so excited about “Quit Playing Games”? I mean, it’s a song about a man who got cheated on by his girlfriend!

We were served with another intermission. Now it’s few slides which showed each member’s now and then. Wanna guess who got – like 50% more cheers than the others?

(Hint: it was not AJ nor Brian nor Kevin nor Howie)

I was expecting more songs after those slides were over, but apparently… there was a bit of dance break. Yeah, forgot to mention that they brought a HELL lot of back dancers for this concert.

Not really interested in the dancers so I took that chance to rest my voice. I haven’t stopped singing while I was having a pretty bad cold and my throat was killing me.

The dance show was finally over and… “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” was on. Oh crap.

I am always weak for this song ;_; At some point of this song, I think I got some tears in my eyes. And finally, Brian hit his high notes perfectly!

They took a lighter mood with “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”. The crowd was swaying their heads to the left and right. Awww~ I have to say though that AJ’s adlib was awesome. How come his voice was that stable – this is no joke man!

Next on the setlist was “Anywhere For You” and sorry, I was just not feeling it. My least favorite song of the night.

… Or so I thought. Until next song was up and I didn’t even recognize the song?! I took my phone out and Soundhound-ed it and found out that it’s called “Darlin’”

Apparently, the stadium thought the same as me cause I swear I didn’t hear any choir from the crowd when this song was sung. Why was this song even on the list?

There was another dance show after that and I groaned – again??

Next song was “Undone” and the audience died down LOL. Maybe because this song was not nostalgic enough. But again, AJ’s voice~ <3

The men (HAH!) had another break and Brian took the crowd. “We are only halfway done!” Seriously? The concert was already on for almost an hour and according to my ticket, it’s supposed to be only for 90 minutes. No way we were getting 2 hours concert right?

Brian said that their next song was his favorite and it was…

“As Long As You Love Me”

OK WHERE WAS MY MICROPHONE.

And the best part was, THEY DID FREAKING CHAIR DANCE GUYS. Granted, it was only for mere 30 seconds but COME ON IT’S THE LEGENDARY CHAIR DANCE.

PS. Anyone can guess why is it that this song is Brian’s favorite?
(Hint: His wife. You are welcome)

Well, there was another intermission after the song ended. Now it’s another medley of their songs – one of those is “Everyone”– a less popular song from their ‘Black and Blue’ album.

I couldn’t help but wonder why were there so many intermissions in this concert? And almost all of them were so abrupt and so disorganized. Honestly, I was a bit annoyed and feeling like this concert was really lacking in preparation.

We were left for about 20 minutes. After the intermission was done, suddenly there was a phone ringing somewhere and I knew exactly what was the next song….

“The Call”

I sang my voice out lol. I knew I was getting myself a lot of trouble but come on, it’s THE CALL. They had a lot of back dancers for this song by the way. Concert moved on with “Get It Down” and “Get Another Boyfriend”. Followed by the last intermission from Howie.

I could feel that the concert was reaching the last spurt. And I was expecting “I Want It That Way” any moment LOL. But no. It was “More Than That” which was a welcoming breather after so many dance numbers.

Next came up “Shape Of My Heart”. I pretty much lost my voice at this stage. Playback was too strong and the inconsistencies in the sound system became more and more apparent.

Another dance show was up and for once – this was a number that I can appreciate. The dancers danced to “Straight Through My Heart” and “It’s Gotta Be You”. Man, their energy didn’t seem to slow down.

And finally, the intro to “I Want It That Way” was played. I ROSE FROM MY CHAIR OK. This is the legendary song from the epic 1999 – the only song from Backstreet Boys that I am willing to dance to. And I think the whole stadium agreed with me that night cause the choir was SO LOUD I didn’t think the group needs to sing at all lol.

When the song finally finished, everyone seemed to notice that the concert was going to end soon. Oh well. Everything good will end eventually. But of course.. there’s still an encore… “Backstreet’s Back”.

Unfortunately, I was already too tired to even sing along lol.

Once the encore was done, the group waved goodbye and went to the backstage. The crowd moved fast to the exit – age is really catching up with us. Enough of nostalgia. Time to go back home and to reality.

***

Honestly, if you asked me, I don’t really like this concert. It felt too commercialized. It’s weirdly tied to WTA finals. if you buy a package of WTA finals ticket and Backstreet Boys concert, there will be freebies or upgrade if I remember correctly. Talk about profits.

With 20,000 people buying the tickets, you would expect that they would have extra screens in the Stadium – but no, there was only ONE giant screen in the middle of the stadium. And guess who couldn’t even get a look at the group? People who sat on the side – like us. I know – beggars can’t choose, but come on, we paid for our tickets.

The sound system was blah. Often times the playback was even stronger than the boys’ singing and it was so off-putting. The back dancers were such eyesores at some points of the concert – not their fault but they made the concert felt like just another Vegas show instead of a concert for Singapore fans.

The humid weather didn’t really help either. But again, this could be solved by … I don’t know – extra fans? The organizer should have more experiences how to troubleshoot this right?

And lastly, again perhaps it’s the age, but Backstreet Boys looked so tired. They jetted to Singapore for 30 hours straight from the other side of the globe. From what I saw in their social media, they were still in the US two days before the concert! So if that’s true, they had no rest before they appeared in Singapore.

I sounded like an angry fan – but if you compare this concert with their 2015 concert, it’s like heaven vs earth. Maybe because they were a bit younger back then? Or maybe because the 2015 one was indoor and it was more intimate with only 5,000 attendees? I don’t know.

I think, twice is enough. It has been fun to sing along with the other fans but now, let me just rewatch their old videos and soak into nostalgia at the comfort of my bed.

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