Seattle Times Review: 2/25/01, Tacoma, WA
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Amid the hype, Backstreet Boys deliver
By Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times staff columnist
I'm sorry, what?
I can't hear a thing over the screaming - for what, I don't know. The Backstreet Boys haven't even hit the stage yet, and I'm waiting for one or 1,000 of these girls to self-combust, right here in the merciless confines of the Tacoma Dome.
The Backstreet Boys, Sunday night, the Tacoma Dome. Concert repeats tonight at 7:30p.m. $49.50-$58.50. Call 206-628-0888 or check www.ticketmaster.com.
"I scream because ... it's so exciting to see someone up close," said Shelby Albrecht, 15, of Maple Valley. "It's like, they're there and that's them."
"It's just the rush of the show, it's really, it's so exciting. It's kind of like a roller coaster. You go up and you wait for it and wait for it and you're finally here, and it's awesome," said Leigh Shaw, 15, of Maple Valley.
And it was worth it to wait for it and wait for it.
The show started with a simulated meteor shower. Cool. From below the stage, the five Boys rose with much smoke and flash, in black trench coats with blue linings, 'natch. This is, after all, the Black & Blue Tour, and it was clear at the start of this modern-day night of Beatlemania that the title could refer to everyone's eardrums. Ouch.
The show started with "Everyone," from the new album, followed by "Larger Than Life," and "Shining Star," which thrilled the crowd and raised the volume to something one wished only dogs could hear.
For all the hype, the madness, the $30 T-shirts, the $20 programs and $8 Backstreet blue glow sticks, the Boys delivered.
They led 10 dancers with sharp, lock-step choreography, went through several costume changes, and wooed the girls like only they - and, all right, N'Sync and 98 Degrees - can, at one time donning white vinyl suits and perching on stools to balladeer a bit. The crowd was a blanket of blue lights that sang back to "I Want It That Way."
And they screamed the most for A.J. McLean. Something about the cornrow/hairband combination, not to mention his loose hips.
At midpoint, the Boys dropped through a trunk onstage, into a small locker room where - surprise! - cameramen were there to record them getting changed, showing off their tattoos and 5 o'clock shadows (Mom, these aren't "boys" anymore) and having a Silly String fight (well, maybe). They emerged again on a compact, round stage, where they did a medley of songs, every last one mushy. They returned to the main stage by ambling across a runway that stretched over the frenzied ga-ga-girl audience.
The boys liked it, too.
Russell Black, 9, from Renton, said he liked the lovey-dovey closing number, "Shape of My Heart."
"I have no idea why," he said. Someday maybe he will.
He and his friends, Leah Perrault, 10; her twin, Kenneth; and Russell's brother brought synchronized signs: "You," and "Guys" and "Rock," which could be flipped over to read "Rock" "The" "House."
It was a busy day in Renton.
They were accompanied by the Black brothers' dad, Phil, and Leah and Kenneth's grandmother, Sue Perrault, who was attending her first rock concert.
First one? Really?
"Well, I did see that group at the UW a while back," she said.. "Was it The Kingsmen?"
Tacoma is the 17th stop of the "Black & Blue" tour, which started Jan. 22 in Fort Lauderdale and ends March 18 in San Diego.
Opening act Krystal may be a newcomer who is on the tour since being discovered by BSB Kevin Richardson, but she proved to be a trouper. After performing a few songs, including her single, "Supergirl," she sat at the piano to perform the Jackson 5 hit "I'll Be There." Finding that the piano's sound wasn't working, she performed the song a cappella - and beautifully.
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