Review: Hangin' tough with NKOTBSB in Sydney

NKOTBSB @ Allphones Arena, 26/05/12
Review: Allie Voyage

Is there anything better than boy band choreography?  If Saturday night at Allphones Arena was anything to go by, it’s fairly safe to say that a decade later, even when boy bands like One Direction and The Wanted are starting to gain popularity again, they will never reach the heights of bands like New Kids On The Block or the Backstreet Boys and the amazing dance moves they made famous.

The arena spectacular that was NKOTBSB brought everything you’d expect from two huge bands of this calibre - lights, screens, a runway, indoor fireworks, audience participation and a 90 per cent female crowd. Dressed up in fancy skirts and heels, and with an all seated audience, you could tell the promoters were catering to a crowd that no longer gets to go to gigs every weekend and dance the night away. But that didn’t stop anyone from being on their feet all night, rendering the seated floor fairly useless.

The songs, dance moves and outfits all stayed the same; the only thing that had changed since NKOTB and BSB were at the top of the charts was the ages of the band members (and the tattoos they had on display). No longer boy bands, these were full grown men belting out the tunes that made them famous 20-something-year-olds all those years ago. But aside from the camera close ups and Nick Carter’s inappropriate and constant gyrating, you could hardly tell that bands had aged at all – nor did it matter.

Both bands pulled out all their greatest hits like “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” (NKOTB), “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” (BSB) and “Step By Step” (NKOTB), which were met every time with squeals of delight from punters who are probably less likely to make that noise these days than hear it coming out of their two-year-old. 

There were of course the favourites. “I Want It That Way” (BSB) was extended out a few choruses to let everyone sing along and the final mash up between “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” (BSB) and “Hangin’ Tough” (NKOTB), complete with confetti cannons and matching Australia track suits, couldn’t have been a better finale to the show.

All in all the performances were over-the-top and a little cheesy but with the inclusion of tracks from Coldplay, Dropkick Murphys and a little bit of AC/DC thrown in, the night didn’t feel like 1989 or even 1999. It didn’t matter that BSB has been going for over 19 years and NKOTB for over 25 years. The show wasn’t an attempt to recreate the 90s or to let the audience escape into nostalgia; it was a hugely enjoyable night right here in 2012 that let everyone involved dance and sing like they hadn’t been allowed to in years.