They’re back, all right! No doubt cashing in on nostalgia, Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough — aka the Backstreet Boys (BSB), onetime bubblegum-pop rival to Justin Timberlake incubator *NSYNC — are headed to Washington state, with stops in Auburn and Spokane planned on the group’s upcoming DNA World Tour.
The boys will perform at Spokane Arena on August 7 and Auburn’s White River Amphitheatre on August 8.
Presales for Backstreet Boys’ fan club members begin tomorrow, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m., and ticket sales open to the general public on Friday, Feb. 14. More information is available on the Backstreet Boys’ website, backstreetboys.com.
The group was founded in 1993 by boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman. Scandals involving Ponzi schemes and allegations of sexual misconduct followed Pearlman, who ultimately died in prison in 2016. But the manager shaped the sound of the teen-pop boom of the late ’90s and early ’00s, when boy bands like BSB and Britney Spears-esque female solo acts got heavy radio play and launched hardcore fandoms.
Like their contemporaries Spears and Timberlake, the Backstreet Boys came to prominence during that time, and have displayed surprising longevity since, despite their genre’s reputation for producing disposable, low-brow artifice.
But listen to the pivotal key change in “I Want it That Way” and you’ll see why they’ve lasted. Throughout their career, the group often sang a capella, evincing their vocal chops in a sea of lip-synced lyrics. By now, there’s nothing left to prove.