Backstreet Boys still larger than life [PHOTOS]By Abbey Crain | 08/27/2013 11:45pm
This year, the iconic boy band of the 1990s, the Backstreet Boys, celebrate their 20th anniversary with a world tour, including a stop at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. While the band has been out of the limelight for several years, many of today’s college students grew up listening to the musical group and were excited to relive pop culture from their childhood at Tuesday night’s BSB concert.
“[Backstreet Boys] was my first concert ever when I was 8 years old,” Taylor Davis, a freshman majoring in pre-law, said. “I saw ‘Black and Blue’ in Kentucky. They make us feel young. It’s our childhood. It reminds us of the stuff we grew up with.”
Like many boy bands of the 1990s, BSB’s fame subsided in the early 2000s. A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell released their ninth album “In A World Like This” in July 2013.
Kristen Nelson, a communications graduate assistant for Student Affairs, said she was excited to see the BSB in Tuscaloosa because she never got to see them as a young girl when they were popular.
“We as a generation can argue that the Backstreet Boys are so much better than One Direction, which they are in my opinion, but honestly I think it’s just the same thing,” Nelson said. “They’re catering to the same kind of crowd. It’s the same target audience.”
Along with the reuniting and reperforming of boy bands of 1990s past comes a flood of other 1990s nostalgia from BuzzFeed lists, remembering 1990s romcoms to Jeremy Scott’s Bart Simpson sweater made famous by Cara Delevigne.
“I think ‘90s boy bands and ‘90s nostalgia is popular because my generation loved it so much growing up. It’s kind of what we’re familiar with,” Nelson said. “It’s what we know, so now we’re getting to the age where we have a little more creativity and can set some trends we’re kind of able to bring some of that back and enjoy things like this, like the pop music we loved so much growing up.”
In recent fashion news, acid-washed jeans and cropped tops are back, adding to the recent popularity of 1990s fandom. Limited Too is no longer the only midriff-baring tank aggregate, and brands like American Apparel thrive off of 1990s-inspired graphic tees and colorful leggings, reminiscent of college-age students’ home videos circa 1996.
“I love a good neon and especially cropped tops,” Julia Stewart, a junior majoring in art history, said. “I grew up with the Backstreet Boys and those trends, and it’s like a blast from the past. They remind us of our glory days back in middle school.”
The almost all-female crowd traded in their jellies, matching floral play-suits and juice boxes from BSB’s prime for cork wedges, maxi skirts and Miller Lights to listen to the newest album sans frosted tips.
“I’ve been a huge Backstreet Boys fan ever since I was like 12,” Courtney McDonald, a junior majoring in communication studies, said. “The ‘90s trends are back. You’ve got the high-waisted shorts. You’ve got the neon. It’s all coming back in. I don’t know why it’s coming back, but I’m digging it. I’m not opposed. I grew up in the ‘90s, and I love it.”
The famed five opened the concert with “Backstreet’s Back,” dressed in matching white suits to reignite the love once held in many young fans’ hearts.
“This is the perfect city for Backstreet Boys,” McDonald said. “You’ve got a lot of girls. You’ve got a lot of college girls who grew up in the Backstreet Boys era. I mean this is the perfect place to come. It’s all perfect.”