“Backstreet’s Back” in Nashville, and their fans never left

On Sept. 8, the Backstreet Boys took on Bridgestone Arena as a part of their “DNA Tour,” capping almost 30 years together with a loyal fan base.


Barrie Barto

The Backstreet Boys in the spotlight, captured on Sept. 8, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Veronica Tadross, Staff Writer

Backstreet’s officially Back since last touring in 2019, and it looks like, for almost 30 years, the group’s base never left. 

On Sept. 8 we took a look for ourselves at how this ‘90s boy band has charmed fans for so long when the Backstreet Boys took over Bridgestone Arena as a part of their DNA World Tour (DNA). 

DNA is the Backstreet Boys’ eleventh tour, named after their tenth album, “DNA.” While the album highlights the change in the men’s lives as they’ve grown up and started families, their set list is packed with much of the same energy that the group had back in their teens. 

At 8:30 p.m. CDT, the boys opened with the soft but powerful tones of “I Wanna Be With You” from their 1996 album, and they brought the perfectly-coordinated dance moves to match their vocals. They followed up strongly with “Don’t Want You Back” and “No One Else Comes Close” from 1999, as the audience screamed and re-lived their teen years. 

After a few solos where Brian Littrell and AJ McLean showed off their voices, the band reminisced on how far they’ve come since their start in 1993. Littrell, McLean, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough—now all in their 40s and early 50s—followed up with this talk by singing “Ain’t No Place Like You” from their “DNA” album. The song praised the value of family bonds as the mega-screen played clips of the men with their wives and families, reminding the audience that the Backstreet Boys, too, are ordinary people. 

In between a few slower songs in acapella style, similar to how the group used to practice before they wrote their own songs, the men looked back on the days when they first met. In 1993, Carter was just 13 years old with the rest of the group falling between 18 and 21. Growing up together, they are one of the longest-running boy bands, going on almost 30 years without significant breaks. 


Amidst many outfit changes, the best by far was toward the end of the concert, when the men changed into unique, all-white suits. They sang their upbeat, best-known songs from “I Want It That Way” to “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” 

When the crowd thought it was over, the men returned on stage in customized Nashville Predators jerseys to sing “Larger than Life,” my personal favorite song and seemingly the audience’s as well. 

Throughout the night, it was clear that the middle-aged women of the Backstreet Boys’ fan base (oh yeah, and us) are very loyal fans. The Backstreet Boys’ persisting success is not just a reflection of their fans but of their ability to adapt their style through different life stages as they continue to pay homage to love and heartbreak.

This was my first Backstreet Boys concert, but it won’t be my last.