If you know me at all and have ever delved into the topic of 90’s pop music, you will know that I am obsessed with the Backstreet Boys. Yes that is present tense not past. I have adored these five men since I was five and I will love them until my last breath. Maybe it’s an unhealthy obsession but it’s something that I wouldn’t change about my life no matter what I would get in exchange.
So why am I so in love with this boy band?
They have always been the one constant in my life.
Like I said, I have been a fan since I was five, so for twenty years these five have been in my life. That’s a huge deal. When I was little and they were at the peak of their career, they just made music that I enjoyed listening to and dancing around my room to. I mean there was also the fact that I had a massive crush on Nick Carter. (and honestly I still do) And who didn’t?
Enter the hiatus period. I’m going to be honest it was not a good time for little me. Both the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were “breaking up”, I wasn’t allowed to listen to Britney anymore and my parents were getting divorced.
Now to be very blunt this was not a surprise. My parents never really had a good relationship, to the point that at ten I questioned why they hadn’t just divorced already. I knew that my parents staying together was not an option and I was okay with that. But in the midst of any divorce with kids, it’s inevitable that at some point the kids are not going to be okay. Now mix that with bad plutonic relations and the influx of preteen hormones and you have one emotionally insecure kid. I was confused and lost and I felt like literally no one understood me.
I turned to pop punk because it was the closest thing to therapy I could get outside of talking to a therapist, which I was incapable of doing at the time.(I’m still very uncomfortable with the idea to give you a sense of my insecurities) I went full emo kid inwardly. Until June 2005, when BSB came back with their album Never Gone. Of course still loving their music I had to get the album and hoped that it’d still be the Backstreet Boys I knew and loved. I was shocked.
The very first chord of the album struck me right in the heart and to this day when I hear Incomplete I am reminded of the emotion and pain I was feeling at that age. The song is an emotional ballad depicting being unable to properly move on without someone who seemed to complete your life. In laymen’s terms, it’s a mega heartbreak song. Which spoke to the very depths of my soul. I realized that not only was this the band I had grown up loving, they had become a catalyst for my emotions.
The album on a whole helped me deal with the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion that I had at the time and honestly it helped me out of some extremely dark moments in my life. I can actually tell you right now, as ridiculous as you think it sounds, that this boy band saved my life.
Since that album my love for the Backstreet Boys has amplified exponentially. I unapologetically love these five men because they mean so much to me. I said that they were the one constant in my life, and they truly are. No matter what happens in this world I know that their music will never change and it will always make me feel the same way that it has my entire life.
Fast forward to August 8th, 2013, my twenty-first birthday. Not only had a new Backstreet Boys album come out, and not only had Kevin rejoined the band, but they were on tour and at DTE Amphitheater on my birthday. Of course when I found out about the tour I knew I had to try and get tickets to go, but when I found out that the date for their Detroit show was in fact on my birthday, I cried. So I found myself and five of my closest friends on the lawn at DTE awaiting my favorite band to take the stage. The concert was the absolute best concert I’ve ever been to. (The performance at least… everything else is a story for another time) I’ll always remember that night and the happiness that I felt and feel every time I think about it.
So to Kevin, Brian, Nick, AJ and Howie, if you’re miraculously reading this for some reason, thank you. Thank you for a lifetime of joy and happiness that you’ve brought into my life. Thank you for creating art that speaks to every emotion and has showed me that even the darkest moments can be better. Thank you for literally everything. I hope that one day I’ll be able to tell you this in person, but until then this will have to do.