Backstreet Boys' World Tour
Eager to reclaim their place atop the pile of boy bands, the Backstreet Boys opened their world tour with a show mixing harmony driven pop and dance with playful asides that worked fans into a frenzy.
The Boys - Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Kevin Richardson - delivered a 90-minute, 21-song set Monday, made up of songs from their latest album "Black & Blue,'' and two previous records, "Millennium'' and "Backstreet Boys.''
"It's hot in here tonight,'' Richardson told the crowd. "It's good to be back in the saddle again in front of all you people, and it's good to feel your love.''
Thousands of blue glow stick-twirling fans, mostly adolescent girls, joined baby boomers and their children for the first of 36 North American concerts. The Boys return to the United States for a second tour in August.
Staci Zavattaro, 17, brought her 47-year-old mother Nancy to the show as a Valentine's Day gift.
"She's sort of a closet fan,'' Zavattaro said.
The group, backed by a six-piece band and nine dancers, kicked off the show with "Everyone,'' off "Black & Blue.'' They swiftly followed that with "Larger Than Life,'' one of their big hits off 1999's "Millennium,'' and then slipped into a mellower gear with several R&B ballads.
During their dance numbers, the band performed some light choreography, but for the most part let a supporting crew of nine dancers show off their routines.
The show-stopper came about 10 songs into the set, when the group invited the audience to watch during one of their half-dozen wardrobe changes.
"Do You like these outfits we're wearing now?'' McLean asked. "Why don't you guys come down into our dressing rooms and watch us change?''
The audience erupted, and the Boys, one by one, piled into a wardrobe "trunk'' and disappeared beneath the stage. A backdrop doubling as a projection screen showed the group changing shirts and hamming it up.
The Boys emerged to perform a few ballads, including "How Did I Fall In Love With You?'' and "Time,'' extending their arms and pointing randomly at the audience, many of whom tried to get closer.
"I'm not going to sleep tonight,'' said Nenette Dameus, 15, of Fort Lauderdale.
The Backstreet Boys closed the show with three dance-heavy numbers, "Backstreet's Back,'' off their debut album, "Get Another Boyfriend'' and the "The Call,'' before vanishing and returning for one encore, "Shape of My Heart.''