Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Review: 2/8/01, Pittsburgh

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Date: Feb 10, 2001
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Submitted By: Nicole

Backstreet Boys, fans raise arena roof

By: Monica L. Haynes

Post-Gazette Staff Writer

For those who heard the sonic boom coming from Downtown and thought Three Rivers Stadium might have been imploded a little early, rest assured: That ear-damaging sound simply meant that the Backstreet Boys were back all right and this time they were in Pittsburgh.

In the first of two sold-out Pittsburgh concerts for their Black & Blue World Tour, the "boys" sang, danced, strutted, sweated and horsed around amid pyrotechnics and decibel levels that surely exceeded the limits of auditory health. No wonder earplugs were available for $3 a pair.

It really wouldn't have mattered to the floor-to-ceiling crowd of mostly young girls if the five really cute guys had sung the ABC song. Fourtunately, for the older of the two reigning boy bands, the Backstreet Boys do a great job of performing their own ditties.

Newcomer Krystal had the unenviable task of opening for the group. Unlike pop diva Britney Spears, she has vocal chops and, unlike hometown girl, Christina Aguilera, she's secure enough to wear entire outfits. But while the audience howled politely for Krystal, the screaming was really in anticipation of the guys.

The group started the evening with a scene that seemed straight out of a film pitched as "Star Wars" crossed with "Armageddon." Dancers in hooded robes reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi took to the stage as a jumbo screen at the back of the stage showed the Earth being pummeled by meteors.

As the audience became engrossed in the Earth's destruction, our five heros emerged from the floor on fog-spewing platforms singing "This one goes out to you."

I think thats when my eardrums began to split.

From one hit to the next, from "Larger Than Life" to "I Want it That Way" to "Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely," the screaming deminished only enough to keep me from hearing myself think but not enough to plunge me to total deafness.

Even the groups departure to an under stage dressing room didn't give the audience's tonsils a needed break since a camera captured their every silly string spraying, stuffed animal tossing, bare-chested-for-a-second move.

When the group returned, they were on a platform in the middle of the arena floor that prompted more screaming and scurrying.

It's too bad the Backstreet Boys are branded with the dreaded label of boy band because they actually can sing. It's the good looks and the pop material that probably turn most serious music fans off.

After mentioning their various foundations and introducing their musicians and a bevy of male and female dancers, the guys launched into their "official" last song of the night, "The Call," from their latest album.

Of course, as expected, there was an encore because the audience wanted it that way.

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