Getting Nostalgic In 2020 – This Is Us

2020 in many ways gives us extra time. While for me personally, my work life has gotten crazier – I know that’s not true for all of us. And even outside of that my personal life has come to a standstill. In Vegas there’s many things you can’t do right now. All my year’s plans with friends outside of Vegas flew out the window. It’s a time really to think. Or if you’re like me…troll Ebay out of pure boredom.

Yep, I’ve spent time at say three am when I should be writing, searching “Backstreet Boys” to see what comes up. Can’t say I regret it. Bought a few (not a lot thankfully) items from eras in the past that I’d wished I’d gotten then but was probably too broke to get back then. One of the items actually inspired this very post.


I know, I know, I got inspired by a tote bag. But it had me thinking about the entire era as a whole. I know I’ve talked about the album before. I’m not getting into the debate about the music again. Been there, done that. Nah. I’m here to talk about everything this time. I mean this era I think is where the Boys started just not giving a damn about what anyone thought. I feel like that attitude is what really helped keep driving them forward. The only thing I wish I could change about this time was having Kevin back sooner. I think it would’ve made everything that much more fun.

The aesthetic for this album period was one of my favorites. Everything was a little bit funky, like you can see in the font on the tote bag that I bought above. The movie theater vibe they decided to go with? So much fun! It was different and had more of a theme than admittedly most of their albums pre-DNA. (Because DNA definitely ran with that theme, I have to say.) Their album photoshoots were just that. They didn’t typically carry over into a tour or anything really. But the movie idea and sort of laid back vibe carried into all of it. And that’s what I loved. You see I own three BSB posters – the one for the BSB documentary, one I bought during In A World Like This because I wanted one with Kevin on it, (note: I once had a Black and Blue one as a teen but my dad tore it down as a punishment, talk about heartbreak) and this one…from This Is Us.

Sorry my lamp is in the way but I was mid typing when I took this with my phone.

It’s to this day one of my favorites. Again, it just goes back to the theatre and movie vibe. Besides, do I need to remind you guys of the mini-movies they did for the tour? Were they cheesy? Absolutely. But were they fun? Hell yes! It goes back to them just doing what they wanted because who cared what others thought? In their own words they were “treading water” with the general public at that point. What did they have to lose? Nothing. Nothing at all.

And that’s just the themes through this time. And you have to remember, for all people talk about this era not being their full cup of tea or whatever…no one can deny this: this was when the barriers began to come down. Yes Unbreakable was the birth of VIPs. But they didn’t really become a full on thing till now. And this was the era that gave us the cruises. The cruises were where we finally got to see them just in full party mode with us. Hell the first one being a half-charter had us seeing them on downtime between events. This era gave us Twitter and the beginnings of those walls crumbling in the face of social media. Connections between fans and artists had finally come beyond luck at meet and greets.

It was no longer just a crazy dream to meet your favorite group. 

On top of this, one thing in retrospect that I’ve come to appreciate is that every fan at one of these events or concerts was a hard core fan. The ones around were the lifers, so to speak. And I don’t mean that against anyone who might’ve taken a break during Kevin’s absence. I mean there weren’t any fans at these shows really for nostalgia or because it was suddenly trendy to like them again as has been the case since the residency. If you were at a show during this era, you’d been a fan for awhile. Don’t get me wrong here, I love that the Boys are big again and people recognize how amazing they’ve continued to be. At the same time I won’t lie, it does bug me when I see them at shows not knowing songs that aren’t on the Chapter One album. During the residency you could tell who wasn’t because they sat down during Undone which is easily one of their strongest songs, even Kevin loves it.

The vibes during their interviews and promotional appearances had gotten more relaxed. There was no image to portray. There was no longer a defensiveness to trying to define who they were. Instead the Boys embraced all of it. It was around this time the word “boyband” stopped offending them. I always understood why it did at first. It used to be thrown as an insult, a way of dismissing their talents and what they’ve always been able to do so flawlessly – which is come together to produce beautiful harmonies. They seemed despite everything, more self assured in the fact people could see that? Maybe because by this point they knew their fans weren’t going anywhere. The Boys also made sure they showed their appreciation for that however they could. The media might be dismissing them but they knew their fans weren’t. Everything felt more tight knit I suppose.

No one’s saying this time was perfect. It wasn’t. Kevin wasn’t back just yet. Some people don’t like the direction they went in musically. It happens, you know? But there was simply a lot of fun to be had at this point. And I think that was what was so great about it despite the semi-bad rep it gets within the fandom. There were entertaining themes, things were light and playful, and at times things were low key in a good way. The outfits during the tour were bright and colorful, and we had dancers. So do yourself a favor. I know we’re stuck in quarantine but maybe look up the This Is Us tour and watch it. Just for kicks. You might find yourself smiling and shaking your head…and remembering that album era differently.


One thought on “Getting Nostalgic In 2020 – This Is Us

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.