Remember when “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” came out in 1998 and everyone wondered what the Backstreet Boys were back from exactly since the song was on the group’s very first U.S. album? Well, maybe they made the song 20 years ago with this exact moment in mind, because it’s officially their anthem leading into a much-hyped 2017 residency in Las Vegas.
The Boys promoted their upcoming 18-date residency at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino (tickets on sale now) on Friday night with a nearly hour-long live-streamed concert and Q&A on the Honda Stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, California, in front of an intimate crowd of screaming fans. They played “Everybody,” of course, plus nine more songs, including some unexpected deep cuts (set list below).
Here are four highlights from the comeback concert:
For an acoustic section of the show, BSB were joined by two guitarists for stripped-down takes on the ballads “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and “All I Have to Give.” Before kicking off the segment, they reminded the audience that they started out as a “vocal R&B group,” and they hope to show off their buttery harmonies in Vegas.
We appreciate their vocal prowess, naturally, but in case you were wondering, they can still dance their asses off too. On upbeat numbers like show opener “The Call” and show closer “Larger Than Life” (their residency’s namesake), the guys showed off some seriously acrobatic dance moves, including Brian Littrell’s death-defying jump from the top platform of a three-tiered riser to the stage (OK, it might not have been death-defying, but it did make the audience gasp).
Given that they’ve released more than two dozen singles over their two-decade career, they surprisingly picked one deep cut for the short set: “Get Another Boyfriend” from Black & Blue, which was performed as a serenade to Bachelor alumnae Ashley Iaconetti and Becca Tilley, who both first appeared on Chris Soules’ season (Iaconetti is clearly a superfan: She knew every word to the non-single). They also pulled out “We’ve Got It Goin’ On,” which was a huge hit for them in Europe but peaked at just No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 — their first charting single in the U.S.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) October 1, 2016
Bachelor Sneak Peek
Speaking of The Bachelor, after the live stream wrapped, the audience was informed that Backstreet would be hitting the stage again as part of an upcoming episode of ABC’s The Bachelor, which doesn’t kick off until January. New Bachelor Nick Viall became the sixth Backstreet Boy, joining them for an encore performance of “Everybody,” before seven of Nick’s ladies hit the stage dressed in red-and-black to show off their backup-dancing skills. One lucky lady — chosen by BSB — was treated to a private serenade of “I Want It That Way” as she slow-danced with Nick. Well, private might not be the right word, since there was a still a full crowd watching and the six other ladies remained onstage for the serenade. Awkward.
— KoolKiwis (@KoolKiwis) October 1, 2016
Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
All I Have to Give
Get Another Boyfriend
As Long as You Love Me
We’ve Got It Goin’ On
I Want It That Way
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
Larger Than Life