As soon as we found out when the Backstreet Boys would be taking over Las Vegas, we were aware that we, too, would have to take over the same week. No way were we going to miss this epic occasion and definitely no way could we wait weeks before seeing it!
So here we are, ready to tell you everything you need to know (and maybe some things you didn’t)! Normally, our posts are pretty objective and while we’ll try to stay that way here, some things we can’t help but weigh in with our own opinions.
If there’s anything we don’t cover, definitely hit us up to ask!
VIP Meet And Greet
The Pre-Show VIP Lounge
Once upon a time, Backstreet fans going to VIP meet and greets were SO over waiting in lines for hours on end. Wonderful Union listened to them and BOOM! The birth of the pre-show VIP exclusive lounge.
Upon arrival, we were fairly quickly checked in, given our lanyards (which change photos every night), two drink tickets and directed upstairs. We were then lined up to get drinks from the bar (also exclusively for VIP goers since there was no one else in the venue). For those asking what drinks are offered, everything from water to wine to champagne to ale to soda. If you consume liquids, you are covered. Also, you don’t HAVE to wait here if you don’t want. You can definitely bypass and come back.
While you’re waiting, you can take your photo with friends in front of a snazzy looking Red Carpet-esque background. This is the perfect opportunity to get those pre-BSB jitters out!
After getting our drinks (which you CAN take into the venue with you if you’re still drinking them by them), we moved into the lounge. From the photos above, you can see that it’s a totally chill club-like atmosphere. There are glow colored light orbs, a snack table, cool seating with oversized games to play while you wait.
There’s also a REALLY cool photobooth (put together by our favorite BSB photog, Justin Segura). There will be a line of people waiting to jump inside so if you want to bypass and chill with friends, we definitely had time after the meet and greet to snap our pics! You don’t want to miss it though. It comes complete with head-size BSBmojis on a stick (that we really want to own), props and fantastic lighting (seriously – I need that light in my life).
These photos from the photobooth will come to you via text or email and ready for you to share online! Don’t worry if you don’t get them immediately – the wifi is spotty in the hotel. We got ours after we already got home… 24 hours later. What a nice parting gift!
Meet and Greet
You can chill in the lounge until you line up for the photo. At our VIP experiences, we were lined up all at once. Since then, they’re trying out dividing everyone into groups so not everyone has to line up at once and you get more time to utilize the lounge while you wait, which is actually a really good idea (especially for those in fancy shoes).
Simply speaking from our own experience and observing others, the actual act of meeting the Boys is what you make it. We saw people go in with props, hats, ideas, etc. for their photo and we saw people go in, take a photo and come straight out. From the time Kristie went on Friday until we both went on Saturday, things were being worked out to make for a smoother experience.
The Boys were as kind as they always have been. Brian came out from behind the screen (where photos were being taken) to goof around and seemingly put everyone at ease, then he welcomed every person with a hug. Every. Single. Person. It was Brian, AJ, Nick, Kevin and Howie… for those of you who would like to know order ahead of time. Each of them took the time to hug everyone and at least say a little something. We definitely had time for some conversation.
We didn’t feel rushed at all – which is HUGE for VIP. A sold out meet and greet has around 150 and everyone seemed to be satisfied with the time they got. No one yelled at us to keep moving and everyone was insanely friendly.
Note: if you are someone that brings gifts to the Boys for shows, don’t. You will be made to check your bag upon entry into the venue and retrieve it later. Save the room in your luggage for merch!
Also, there is no group option for meet and greet. We used one of our individuals for a photo with all of us (which IS allowed).
Following meet and greet, we were sent back into the lounge where, as I said above, we had time to snap some shots in the photobooth.
….And freak out about meeting all of our Boys. Because that never gets old.
We’ll admit… we judged the show by the setlist before we saw the show. It’s void of anything from IAWLT and, as expected, is made up of mostly hits and singles with a few surprises (“Undone” and “Darlin'”, anyone?). For anyone wanting a timeline, the show started around 9:10ish and is 96 minutes long (thanks venue guy).
