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Backstreet Boys Show a Guilty Pleasure ; Boy Band Has Matured, but Harmonies Are Still Sweet and Dance Moves Still Thrill.

August 18, 2008

By Kim Margolis Staff Writer

KETTERING — All week, commercials ran on Miami Valley television hyping the appearance of the Backstreet Boys at the Fraze Pavilion.

They lauded the 1990s boy band as having “changed pop culture.”

All week, I vowed that I would make the Fraze and the Backstreet Boys pay for that overblown claim.

While I am not willing to say they changed pop culture, they did put on a really good show. On Saturday, Aug. 9, the Fraze was filled with many young girls, but also — curiously — men with thinning white hair. After rising to prominence 15 years ago, the group released “Unbreakable” in October and began touring.

They are a dramatic group, those Boys. They held the long notes long, touched hands with fans in the front row and wiped their sweaty brows with aplomb. Teens and adults squealed before and after the 105-minute show.

Their opening song, “Larger than Life,” featured Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and A.J. McLean as prize fighters duking it out in a ring.

The group, known for their harmony, were in good voice, especially Littrell, but it was their dancing that stood out. Their intensely choreographed, almost regimented moves thrilled the audience.

Sometimes it was unintentionally funny (that means you, Nick Carter), but it was always energetic.

“Quit Playing Games with My Heart” and “As Long as You Love Me” slowed things down, then an extrabouncy “(Everybody) Backstreet’s Back” closed the show.

Photos from the concert

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