Did you notice how the 90s are totally making a comeback in pop culture? It's like everyone suddenly decided that grunge, neon, and fanny packs are the coolest things ever again. And honestly, we're here for it. Seeing all the chunky sneakers and oversized denim jackets on the street is like we're all trying to channel our inner Spice Girls or something. TV shows like Saved by the Bell are making a comeback, and even old-school video games like Super Mario and Pokemon are back in style.
The 90s were a time when we didn't have smartphones or social media, and things just seemed a little more carefree. Plus, there was some seriously awesome stuff that came out of the 90s; who wouldn't want to play with a Tamagotchi again? It's fun to see all the throwback trends and remember a time when things were a little different. And let's not forget about the music - Nirvana, TLC and Soundgarden are suddenly all over curators' Spotify playlists. The Backstreet Boys (often called BSB) are on the DNA World Tour, and the BSB fever has gripped India, particularly Mumbai and Delhi since they are playing in these cities on May 4th and 5th respectively.
This American boyband consisting of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, and cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson was formed in 1993 in Orlando. They went viral with their debut album much before goign “viral” didn't imply catching a bug. Small retailers are advertising BSB T-shirts with slogans like: 'Backstreet's back', 'Everybody... Rock Your Body' and 'Am I The Only One?'. Meanwhile, influencers are making reels of their signature dance moves.
Check out this jam on BSB's romantic single As Long As You Love Me from influencers and actors Shuchika Joshi and Harsh Nayyar, done in between shots:
Fashion influencer Kavya Khurana asked her followers: “Heard the Backstreet Boys are coming to India for the DNA World Tour which is the eleventh concert tour by Backstreet Boys in support of their tenth studio album, DNA. Who’s going for it?
It is a curious thing, the appeal of the Backstreet Boys today. On the surface, their music is not exceptional – poppy, upbeat, and formulaic in its composition. And yet, something about their harmonies and choreography strikes a chord with both millennials and Gen Z. For the millennials, it is the sense of belonging that comes with being a fan of a boyband – a feeling of being part of a larger community of admirers, all united in their adoration of these five young men. Or maybe it is the sense of escape that their music provides, transporting listeners to a world of pure fantasy and romance, where love is always a catchy chorus away.
Says 35-year-old coder Randheer Mann from Mumbai, “I remember being in primary school when BSB were all over MTV. I used to make fun of the girls in my class bawling their eyes out over their posters. My guy friends and I were into rock bands like Nirvana and Aerosmith, so we just couldn't the appeal of the Backstreet Boys. Things have changed. I look back and realise just how iconic they were; watching their videos gives me feel-good vibes, so the moment their concert was announced, I booked my tickets! Ironically, all my friends who thought their music was only for girls, are the most gung-ho about their India tour. I guess the notions of masculinity have changed a lot, or we simply don't care how we are perceived anymore.”
Therein lies a deeper truth about the Backstreet Boys and their appeal. For in their music and performances, they offer a vision of a world where masculinity is not synonymous with aggression or dominance, but with vulnerability and sensitivity. They sing of love and heartbreak with a sincerity and emotional depth that belies their boyish good looks and synchronized dance moves. They show that it is possible to be both strong and tender, both confident and introspective, both a heartthrob and a role model.
22-year-old production intern Sumati Vyas missed the 90s wave entirely, but she's in on the trend. “I had heard some of their songs before, but was recently bombarded with their videos since they are all over social media right now. Their dance moves and pure positive energy had me sold. I am putting a big chunk of my stipend on tickets,” she says. It is no wonder, then, that the Backstreet Boys have captured hearts across the spectrum, offering a vision of a world where gender norms are more fluid.
Backstreet's Back, alright!