We’re happy to say that WE. WERE. WRONG. (Ok, I’m never REALLY happy to say that, but in this case…)
Here’s where we will do our best not to spoil too much for those who want to be completely surprised. Some of the things we loved the most (scroll past if you don’t want to know ANYTHING):
- The 12 minute opening megamix video that can be found here and the way the Boys appear onstage (WHAT?! Did NOT see that coming!)
- Kevin joining in on “Undone”.
- The way the Backstreet Boys collectively sound the same live as they do on the albums. Obviously, this is nothing new, but for some reason, it is very striking inside the Axis theater.
- We never expected “The Call” to be SO sexy! Wow.
- Something about AJ and Kevin rapping during “Get Down” really hyped us.
- The thought of dancers added to the show wasn’t something we were always crazy about, but they really DO add to the show.
- Brian. Littrell. Seriously, whatever he has been doing for his voice and whatever the group is doing to help is working. So much so that the first night either of us were there, we found ourselves in inevitable tears and cheering just a little bit louder.
- There’s a few ballroom moves (that we’re pretty sure Sharna Burgess had a hand in) that left us remembering how much Nick deserved that Mirrorball Trophy, but whatever. We also forgot that Kevin was ballroom trained until we saw those moves! Seriously though, all of the choreography is ON point.
- The wardrobe…whew!
- The whole production!
There’s also not a bad seat in the house. Let us show you!
These photos were taken from a table on the right side facing the stage. The view is probably the best you can get because there is NO ONE in front of you and the longer-armed Backstreet Boys can reach you pretty well. For those of you that have purchased a seat at a VIP table that included a bottle of champagne, please be aware that the bottle does not arrive until mid show. Pace yourselves! Being in the front means everyone can see you, including the Backstreet Boys. You don’t want to get sloppy.
Section 104, Row A
These photos are from section 104, row A, directly behind the second row of tables. It’s definitely a good spot if you want to see the whole stage and have a seat. When the Boys come to the “second stage”, we had a completely unblocked view of whoever was in front of us at the time. It was, however, hard to see anyone at the other end of the second stage. They all go back and forth though, so you get a chance to see everyone!
SPOILER: AJ walked right down our aisle in front of us while going back to the stage during “All I Have To Give”. When I say in front of us, I mean that he could literally step on our feet.
General Admission AKA The Pit
To be honest, being in the pit was our last night and we were tired. We were almost dreading it (the standing, not the show) after having seats and great views.
We’re here to tell you that as soon as the show started, we regretted ever regretting it. Besides the benefit of possible getting a hand touched or being seen / serenaded by Kevin, Brian, Howie, Nick or AJ, there’s just an energy in the pit that you can’t get from anywhere else in the venue. You’re IN the stage. You’re IN the show. You have no choice but to dance your heart out and feel good about it. There was also plenty of room to move around if you didn’t squeeze yourself into a small spot.
It also makes for great people watching when you turn to face the audience.
Overall, we are not lying when we tell you that if you treat yourself to ANYTHING in 2017, this should be it. The whole experience was one that we would repeat and, even though it’s only been a week since we were there, we’re ready to go back this instant!
As we stated in a previous post, this show would not have been nearly as great if it weren’t for each individual Backstreet Boy bringing something to the table or the fans who showed up, screamed loudly, and sang along to every word. Vegas is for all of us and, if you can, get yourself there to enjoy it.
Special thanks to Wonderful Union (you know who you are) for listening to us and pulling this together and continuing to listen and continuing to change things until it is ultimately perfection!
Did we leave anything out? Do you have questions? Want more photos? We have thousands. Hit us up via Twitter, Facebook, or email and we’ll tell you all the truths you need to know. Also, check out our BSB Vegas FAQ.
…. And don’t forget to share your experiences with us! Next week, we’ll start our weekly “What Happens In Vegas” posts highlighting everything that happened for the week and we want to include you guys.
XOXO. – Sara and Kristie