If you were a Backstreet Boys fan from the Black and Blue era on, you might remember that the Backstreet Boys Official Fanclub was THE place to hang out. It was an obscene thought NOT to have a membership to the fanclub, or Weird World, as it was named after a fan vote in 2005. Eventually, fans started dispersing to other sites and forums, but there will always be a special place in our hearts for the original BSB Fanclub. To this day, many “older” fans still speak of the days of yore. Here’s why:
1. The Chat Room (Where The Boys Popped In)
While chat rooms have, for the most part, been replaced with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, at the peak of the Backstreet Boys Fanclub, chats were where it was at! While message boards and forums were growing in popularity, fans from around the world hung out in the Fanclub chat rooms to meet other fans, find people going to the same shows you were, and check in with on the daily to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
More than anything else though, fans were hanging out in the room primarily for the moments when a Backstreet Boy himself would wander in. Suddenly, you couldn’t read the messages coming through. This was your one and only chance to talk to Nick, Brian, Howie, AJ or Kevin! It didn’t happen on a regular basis, but when one of their names popped up, you stopped breathing. There wasn’t even video – this was simply just one of the Boys typing words to us. There was also NOTHING worse than coming into the chat right after one of them had left. Mind you, this was before screenshots were abound so you had to reply on the kindness of other fans to tell you EVERYTHING he said (which was usually nothing important). Many fans lost so much sleep trying to catch a Backstreet Boy in a chat room, but it was fun while it lasted.
2. The Beginning Of Soundcheck Parties (That You Had To WIN!)
That’s right, folks. Soundcheck parties weren’t actually a thing until the Never Gone tour in 2005 and it was completely different. You had to be a member of the fanclub and you had to enter a lottery to win two passes. There were only so many passes per show and winning them was like winning Backstreet shaped gold. There was NO WAY to buy these passes and the soundchecks were much more of a technical soundcheck. Also, there was no meet and greet included. At the end of the soundcheck parties, the five Backstreet Boys would gather in the center of the stage and allow you to take pictures of them. While this may not sound like a “perk” to the fanclub, there was something about the humble beginnings of what’s now a huge VIP process, the anticipation of entering and the shock of winning. We LOVE how it has evolved and how many opportunities we have to meet our Boys now, but it all started with Weird World and a fangirl dream. And GroundCtrl.
3. The Best Concert Tickets In All The Land (With Limits)
Back in 2001, the business of buying a ticket to a Backstreet Boys concert was SERIOUS business (as it still is, but now we can drink about it and not depend on our moms to know what they’re doing). The higher demand though, meant ticket limits and you HAD to be a fanclub member if you were going to get anything decent. The limit for the Black and Blue tour was 4 per membership and some of us had badass parents (Thanks, mom!) who bought two memberships to accommodate all 6 of your friends. There was nothing more nerve racking though than being in school, knowing tickets were going on sale, and not having a phone to text your mom and ask if she got them (because texting wasn’t a thing!). After finding out she got you FLOOR seats, you spent the next few months obsessing over that floor chart and watching all the exclusive videos that came with your fanclub membership. Life didn’t get better than that!
4. Nick’s Corner (And Other Exclusive Videos)
The creme dela creme of the fanclub will ALWAYS be the exclusive videos posted throughout tour and other events. During the Black and Blue era, there were things like Brian cam, backstage videos, and videos like the above of the Backstreet Boys just being boys. We were on everyday looking for new posts. Then, the official fanclub turned into Weird World and we were blessed with what everyone still talks about to this day: Nick’s Corner. That’s right, someone gave Nick Carter a video camera and allowed him to record random videos of what was going on JUST FOR US. They were the best things EVER and honestly, the only thing we REALLY miss. Sure we have Instagram and Periscope, but waiting for 4-6 minute videos to be posted was like Christmas day. For your viewing pleasure, I have dug up the original Nick’s Corner videos (including the infamous fan favorite Backstreet On Ice). Enjoy the laughs and the feelings!