Backstreet Boys kept the crowd screaming for more during their concert at the Olympic Fencing Stadium, southern Seoul, Saturday. / Courtesy of All Access
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Backstreet Boys, one of the most popular boy bands of all-time, returned to Seoul for a successful concert at the Olympic Fencing Stadium, Saturday evening.
On their 16th year as Backstreet Boys, the now four-member group still has what it takes to get a crowd of thousands on its feet and screaming. Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, A. J. McLean and Nick Carter showed a lot of energy during the Seoul concert, which was their last stop on the Asian leg of their ``Unbreakable'' world tour.
Once the lights dimmed, the crowd roared with excitement as one by one, the Backstreet Boys appeared on stage. Each member was introduced in the same way a boxer is before a fight. Appropriately enough, they were all wearing satin boxer's robes as they sang ``Larger than Life.''
``It's great to be back to this beautiful country,'' Dorough said, in between songs.
Backstreet Boys performed several ballads and pop-rock songs from their recent albums ``Never Gone'' and ``Unbreakable.'' However, it was apparent the crowd knew more of the songs from the group's earlier albums.
To keep things fresh, the Backstreet Boys tweaked many of their hit songs such as ``I Want it That Way,'' ``As Long as You Love Me'' and ``Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).''
It's impossible to expect the Boys to sing and dance like they did in their music videos in the late 1990's, since the members are all in their early 30's except for 28-year old Carter. They still had a few dance moves, but none of their old complicated routines or flashy back-up dancers.
Even the stage seemed somewhat bare, with just a few chairs and the band. Only the lighting would change as the group performed different songs.
Backstreet Boys were at their best with romantic ballads like ``More than This.'' The Boys seemed pretty laid-back while singing ``Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,'' as they sat around a table, playing poker and smoking cigars.
Each member had a chance to do a solo performance. Carter and Littrell have already released their solo albums in the past years, while Dorough and McLean are currently working on theirs.
Dorough surprised many with a strong performance of a Latin-inspired number ``She's Like the Sun,'' which will appear on his forthcoming solo album. McLean did a rock song, ``Drive By Love,'' and Carter, who appeared to have some vocal problems, sounded hoarse while also doing a rock number. Littrell sang ``Welcome Home,'' which was a number one hit on the U.S. Christian music charts.
Since it was their last concert in Asia, they specially performed an extra song ``Unsuspecting Sunday Afternoon.''
Fans surprised the Backstreet Boys by throwing yellow airplanes towards the stage during the ``Inconsolable'' performance. The members looked surprised, but delighted the fans by throwing the airplanes back into the audience and even autographing some of the airplanes.
McLean thanked the fans for continuing to support the Backstreet Boys through the years.
``We really liked the paper airplanes. We never had anything like that. It was really cool,'' he said, as the fans cheered.
Backstreet Boys ended the concert with their hit ``Shape of My Heart,'' and a promise to be back in Seoul for another concert.