Backstreet Boys were back in town for the 50th FEQ

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Photo: Jay Ouellet

The Backstreet Boys – Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough – were back in town for FEQ’s 50th. They opened the show with “Larger Than Life.”

Under a clear night sky with an almost full moon, the Backstreet Boys (BSB) gave a full show worthy of their reputation and genre on July 9. They opened their show of the Festival d’Été de Québec with their hit “Larger Than Life,” followed by other hits of their 24-year career.

“It is so nice to be back here in Québec,” said AJ McLean. “Look at all of these people! This just might be the biggest show that the Backstreet Boys has ever done, and that is saying something for our 24 years. We are forever in your debt. We have an amazing show for you tonight – 24 years packed into one show. And we might have a few surprise as well.” He added, “Ladies, you look amazing tonight.”

McLean said, halfway through the show, “Are we taking you down memory lane? How many have heard your favourite songs? We still have more to come, like ‘Backstreet’s Back.’” The boys continued with an a cappella rendition of “All I Have To Give.”

Throughout the show, spectators sang along with the BSB to “Get Down (You’re The One For Me),” “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely,” and “Shape Of My Heart.”

Ever since the BSBs’ launch into fame in 1993, Nick Carter has stolen the hearts of fans with his good looks: blond hair, blue eyes. When he walked into the crowd, spectators went wild. The dreams of one fan came true when he kissed her on the cheek.

To allow the members and dancers to change their outfits, there were two series of videos and photos, the first of life before BSBs and the second of life as a music group. Professional dancers joined the BSB on stage to make the show worthy of their reputation, mimicking Michael Jackson’s style. They closed the show with fireworks and hundreds of white balloons and confetti shot into the sky.

“Bonsoir Québec,” said Kevin Richardson, the oldest of the Boys and cousin of band mate Brian Littrell. “It is so great to be back. We have been around for 24 years and we have you to thank. It is because of you, Québec; you are the reason that we broke out in the United States. For those who knew the Backstreet Boys in 1994, ‘95, ‘96… People in the United States thought that we were from the UK when we are from the US.”

Dorough and McLean are from Florida, Littrell and Richardson are Kentuckians, and Carter is from upper New York State. In 1992, they answered to auditions calls for a boy band and became the Backstreet Boys on April 20, 1993. Three years later, their first of eight studio albums Backstreet Boys gave them international fame.

“The show tonight was the show I had always imagined they’d give,” said fan Sarah Graves. “I always wanted to see them live, as a kid, but never did. If I could tell the nine-year-old me that 20 years later, I’d be attending their concert, I’d be flabbergasted. And they lived up to my expectations.”