9 Things I Learned Going to the Backstreet Boys DNA Concert
To the many of us who grew up with them and were recently titled as a member of the BSB Army, the Backstreet Boys DNA concert was a childhood dream fulfilled.
Before the K-Pop wave, it was the boyband wave with the likes of Backstreet Boys, Westlife, N*Sync, and Boyzone. While the other two bands disbanded, Backstreet Boys and Westlife are still going strong. Westlife had their two-day concert in Araneta Coliseum while the Backstreet Boys had theirs in the Mall of Asia Arena. And after attending the Backstreet Boys concert, there was so much I learned as a Backstreet Boys fan.
1. The Backstreet Boys may as well be timeless.
Although the concert was for their latest album DNA which had the song No Place dedicated to their families, they sang many of their old favorites. All the songs they sang got the crowd jumping, screaming, and waving their light sticks, even those who were ranging near their 40s and 50s. Their opening number had The Call from their Black and Blue album and got the entire crowd singing.
2. The energy was infectious!
The age bracket was huge—from the 20s to 50s, everyone had light sticks and banners, screaming at the top of their lungs. It was impossible to just sit down when the laser light show started and they all began dancing. The Backstreet Boys may be dads with kids and have been doing it for 30 years but, boy, do they know how to command a crowd! Even when they featured their songs from DNA, there were many who still sang along.
3. It’s a pretty close-knit family.
We’ve heard so many bands disband over the year, but the Backstreet Boys held strong with some even returning for a reunion. During the concert, there was a portion where the crowd, and the Backstreet Boys, sang “Happy Birthday” to Brian as it was his birthday on the day of the concert. They even had cake and a candle! After that, there was some banter between the boys. It included two fan favorites, Nick and Brian, debating about age.
But it was how they bonded with the rest of the audience. Kevin thanked the audience in Tagalog, saying “Salamat”. Howie revealed his ninang being Filipino and recalled some fond memories including eating some good Chicken Adobo. AJ even passed on a message from famous comedian Jokoy, who said hi to the fans from the Philippines.
4. For the many who attended, it was their childhood dream fulfilled.
Although the boys came to Manila at least twice, many of the old Backstreet Boy fans were studying, had a prom to attend, didn’t have the money for a ticket, or working and couldn’t go on leave. But now that they are older and with the means, there were many moms at the Backstreet Boys concert being assured by their husbands that they would watch the kids for the next two hours. One of them even said, “It’s okay. Go have fun. Tagal mo na gusto iyan.”
Shoutout to the dads, boyfriends, and brothers who went inside with the girls and sat through the screaming!
5. You’re never too old to join a fandom.
Like every fandom, there’s a name. Backstreet Boys had the BSB Army and as one of the older fans who grew up with them, I only knew recently that the fandom had an official label. But the fans were quite fun to talk to, especially those who were millennials like me. Many of us had a common story: we saved up, blew our 13th-month pay on the concert ticket, and took a leave off work to watch because we thought this was going to be their last concert. Plus, it was for our mental health, anyway. For the moms, they prepared the house to be foolproof, so that dad and the kids didn’t blow it up.
Some titas even joined, buying the official band shirts and tote bags.
6. Never wear light-colored pants!
More practical learning since the waiting area for the Backstreet Boys concert was outside MOA Arena along Coral Way. Some fans that showed up were in trendy outfits, wearing long but light-colored pants. But those who are experienced in attending conventions know that’s a bad idea. Sometimes, it’s better to wear jeans, especially when most event places don’t have chairs in the waiting area.
7. You will get budol-ed into buying official merchandise.
While some had shirts from past tours or made their own, there’s some pride in having a piece of official merchandise. There were totes, light sticks, ballers, shorts, shirts, caps — a whole variety of things. As a fan, there’s a big sense of pride knowing you bought one to support the Backstreet Boys. But be careful not to spend over your budget!
8. Every member of the Backstreet Boys has their own mini fan club.
While it’s no surprise that Nick, Brian, AJ, and Howie have theirs because they were the common soloists, it was a loud scream for Kevin every time he sang or spoke to the fans. Since he didn’t have as many solos as the four, his singing got everyone to whip out their phones to record. Whether for ASMR listening or for posterity, the fans showered Kevin with a lot of love. Myself included!
9. You will remember the lyrics but not the title of the song!
That’s just how catchy the songs are! People were singing, but some probably didn’t remember the titles. The Backstreet Boys’ songs were always on the radio waves, whether in supermarkets, malls, or even at parties, but it was hard to find the titles because we didn’t have song-finder apps back then. Thank goodness Google can do that for us now.
It’s amazing how the Backstreet Boys’ music easily breaks down barriers.
Many who went were with friends, but some who went alone found friends among the Backstreet Boys fans and had a fun time. Especially for introverts or those still getting used to loud and crowded places after the pandemic, the Backstreet Boys DNA concert was something that didn’t force people to join the family but charmed them in. As they celebrate their 30th year as a band, it’s great that they’re still going strong.