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Backstreet’s Back? Alright!

Well, kinda

We aren’t getting out to concerts much nowadays. But that’s fine as long as we continue to get prime quarantine content from our favorites. Today’s dose of joy in darkness? Backstreet Boys reunion! Well, sort of. I don’t know if it counts as a reunion since they’re all different locations and also they’ve been performing together on tour and in Vegas for a while now but … you get the idea.

The Backstreet Boys (can we really call them boys now? They have several children?) performed as part of Elton John’s virtual “iHeart Living Room Concert for America” which was broadcast on Fox. The concert featured performances from the living rooms of all sorts of stars, not just the Backstreet Boys.

There was Dave Grohl:

Billie Eilish and Finneas.

Mariah Carey was there too, less in a living room and more in her fantastic home studio.

All of this is great, and it’s great that the concert raised over a million dollars for food banks and first responders. But let’s get back to what’s really important here: The Backstreet Boys momentarily transporting me back to freshman year of high school.

Ah, it was a heady time. I thought I was 1) straight and 2) too goth or alternative or whatever to truly love the Backstreet Boys the way those other girls did and yet “Millenium” was one of my favorite albums and I played it all the time. I think I convinced myself that my crushes on Kevin and AJ made me marginally edgier than the girls that like Nick and Brian, but who was I kidding? At least I was never into NSYNC.

I love so much about this little video though so let’s go through it. Let’s talk about how they’re obviously having so much fun, how Nick Carter has not aged a day, and how freaking adorable Kevin’s kids are. (Also whoooo boy, my Kevin-crush is back in full force). I am concerned that Howie seems to be performing in front of a … whiteboard? Maybe it’s a screen in a home theater.

But mainly, I’m just glad to see these guys doing pretty well and to see how far they’ve come since 1998. I’m happy it looks like AJ is healthy and happy in recovery. I’m happy Kevin is a dorky dad. I’m glad Nick is enjoying eternal youth and proving he is the far superior Carter brother. Everyone looks like they’re doing pretty well after a wild ride of fame and falling out of style and I definitely want it that way.

(image: Screenshot/Fox)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.