Toronto Star Review: 02/07/01- Backstreet's Boffo Box Office
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Date: Feb 10, 2001
They had a thousand ways to scream.
The loudest was for bombshell Boy Nick. The kindest for heart-surgery Boy Brian. The raunchiest for sassy Boy A.J. The most saccharine for sweet Boy Howie D. The calmest for married Boy Kevin.
Those were the sounds that greeted the Backstreet Boys last night when they played the sold-out SkyDome to a massive crowd of 55,000. Tickets vanished in the hour after they went on sale in December. The undead boy band commands box office respect.
``They're hot, they're kind and they sing for us,'' Kristen Prescott, 15, said, wishing teen boys could be as mature.
But it was no new teen squeeze. The Orlando quintet signed to Jive Records in 1994. Two Boys are now married and one - eco-Boy Kevin Richardson - is almost 30. The Boys have played the Toronto area eight times in the past three years.
But it was new again when lights dimmed at 7:30 and the ``BSB hearing aid special'' scream began. Piano girl Krystal opened with the pop that got her signed to the Backstreet Boys' record label. Her set put her on the unstoppable BSB money train and atop her white baby grand for ``Supergirl.''
Then, at 8:46, a planet was blasted by asteroids and its inhabitants died. Strangely, the flashpots didn't stop the rebirth of the Boys in shiny, garbage-bag trench coats. They thanked us with ``Everyone.''
The Boys have perfected publicity stunts. They helped NBC's Today show during ``sweeps'' on Tuesday with a morning concert in New York. To market ``The Call'' they're selling Valentine's Day phone greetings for $4.95 (U.S.).
But through the blasts and funky costumes, the fans remained. They freaked when Nick was on the big screen. They got moody when dancers vanished into the mist before ``I Want It That Way.''
The show plugged the Boys' fourth CD, Black And Blue, the fall release that started strong - 156,000 sold in its first week - but fell to The Beatles' 1 before Christmas. So far, the Boys' CD has sold 470,000 copies in Canada, reports SoundScan Canada. The Beatles disc has sold 642,000 copies.
``Everybody loves to slam them,'' says SoundScan's Doug Spence of the Boys. ``But I wouldn't call a band that can sell half a million records a bomb.''
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