Updated: Mar 26
Sydney stop of Backstreet Boys DNA world tour.
The Backstreet Boys have finally arrived, after three long years and many delays, the Boys touched down for their Australian leg of the now-aging album, DNA.
Now they're not the only ones to be a little late to the party down under, but they're easy to miss with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles gracing us with their presence in the same fortnight.
But just because the sexy new blood's in town, should we ignore the old sex gods? The answer is a no, surprisingly.
Backstreet's back and their voices are just as beautiful as ever. Meanwhile, reality has hit and the Boys themselves are looking like they've been on the road for about 25 years. I can't hold it against them, but their little jiggies on stage are just a shadow of their past glory, and more importantly to ticket sales - their past sex appeal.
On the setlist of a modern-day Boys tour is a whole lot of new stuff, and just enough of the goodies sprinkled into the beginning, middle and end to please anyone who's listened to a millenial pop compilation. And how is the new album? I wouldn't rate it.
While the production is as phenomenally polished as you'd expect from music royalty, the soul is as tired as you'd expect from a handful of men in their 50's. However, listening to the newest material live, you've got to wonder: why don't I remember it sounding this good?
Like many in the crowd that night, my pre-game was made up of a potent mixture of songs that were released before 2010 having completely forgotten that this world tour was promoting the then-newly released comeback album.
So in the context of not remembering even one of the 12 songs they'd cooked up in the six years they'd taken off, I kept getting swept off my feet by these incredibly sweaty men onstage dazzling me with song after song that I barely recognised.
Was it just me, or do they perform better live than they do in a studio? I rushed home and listened to DNA again and I was amazed - the tracks sounded blander than their pre-hiatus stuff.
I'm trying to think really hard now, but there's not a single act I've seen before that sounded better on stage than they do on a studio album, but here's the Boys breaking the formula and actually making a trip to the stadium worth more than just seeing their pretty, recognisable faces.
'Tis a blessing and a curse: DNA's songs have never sounded better, and yet I know I'll never enjoy them the same again.
Article: Zak Wheeler