“You still like the Backstreet Boys?”
We get the question a lot. Sometimes we simply answer yes and sometimes we get really passionate in answering (especially when someone talks about how she or he is a fan too, but only knows “I Want It That Way”). The truth is though, for most, we don’t have the time to answer every reason we’re still a fan of the Backstreet Boys. Sometimes, we don’t even have the words.
But let’s try.
Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick came into our lives when most of us were just children. Our biggest worries were homework, tests, who we were going to hang out with that weekend, and what would we would be when we grew up. For others of us, they came in when life was rough and provided an escape. The common factor in every situation was that these Boys made us happy. They created some of our best memories when we awkwardly danced and flailed with friends to new albums and voted for them on TRL everyday. As we grew, their music was the soundtrack to some of our very first dates and heartaches.
Bands and artists that had hit their peak at the same time as the Backstreet Boys started going their own ways and we tried to keep the faith everyday that our Boys weren’t lying to us when they said as long as there’d be music, they’d be coming back (legit what they said – we’re not making it up).
They never lied to us.
Not about marriages.
Not about rehab.
Not about babies.
Not about sometimes needing a break.
It’s like it was never even an option for them to quit on us. So why in the world would we quit on them?
They grew up, got in trouble, got married, had babies.
We grew up, got in trouble, got big people jobs so we could afford our Backstreet habits, got married, got divorced, broke up, made up, had babies, took those babies to BSB concerts, etc.
We grew up together. They kept on working to give us the best that they could and without even thinking, we did the same. They may not be the best at everything (ahem, being on time), but we rest assured that they try as hard as they can to do as much as they can in the best way that they can just as we do for them. As fans, we can be demanding, obnoxious, obsessive, and a little crazy, but that never stopped them. That is more than we can say for some of our friends and family. They never gave up on us. They trust us to show up.
So, we show up. We continue to tell them to their faces (because we can do that now, 10-year-old selves) what they’ve done for us and how much we appreciate each one of them because, as we grow older, we learn more and more in the hardest way that nothing lasts forever. We go to every concert we can and we make sure they hear us. We make sure that the joy of every memory they’ve given us fills those venues and somehow seeps into each of them. We’d never forgive ourselves if they didn’t leave those stages knowing exactly how proud we are of them and how much we still love them. As much as we did 20 years ago. As much as we do now.
Every tour they still do is our World Series. They’re our team and we’re going to root from the stands everytime. Every album, every event, every appearance, every kind word from one of them is a reminder for each one of us of why we are still fans.
Because they’re still the Backstreet Boys. Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick have given up a piece of their privacy, sacrificed time with their families, spent endless days with us instead…. because maybe along the way, we became part of their family too.
So yes, it’s 2017 and we’re still Backstreet Boys fans. We will still be fans in 2018 and 2019 too. We don’t expect you to understand, but we hope that at some point in your life, you find something that is as reliable and gives you as much joy as Kevin, Howie, AJ, Brian and Nick have given us. If you think that’s stupid, that’s sad for you. Come to a concert with us. We promise you’ll feel differently.
They’ll probably even sing “I Want It That Way” for you.