Backstreet Boys Talk New Dance Numbers and What Moves They Can't Do Now (Exclusive)
By Miguel A. Melendez
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The Backstreet Boys admit they can't rock their bodies like they used to. It's called aging, and when it comes to their dance routines, they're trying to avoid an aspect they didn't have to deal with when they were rising young stars -- pain.
Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Kevin Richardson sat down with ET's Cassie DiLaura at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where the group kicked off its DNA World Tour. The four-show pit stop in Sin City includes upcoming shows on Friday and Saturday before they take the show on the road.
The group opened up about nostalgia, taking their families on the road and yes, the dance routines they're now avoiding so they can make it back to their tour buses in one piece. When asked if their dance moves feel the same as they did years ago, Howie, 48, was quick to say, "They hurt more!"
A.J., 44, expanded, "They don't hurt as much in the moment," prompting Kevin, 50, to chime in, "They hurt later that night."
Nick, 42, told ET the group added four new dance numbers to their routine and new choreography to old numbers, so expect the group to dance a little bit more this time around. That being said, there are a few dance routines the group says are a no-go.
"We can't get down on our knees anymore 'cause we can't get back up," Howie quipped.
"We used to be in a standing position, drop to our knees and then -- with no knee pads on -- and then pop right back up," Kevin explained. "We don't do that anymore. We don't do kip-ups anymore, when you're laying on your back and kip-up. We don't do splits anymore."
More recently, A.J. recalled a dance routine for "New Love" from their 2019 album, DNA, that makes him uneasy.
"I'm sure I'm not the only one, but there is a moment in one of the new records off of the DNA album, a song called 'New Love,' where we do bend down and go up and down and up. And, man, that one stings a bit. For me, with my knees. I'm trying to get as low as possible so that it looks good, but, man."
The group said there were some "hiccups" on opening night of their tour -- hiccups Kevin said that "nobody but us probably noticed." Still, they were ecstatic to hit the stage in a new normal, post-COVID lockdowns.
"It feels great to get that number one under your belt," Brian, 47, said. "We spent the past three and a half weeks in rehearsals, which is tough on the body, just banging, banging, banging. But once we hit the stage, I think it's just seeing the reaction and the smiling faces and people singing the songs. Like Kevin said, it was time. And everybody's just juicing for live entertainment and live contact. A.J. was joking, 'Hey, we get to see everybody's faces.'"
The Backstreet Boys, the pop group that rose to stardom in the mid-1990s and whose fame has more than endured nearly three decades later, are cognizant of the fact their fan base are now adults who want to harken back to their childhood when they show up to one of their upcoming concerts.
"Backstreet Boys represents a really special place in time with nostalgic music and it makes people happy," Nick said. "And so I'm looking forward to getting back out there and just giving a little joy to everyone's life."
The band's world tour will see them play across 83 cities, including international stops in Mexico City, Vancouver, London, Berlin, Sydney, Amsterdam and Barcelona. That they're traveling and getting back out there is sweet, but the true icing on the cake is each member will have their family in tow.
"It's a vacation for our families," Howie said. "[It's] exciting to them to get out there and travel the world and going over to Europe and seeing places that our kids are now studying in school. It's almost like the best education you can give them."
"We make a vacation out of this," Kevin added. "We each have our own bus. All of our families are on the buses with us. On days off, we go to destinations, we'll go to campgrounds, national parks."
The kids will also witness for themselves the magnitude of the group (they've sold over 100 million albums worldwide) and the impact that reverberates around the world to this day.
"I think as they've gotten older, some of our kids freaked out," A.J. said. "I'll never forget, we did Good Morning America and Kevin's son freaked out because all the girls were screaming and they were yelling for dad. And he was like, 'Whoa, this is overwhelming.' And now it's like, 'My dad's cool. My dad's awesome.'"
Nick, who has three children, said he's going to bring his middle daughter, Saoirse Reign, on the tour, and he's really interested to see how she'll react to her father getting so much attention from fans all over the world.
"I'm really interested to see how she's going to react because my older son, he doesn't really care about music that much, but she's the one that's always singing. And so I want to see her in the audience, see what she thinks. I have a feeling she's going to look around and she's probably going to give some dirty looks to some of the girls out in the audience and be like, 'What is going on?!' And then she's probably going to do what A.J's daughter did at one time. 'Get off the stage. Get down, get down now,' right?!"