Five Thoughts That Went Through My Head Watching the Backstreet Boys x Drake Collab LIVE

When the Backstreet Boys concert I was scheduled to attend in September 2020 got postponed, twice, to the Canada Day weekend because of Covid-19, I was really bummed that the show I had tickets for wasn’t going to take place on Canada Day itself. Surely, I thought, if something big was going to go down it would happen on the country’s birthday, when the Boys also had a show. BSB however, ever the trend setters, had other plans. Here are five things that went through my head on “Not Canada Day” when Drake showed up at “my” BSB show.  


1. “Is that DRAKE?!”  

We didn’t even see him at first so that reaction comes from both shock and initially only hearing a voice. I’m sure you’ve all seen The videos around YouTube but like every Backstreet Boys show, they move through songs quickly and before I even realised “The One” had ended, a sea of blue light engulfed the stage. Then like God speaking to Bruce Nolan in Bruce Almighty a booming voice starts…complaining…about how the group forgot about him. That was by far the weirdest part of the whole thing, did Sam Licata infiltrate the Backstreet Boys security? No, it was in fact the King of Canada (no worries Prince Charles; you’ll get your turn) and I spent the next few moments completely confused and just taking in everything from the audience. Every Canadian knows at least one Drake song due to national law, but people went BANANAS.  

We all remember what it was like struggling to get people to acknowledge BSB (even during the In a World Like This Tour, the last time I saw the group, I felt that) and the feeling of going from that to THIS is indescribable.  


2. “Wow – He’s Actually a Fan”  

Nothing about this was staged or done, as far as I could tell, to promote something – I’m not even sure it was rehearsed. Drake didn’t seem coached and he knew all the words to I Want It That Way. He was simply having THE TIME OF HIS LIFE.  

I wasn’t close to the stage, but his smile lit up the whole amphitheatre and you could feel his excitement. At that point I wasn’t watching uber famous Drake anymore and the shock went away. I was watching someone I recognised, a fellow BSB fan. I was kind of disappointed the Boys didn’t present him with a rose at the end of the song because my dudes, he really really wanted one. If this was staged it was done very well. Haha. But everything from his reactions to his speech seemed 100% genuine and it was beautiful to witness. Now I have two things in common with Drake. Cool.  


3. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “I Want It That Way” Would Be a Killer Mashup 

And I want Howie and Drake to sing it, as a duet (all of them sound so great live, but Howie’s voice is perfect). Those songs worked shockingly well together and you could tell Drake was loving the nod.  

I will take this time to implore the Boys and Drake to do a song together. Pretty please? For me? 


4. The Five Backstreet Boys Have No Idea How Famous They Are 

I say the “five” because I want to differentiate the entity that is Backstreet from the individual men. Those men were clearly both nervous and honoured to have him on stage. Maybe it was their smiles that helped light up the amphitheatre in addition to Drake’s, but from the vantage point I had I could pretty much make out the smiles and all the nervous body movements the Boys were making as Drake was talking and telling the story about his bar mitzvah. Nick was basically destroying his jacket tugging on it (I’m assuming from nerves) and there were so many bows of respect I’m envisioning hip replacements in some of the Boys’ futures.  

I have news for you BSB; you’re kind of a big deal. I can imagine it’s hard to comprehend, but I hope hearing Drake tell his story in front of thousands helped it hit home. There are millions of similar ones. You’ve done well.  


5. Drake is Swole 

This has nothing to do with anything but holy crap, this man must bench (“bench”? Is that a working-out term? I eat Jos Louises all day) a mini freezer full of Freezies when he works out. He’s rather fit.  

I’m honestly still digesting everything, and part of the reason I wanted to write this blog is because I know memories fade (thanks for indulging me Rose!) but I hope to hold on to them as long as I can. This journey as a Backstreet Boys fan has had many ups and downs, but after two and a half years of BSB related things being some of my only “ups”, it’s just nice to know that they’re still around and better than ever. Cool eh?  

– Gemma

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