Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour: The 9 Best Moments

Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images
The Backstreet Boys perform on May 21, 2019. 

The Backstreet Boys are making 2019 feel a lot like 1999 with their DNA World Tour, their biggest trek in 18 years. But while their impressive 33-song set did include every hit any BSB fan could've wanted them to sing, it also featured nine of their 12 DNA tracks -- and proved that they aren't just a nostalgia act.

The BSB guys (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson) gave it their all for the entire two hours they were on stage at Brooklyn's Barclays Center Thursday night (Aug. 15), which is even more impressive considering they've been performing the show almost every night since May 11. They've certainly got it down to a science at this point, but that makes for one hell of a show.

While the DNA World Tour is a spectacle everyone -- BSB diehard or not -- should see for themselves, Billboard has rounded up some highlights from the show. 

The (amazingly) dramatic entrance

After 26 years of playing shows, the Backstreet Boys of course know how to build anticipation before hitting the stage. For the DNA World Tour, screens flashed through the names of the group's first nine albums, with shots of each member appearing before DNA emerged. Before you knew it, the screen was rising, and the Backstreet Boys have arrived. Try not to get chills.

Brian's all-or-nothing vocals

While all of the guys had their shining moments throughout the show, Littrell's were extra meaningful. Longtime fans know that Littrell has been struggling with vocal tension dysphonia and dystonia for several years -- but that didn't stop him from going for every run and power note he could once hit painlessly. One of his most striking moments came at the end of "Don't Want You Back," when he belted out the song's soaring finish in almost effortless fashion.

Their solo appearances

BSB masterfully incorporated their DNA songs in with their classics, highlighting their individual favorites by giving each member a chance to perform a track on their own. Littrell went first with "Nobody Else"; Dorough later sang "Chateau"; Carter took on "The Way It Was," and McLean and Richardson teamed up for "Passionate."

The solo spotlights also gave the guys a chance to connect with the crowd on a deeper level, with each taking a few minutes to thank fans for their support for 26 years. "That doesn't happen just every day, especially in our world it doesn't happen hardly at all," AJ said, with Kevin adding, "This is rare, we know this. And we're taking in every second and everybody."


The Backstreet Boys took full advantage of their V-shaped stage, but didn't typically stay on it for a full song. They did for DNA cut "Chances," though, which may have been part of the reason that the performance was so impactful. But it was certainly also thanks to their dynamic individual vocal parts, as well as their building harmonies on the bridge. Plus, then they proceeded to sing their oh-so-impassioned oldies "Shape of My Heart" and "Drowning" back to back, so it was all a lot for a BSB stan to take in -- in the best way, of course.

Their sense of humor

While the guys didn't save a whole lot of time for banter, when they did, it was hilarious. Sometimes they were knocking themselves -- "I used to have at least two abs, now I just have an abstraction," Richardson quipped during an on-stage changing bit with McLean -- and sometimes they were mocking each other (Littrell's impression of 12-year-old Carter is priceless). But their humility was apparent the whole time, and it was easy to tell that their chemistry is stronger than ever 26 years later. 

Going back to their a cappella roots

Those who have listened to DNA know that the song "Breathe" is a fully a cappella track. The guys performed it that way too -- to "show 'em how we used to do it," as Howie said -- and it was, ironically, one of the most breathtaking parts of the show. Let the video do the rest of the talking on this one:

The fans' vivacious spirit

Boy bands tend to have some of the most deafening crowds around, but as a boy band fanatic myself, I have to give it to the Backstreet Boys fans: their screams are hands down the loudest of them all. Maybe it's because the formerly teenage fans are now all grown adults (some even came to the show pregnant, which the guys couldn't help pointing out) and no longer have shrill ear-piercing screams, but regardless, you could practically feel the place shake at times -- especially after songs like "I Want It That Way."

Their old-school choreo

It wouldn't be a Backstreet Boys show without some '90s choreography, right? Though they traded chairs for mic stands for "As Long As You Love Me" and didn't all have hats for "All I Have to Give," BSB made sure they paid homage to their iconic dances during the classics. And you bet those Thriller-like moves made their return for "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."

The Larger Than Life finale 

Reverse from their Larger Than Life Las Vegas residency, BSB finished with their colossal Milennium hit, and what an ending it was. Between the mesmerizing stage lighting up with flashing colorful lights, fireworks bursting every other second, and the banging dance remix in the middle of the song, "Larger Than Life" really did feel that way. It was the perfect close to the two-hour show, leaving an undeniable energy in the room that gave the sense that both the Backstreet Boys and their fans are ready for 26 more years.


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