Long queues, a wait of several hours, and the humid weather all felt worth it to the fans of Backstreet Boys as the popular American band wrapped the India leg of their DNA World Tour with an exhilarating performance in the Delhi-NCR region.
After a gig in Mumbai, the boy band kept their date with Delhi-NCR fans intact with a performance spanning two hours at the Airia Mall in Gurugram on Friday.
Fans from all age groups, including teenagers, those in their mid-20s and 30s, and even the elderly gathered to witness the concert of the band that dominated the music scene with numerous global hits in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The performance was scheduled to start at 7.30 pm but was delayed by a couple of minutes, leaving many desperate. Soon the stage came alive with the sound of thunder and the flickering of strobe light. The crowd erupted in joy as the giant screen at the back of the stage displayed the names of the iconic quintet, comprising Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell, and Kevin Richardson.
Backstreet Boys were indeed back! The group, who last visited India in 2010, got down to business quickly, starting with “I Wanna Be With You” which left the crowd of over 12,000 exhilarated.
The first set included the songs that made the group a household name in America, — “The Call”, “Get Down (You’re The One For Me)” and “Don’t Want You Back”.
With their groovy and synchronised dance steps, the band proved age is just a number for them. On multiple occasions, the quintet, dressed in all-black attire, would pause, only for the crowd to complete the lyrics.
As the first set ended, Littrel addressed the Delhi-NCR crowd with a ‘namaste’.
“I know it is not our first time in Delhi and it won’t be the last,” the singer said. “It is because of each of you tonight that Backstreet Boys still exist.” The singer promised a trip down the memory lane for the fans who have been following the group since it was formed in 1993.
What followed was the bevy of soothing and soulful tracks — ranging from “Incomplete”, “More than that”, “Crazy for you”, “Alive” and “shape of my heart”.
During their entire performance, the group changed outfits on multiple occasions.
Carter took note of the humid weather and took off his jacket on the stage, leading to huge screams from the fans.
“Someone should have told me that it was going to be so hot tonight and that I should not have worn a jacket,” he said.
The singer asked the crowd to chant with him ‘Backstreet’s Back’ to show their love for the group.
In the next set, the band performed more favourites, including “Quit Playing Games” and “As long as you love”, for the crowd.
After performing a few more tracks and changing outfits once more, the group gathered on the stage to reminisce about starting the band 30 years ago.
“We all grew up together. You guys have started your families… We got three generations in here tonight. We definitely have started our families, we’ve a lot of Backstreet babies. We want to thank you for being part of the Backstreet family for 30 years now,” Richardson said. It was the singer’s maiden visit to the country.
It has been a crazy ride, said Mclean. “How about 30 more years? There won’t be much dancing though,” he added.
The band members revealed that they were teenagers when they came together to form the group; Mclean was 14, Littrell was 18, Dorough was 19, Carter was 12, and Richardson was the oldest at 21.
For the final set, the band performed a fusion mix of their all-time hit track “Everybody”, which invited the loudest cheers from the crowd. More favourites such as “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Chances” and “No Place, followed.
After their final act, the band exited the stage, leaving many fans to wonder if this was it. Some waited, while some made their way towards the exit.
But then the stage came alive once again. Backstreet Boys were not done yet.
Wearing silver outfits this time, the group performed one final song for the crowd — ‘Larger than life’, accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display that outshone even the full moon.
Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour was brought to India by BookMyShow along with Live Nation.