This One Goes Out To You – Happy 29th, Backstreet Boys

Honestly, I’m still riding the high of the past two weekends as I write this. But also, those shows reminded me of something. Besides the fact that the Boys will be turning THIRTY as a group next year…it got me thinking about how truly lucky we are as a fandom. Because as the pandemic reminded us, something can put everything on hold. It can and will…end some day. The way it has for all the other groups of BSB’s time.

I don’t intend any hate here, because like I went to a 98 Degrees show last year, for example. They were always a second favorite as mine. But can you think of another nineties group outside of the Backstreet Boys that never broke up? One that never stopped? One that sees themselves as a giant family the way the Boys do? Because I can’t. At all. Had anything been done differently, we could be like fans of other boybands, dependent on merch releases or nostalgia to bring them back into the limelight. Who need gimmicks to keep it going. And while there’s nothing wrong with that? It’s incredibly special to watch our Boys THRIVE after so many years.

Our Boys are still going.

Our Boys are still hungry.

Our Boys are still passionate.

And that’s to say nothing about the fact that their existence has given many of us a family we never would’ve had otherwise. I know it did for me. In the span of a decade, I’ve lost my grandparents and both my parents. I have my siblings but they’re a state away. This fandom has given me friends who reach out to make sure I’m okay. They want nothing more than to see me happy. I reach out to them just to say ‘I love you’ randomly. And I’m so grateful for that. It’s given so many of us a community and a safe space that might not still be around if they weren’t.

It’s just, wow. Who would’ve thought back in 2002, the year of the hiatus, we’d still be here celebrating our Boys going back on a massive world wide tour? Not to celebrate nostalgia. No, but because of their last number one album. Twenty years later? Wild, right? But we’re not going anywhere. We don’t gice a damn what people think, or what they’ll say when they find out that yes we’re STILL fans of the mother-fucking Backstreet Boys.

We’re still here and just like them we have no plans to go anywhere.

So really this is an anniversary to celebrate all of us. The Boys, the fandom…Everybody. (And yes, I sang as I typed that.) We’ve been here for the ups and the downs, the low key years and the years where their popularity EXPLODED. We’ve seen it all. We’ve all been there for each other and for them. Giving a level of support, love and dedication I think we should all treasure. Because it’s so special.

And I want to thank Nick, AJ, Howie, Kevin and Brian if by some chance they see this. If they read it. I mean you never know. Your beautiful harmonies might be why we became fans. But each of you, individually and as a group are why we STAY fans. We love you for your talent and for who you are. Thank you for your drive, for your energy and for your love. We feel it. And we love you just as much.

Here’s to another twenty nine years!

Where we’ll be in our…(Holy shit I’ll be in my 60s) golden years watching you sing on stools and screaming from our seats or leaning on our walkers. Because hey, as long as there be music, you’ll be coming back again right?

Well, so will we.

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