Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
This was a last minute concert venture and it turned out the be the best idea ever.
We headed out to the newly restored Wellmont Theatre in Montclair and bought tickets at the door. No extra fees and unfortunately, but fortunately, the place was not sold out. Poor Backstreet Boys.
The venue is small, i would say a tad bigger than the blender theater in Grammercy, and we sat in the balcolny maybe 5 rows up. We had such a great view and I enjoy being able to see a little off to the sides of the stage, the marks on the floor and I thought it was funny how, unlike the stadium venues, the stagehands had to revamp the set-up while the boys were still on the stage.
So, earlier that day, I caught the Angie Martinez Show on Hot97 and that Donnie Klang, solo act of the Making the Band shows, and totally fell in love with this kid. Reason why he was on the show? Well one, he has a new album (um, I'll just listen on myspace), but he was in town and opened for BSB!
We were a little late and walked in on him doing his new single, "Dr. Love." My friends made fun of the title, as they should. He finished up with a slow song and threw roses out to the audience. He's got heart and the girls love him (especially when he removes his shirt, as he did after the set real quick off to the side), but I think it's hard for any R&B solo act to really make it and stand out.
It wasn't an eternity for BSB to take the stage and it was pure awesomeness from the get go. They opened with "Larger Than Life" and for some reason, were in a boxing ring. They even had like boxer's stats on the screen as they came out. So corny, but that was the endearing factor of the show - the guys are not too into themselves to be serious and seemed to just let go and not worry if they were being total goofballs.
They kept the hits coming and I had a smile on my face the whole time. When new tracks from the last album came on that I didn't know, I just looked to my friend and we both shrugged and continued dancing.
BSB's slow songs all have this same melody, but they're substantial in the words (no, seriously, listen a little closer to some) and just pretty. Everyone's vocals were showcased to their full potential.
To cut up the set, each boy did their own solo, basically because they all have or are working on their own records. It just goes to show how the music clearly reflects the personalities of these guys that the media has built for them.
Howie went first - I think he feels people don't know he's Spanish, so he did a mellow track with a salsa backbone and (I think) Carmen Miranda dancing on the screen. It wasn't the greatest.
A.J. was next - He did this "Drive By" song and it was a catchy, fast and over-sexed rock n'roll tune. It was fun and kept my attention more than the others.
Nick was third - Oh, Nick...he did a slower song and was OK. I just feel bad for him b/c I always think he probably felt he was to have the same success that Justin Timberlake did, but it never happened. Poor guy.
Brian was last - I liked his song. He's a Christian rock musician and his song was really sweet and I teared up a little. He's the nicest sounding one of them.
The show as a whole had lots of energy and they mixed things up just a tad and it felt as though I was back in high school. I jumped up and down when "The Call" came on and I got the chills when they played the old videos on the screen during songs like "Quit Playing Games" and "I'll Never Break Your Heart."
Being that it was Halloween, they did "Backstreet's Back" in costumes - it was cheesey, but who cares...it was Backstreet!