CONCERT REVIEW: Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life @The AXIS in Las Vegas

Written by Jessica Klausing

 Backstreet Boys (from left: Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean (behind Howie), Nick Carter, and Brian Littrell photo by Jessica Klausing.

Backstreet Boys (from left: Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean (behind Howie), Nick Carter, and Brian Littrell photo by Jessica Klausing.

24 years later, Backstreet Boys have still got it goin’ on.

With over 130 million records sold worldwide, it’s only evident that the best selling boy band have a Las Vegas residency.  Over 4,000 fans packed into Planet Hollywood’s AXIS Theater on Saturday for a thrilling 90 minute trip down memory lane.

The nostalgia began with a 10 minute Backstreet Boys music video montage. Remixed video snippets chronicled through their 24 years and still going strong career. Every video from the classic, “We’ve Got it Goin’ On” to the most recent “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” flashed upon five large TV monitors. Fans squealed with glee—for the first five minutes. The montage did feel like it would go on forever. Many fans started to voice out their frustration quickly. Finally the curtain was drawn for our boys!

 Brian Littrell and AJ McLean perform. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Brian Littrell and AJ McLean perform. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

At 09:20PM, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, and Nick Carter, dressed in their Millennium album-esque white suits, floated down onto the stage from large boxes inside the AXIS and belted right into “Larger Than Life.”

It was like 1999 never ended.

The boys, who might I add, are still as dreamy as ever, flawlessly hit their vocal ranges without missing a dance step. Each Backstreet still lives up to their classic boy band persona: AJ the Bad Boy with his sunglasses on, Brian the Jokester with his silly faces, Nick the Heartthrob with his flirtatious winks, Howie D the Sweetie, who was all smiles, and Kevin the Leader, who effortlessly led the group from one ballad to another.

“Vegas can’t rid of Backstreet. Backstreet is here to stay!” bellows AJ into a mic.

The Backstreet residency opened in March and was originally scheduled for a 26 date run. Due to popular demand, the dates extended to November, January, and February. Fans swiped these tickets so fast that it set the record as the fastest selling residency in history.

 Kevin Richardson during "As Long As you Love Me." Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Kevin Richardson during "As Long As you Love Me." Photo by Jessica Klausing.

“How many of you used to have naughty thoughts about the Backstreet Boys?” asks Nick to a crowd of screaming fangirls. “Well, tonight we are all yours!”

Backstreet crooned out all of the iconic hits such as “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), “I Want it That Way,” “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” and “As Long as You Love Me,” complete with the signature folding chair dance routine.

The boys retreated to the second stage for the slower ballads such as “Drowning” and “Incomplete.” Nick broke out into *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” as a gag before exiting the stage. His particular song choice received many ‘boos’ throughout the venue. I guess the infamous Backstreet Boys VS *NSYNC fan wars still lives on.

 Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson at The AXIS. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson at The AXIS. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

The “Boys Will Be Boys” video interlude was a throwback treat. As the song played out, many candid photos and home videos of Backstreet’s early days flashed upon the large stage monitor. It was fun yet bittersweet at the same time. Our boys are well into their 40’s with wives and children now. We fans have grown up quite a bit too. The times have changed.

The second half of the set featured more Black and Blue album hits such as “Get Another Boyfriend,” “More Than That,” and “Shape of My Heart.”

“The Call” turned up the heat with its Fifty Shades of Grey type vibe in the beginning. The backup dancers strutted onstage in shiny leather with whips. Only in Vegas!

Brian took a moment to wish all of the veterans a Happy Veterans Day. “We would not be safe without you. Thank you for your service!”

Backstreet Boys closed out the show with the fan favorite, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Pink and purple confetti busted through the ceiling as the boys took a well deserved bow.

“Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” is a must for any Backstreet fan. The 20 song set features all of the greatest hits plus a few surprises. You’ll experience super stardom fit for a mega arena in an intimate setting. Backstreet’s back and this time, up close and personal.

SETLIST:

Larger Than Life

The One

Get Down (You’re the One for Me)

Drowning

Incomplete

Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)

Boys Will Be Boys (Video Interlude)

Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely

I’ll Never Break Your Heart

Anywhere for You/Darlin’/Undone medley

As Long as You Love Me

The Call

We’ve Got it Goin’ On

Get Another Boyfriend

More Than That

All I Have to Give

It’s Gotta Be You/Straight Through My Heart medley

Shape Of My Heart

I Want It That Way

ENCORE:

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)