Call 'em the (Backstreet) Boys of summer
Having sold out shows in Mexico, South America and Puerto Rico, the Fab Five has just unveiled the second leg of its Black & Blue megatour that could take them to more than 50 venues across the country this summer.
Unlike their boy-band rivals in 'N Sync, who are headlining a 39-show stadium tour this summer, BSB will stick to smaller arenas for a 'maximum bonding experience' with fans. The members promise their latest trek will outdo previous Backstreet spectacles and feature a vast array of pyrotechnics, an innovative light show, multilevel platforms and massive video screens.
In order to get up and personal with the teenybopping hordes, A.J. McLean, Kevin Richardson, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough and Brian Litrell say they'll be extending the stage 10 rows deep into the arena.
'[The fans] want to get as close as possible to us and when we put this tour together, we worked with the set designer to find ways for us to be near our fans during the show,' says Dorough.
Adding to the fever, the boys have also invited red-hot reggae star Shaggy, whose Hotshot has been burning up the charts, to open for them. Ironically, BSB was the warm-up act for Shaggy's European tour back in 1995, when he was on the road in support of his mid-'90s dance-hall hits 'Oh Carolina' and 'Nice and Lovely.'
'We want to give our fans the best concert experience ever,' adds Richardson. 'And we think that by bringing Shaggy out as a special guest, fans will really get their money's worth.'
So far, the boys have announced 29 dates, with up to two dozen more expected. The BSB blitzkrieg officially kicks off June 8 in the band's hometown of Orlando, before making stops in Tampa, Raleigh, Washington, Greensboro (North Carolina), Lexington, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis, Hartford, Albany, Camden (New Jersey), Hershey (Pennsylvania), Boston, Buffalo, East Rutherford (New Jersey), Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. The final show is slated for Little Rock on September 1.
Meanwhile, in other prefab pop news, the 'N Syncers have tapped Eden's Crush, the girl group from the WB's Popstars, to open for them. That tour kicks off May 12 at Miami's Pro Player Stadium.
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