It’s true, Backstreet Boys’ (BSB) fans have all grown up now. But hey, so have Kevin, AJ, Howie, Brian, and Nick.
When we first heard that BSB was coming to Malaysia as part of their “In A World Like This” tour, we were over the moon. After all, they were the boyband “Gods” of the 90s, in a time before perfectly choreographed K-Pop idol groups. Or at least for us Malaysians, because the Hallyu wave only hit us in the late in the mid 2000s.
But we digress!
The last time they were here for a full concert, it was 1994. I was still that young teenager who plastered her bedroom walls with various group shot as well as individual shot (just Nick Carter, to be honest) posters of the boyband. Sure, I got a glimpse of the boys during 2013’s Twin Towers Alive, where they performed on the same stage (not together) with YG Entertainment’s K-Pop idol girl group, 2NE1. It wasn’t the same though. Almost unfulfilling because it wasn’t a full concert.
As a young teenager, I missed the opportunity to witness a full-fledged BSB event. Imagine my excitement when I heard that they were coming back! Maybe it was my obsession with the simpler times of cheesy 90s pop, maybe I’m still secretly obsessed with Nick Carter whether or not my pride will let me admit it. I just knew that I wasn’t going to pass up on it again. So off I trodded to Stadium Negara in the heart of Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday (3rd May) evening over a convenient long weekend for the sold out show.
Did they give their fans (read: me) what they wanted? Oh, that and so much more.
The “In A World Like This” concert at Stadium Negara opened with a bang as the boys emerged singing, “The Call”. Following which, Kevin addressed the crowd and asked, “Malaysia, are you ready to party like its 1999?”, to which the crowd responded with resounding screams. I didn’t know then but quite frankly, I would later discover that those screams won’t actually pipe down even after an hour of hit songs.
What Kevin said was true though, that we were all in for a treat as BSB took us for a long walk down memory lane while belting out one hit after another, including the likes of “All I Have To Give”, “As Long As You Love Me”, “Show Me The Meaning (Of Being Lonely)”, and “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”.
Although, I was kinda bummed that they didn’t whip out the iconic folding chairs for the “As Long As You Love Me” dance! Just saying ;)
Seeing BSB live in concert for the first time in a long time was really about reliving a forgotten “good old days of boybands” era and letting loose while shamelessly fangirling (or fanboying) over the boyband “Gods”. There was an undeniable hint of magic in the air as the crowd sang along to every single song – even the newer ones – word for word.
And that’s not all.
I knew that we Malaysians were truly in for a treat when the boys whipped out musical instruments and decided to perform a special stage of both a capella and acoustic versions of their songs. In fact, I am still absolutely fanning my face over their acoustic rendition of “that song where everyone was topless and singing in the rain” aka “Quit Playing Games With My Heart”!
Of course, Nick was super delighted that it was mad storming outside Stadium Negara as the concert was happening!
He playfully noted:
Isn’t it cool that there’s a storm going on outside? Like, during “Show Me The Meaning (Of Being Lonely)”, just as we sang it, the thunder went BOOM and Kevin was like, YEAH!
But all jokes aside, during the concert, the boys reiterated that this “In A World Like This” tour was a significant milestone for them because not only was it named after their 8th album, it also marked a comeback of sorts for the group. After all, it is BSB’s first world tour and album since 2006, when Kevin left the group.
On top of that, the concert tour is also in celebration of the boys’ 22nd anniversary. 22 whole years! Count ’em ;)
They also mentioned the release of their docu-movie, “BSB The Movie”, a heart wrenching documentation of the rise and fall of the group. More details about that here.
And of course, how could the boys go without sweeping their fans off their feet with “I Want It That Way”, the song that nearly blew the roof off Stadium Negara, nevermind the storm outside. We managed to sneak in a quick fancam of “I Want It That Way” so if you missed the concert, lap this one up!
Backstreet Boys’ “In A World Like This” concert tour in Malaysia then came to a beautiful end when the boys returned to the stage for an encore of “Backstreet’s Back”. Super befitting, if you asked us, because oh my god, they’re definitely back again. And to be perfectly honest, we already can’t wait for them to come back already!
The full setlist is as follows:
- The Call
- Don’t Want You Back
- Permanent Stain
- All I Have To Give
- As Long As You Love Me
- Show Em What You’re Made Of
- Show Me The Meaning (Of Being Lonely)
- Quit Playing Games With My Heart
- I’ll Never Break Your Heart
- We’ve Got It Going On
- The One
- Love Somebody
- Shape Of My Heart
- In A World Like This
- I Want It That Way
- Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
- Larger Than Life
Special thanks to our friends from Livescape Asia for making this happen!