The Backstreet Boys performing their DNA World Tour at Birmingham Arena on Saturday 15th June 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The Backstreet Boys were back in Birmingham last night, playing to a packed arena fresh from their two year residency in Las Vegas, to promote their latest album, DNA.

With more than 100 million records sold worldwide, the band had plenty of hits to play for the sold out crowd. So with their thirty three song set list, they managed to squeeze in all of the fans favourites and some more.

After 26 years on the block, the boys who were put together in their teens by svengali Lou Pearlman are now in their late 30’s and mid 40’s, and it was all five original members that were on the stage last night. As tenors, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell and Nick Carter, falsetto Howie Dorough and baritone Kevin Richardson, made an entrance, there were pyrotechnics and deafening screams from the crowd to opening song, Everybody.

With no expense spared, the production was absolutely sublime. There was a massive stage, giant V shaped video screens, trap doors, laser beams and an elevating platform, which allowed for proper interaction with the crowd.

Showing that they still have the moves and then some, their synchronised dancing was a delight on 1995’s I Wanna Be With You and the energy levels were high on The Call before things were slowed right down with the lovely Don’t Want You Back.

As well as showcasing the magic they have as a five piece of fine singers, with harmonies exactly on point, each Backstreet Boy had a turn to command attention in front of the mic. Littrell’s voice resounded around the arena whilst standing alone on the huge stage for new song Nobody Else, and there was a solo spot for Dorough with another newbie, Chateau which was a beautiful slow ballad that had everyone singing along.

With a number of costume changes done expertly so that there was never a let up in the singing, Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely and for one of the most underrated power ballads of all time, Incomplete, the back screens changed to show a waterfall that looked as though the group were walking through it as dry ice surrounded them, as their vocals dripped with emotion. It was simply enthralling.

For the likes of Undone and More Than That, they stood before neon lit mic stands and when Carter had his solo spot with The Way It Was, the crowd were mesmerised. Shape Of My Heart from their 2000 Black & Blue album saw a lot of arm waving and bursts of confetti, and there was a playful strip behind chest high screens involving Richardson and McLean for Passionate that had the crowd duly screaming their heads off.

There was a particular lovely moment when all five appeared on an elevated stage for an a capella version of Breathe which was a real highlight, as was Don’t Wanna Lose You Now, before the slower section of the show was brought to an end with their massive hit, I’ll Never Break Your Heart.

And then if it was possible to do so, the energy levels were raised even further when from below the stage, all five appeared dressed in white for Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) and there was no respite as they ran around the stage for We’ve Got It Goin’ On, and That’s The Way I Like It, and with nostalgia hitting an all time high, the main set was brought to an exhausting end with I Want It That Way.

And with this crowd demanding more, the Boys were back with new song Don’t Go Breaking My Heart which sounded just like their past material, before finally saying goodnight with Larger Than Life.

Delivering a performance that served to remind of a time when pop music was at its finest, the Backstreet Boys, with their excellent vocals and extensive impressive choreography, had known just how to break hearts and to boot, to provide what was undoubtedly the best concert so far of 2019.