There are some shows that I photograph purely out of sheer curiosity. The Backstreet Boys was one of those shows, so when I saw they were playing at the Xcel Energy Center I had to put in for it. I was really expecting the same crowd as New Kids on the Block, which I photographed earlier this year, but there was actually a bit younger of a crowd for this one. We weren’t approved to photograph the opener, so I can’t give you any insight as to how it was. I arrived and only heard the house music playing, so it must have been long over. Looking at the crowd that was walking around was pretty interesting. Some people dressed to the nines for this show, some had outfits similar to what the band wore back in their prime, and some were just as casual as ever.
The place was certainly packed though. I took photos from the front and stitched them together so you could get an idea of the numbers at this show. Surprisingly, this show we were able to shoot from the barrier and not 5 miles away by the sound booth. The stage setup looked pretty intense and I’m sure there was some surprises after my three songs were up. The crowd that could peak around the curtain would scream each time they saw someone that looked like the band members. That was nothing compared to the eardrum shattering screams when the lights went down. There were times when the crowd would be screaming so loud they would drown out the band. People apparently were looking forward to this show!
The stage setup was crazy. When I walked down to the photo pit, there were two large screens on a rig that would later raise up. Behind that was yet another screen and a ton of lights everywhere. There were people in the middle of the diamond like stage and we were right behind them. The guys stayed mainly on the back stage during the first three songs. Probably to stay away from the photographers! All in all, it seemed like it was a pretty good show if you were into their music back in the day. For me, it was a chance to photograph the second of three popular boy bands from 25 or so years ago. Backstreet Boys were indeed back and the crowd though that was certainly alright!