Ok. I am a HUGE fan of BSB on their very first album but DNA World Tour is my first ever BSB concert. Why?
Back in the days when they took off, Indonesia was no where on their list. They were not as popular as British boybands, but they did have loyal fans myself and few friends as well. And when they once (or twice) came to Jakarta, of course, a teenage girl (without privilege) like me couldn’t afford a penny to go to a international artist concert.
This post is a review to the recent BSB concert I went to in Ottawa as part of the RBC BluesFest on 14 July 2019 (but trust me, it’s a full concert with 33-song setlist). Before I begin, I have to reiterate that I have been a fan since the very beginning, so my opinion will be mostly relatable if you know BSB since their first existence as well.
Call me cheesy, but I literally cried as they showed up on stage, bringing such an epic opening with those uber-large screen and lighting effects, they sing non-hit singles “Everyone” (Black &Blue) and “I Want to be with You” (Backstreet Boys) in medley. Seeing them live was my dream since I was 10 years old. It’s really hard to contain my emotion when it finally came true. It’s one bucket list checked: it completes me.
(I’m being such a drama but it’s true).
In a nutshell, the DNA World Tour is all about walking down the memory lane. If you are a fan in recent years, you might be disappointed as they only sang selective songs from the new album DNA, with many being only in parts (not the whole song). Even if you recognize many of their biggest hits, you might find some mute moments as they sang several songs which are never their hit singles which are never played on the radio, but for a loyal fan who owns ALL of their albums, it really brings up the memory of growing up with the BSB.
I will try to wrap up my opinions in points. I will try not to spoil but spoiler alert!!
1. Their biggest market is their loyal fans
As the biggest-selling boyband and being around for 26 years, they are aware they have strong and large loyal fanbase and they really try to entertain (=to cash in from – it just business, girl) these fan category. Most of their fans grew up together with them, who are currently at the edge of productive age. We, the fans, can afford to spend quite an amount of dollars compared to we were 20 years ago. So yes, demographically speaking, their biggest audience are their longtime fans.
2. DNA World Tour is not their fanciest concert, but it is made to be memorable
Don’t compare their stage performances with those years ago when they were literally “boys” who spent overbudget video clips and stage settings. As a music group hanging around in the showbiz industry, they know what they are after: walking down memory lane with the fans.
The crazy 33-song setlist is not merely a list of songs. The setlist tells story about their journey for the last 26 years, playing with our moods with a mixture of upbeat and slow beat songs, singing medley all of their acapella songs, and save the best most energic last 2 songs as the closing.
They don’t miss any, ANY – of their hits. They even and some upbeat non-hit songs such as “Get Another Boyfriend” “Don’t Want You Back” to add the mood!
Intermezzo: they sang two closing songs wearing Redblacks (Ottawa’s Football Team) shirt. They’re really serious when it comes to building connection.
3. I love the way they embrace the way they are
They’re definitely not flirting around to the ladies the way the used to be. I feel like they present themselves as good friends who have always been around for us. All of them have families, have been fathers for sometime, just like many of us who are now parents as well. That’s how they build connection with us, their longtime fans.
Every single member present themselves as an adult. They age the way we age, at least that’s how they try to show us. They look super comfortable singing and dancing on stage, even laugh at their cheesiness, laugh at being old and still dancing. Everyone was just being so cool.
4. They sing really well
I had a low expectation over their performance on stage, I doubted they can still nail high notes and “Larger than Life” dance move. I was wrong! They sang 33 songs non-stop, while still manage to entertain us with the original dance moves in the most amusing way. It might not look as energetic as it was 20 years ago, but I can tell they enjoyed doing it. In fact, the way they enjoyed it that makes the performance is so fun to watch.
5. They attract new, younger generation, fans
Even is the DNA concert is sort of a romanticizing their past success, the DNA album is no way an overnight project. I find some of the audinece are also younger generation, who genuinely enjoy their new songs. It sounds so BSB, with modern, today’s music style that it attracts new fans and reengage longtime fans like myself.
As a final note, I must say they do a really great job in establishing their current brand. As a long time fan, I find they are still the BSB with all the singing style and dance moves, but at the same time acknowledging themselves being grown ups, no longer the young, free-spirited boyband members. They touch our heart with their songs and the connection as “the good friends who grow up with you”, and that’s why the concert is truly a night to remember.
Ottawa, 15 July 2019