Holiday radio shows are always fun and last night’s Mix 94.7’s Merry Mix show in Austin was no exception.
Backstreet Boys came down to south Texas to delight their fans – most of whom seemed to be in their late 20’s to early ’30s and did not hold back on the screams. The only problem was that it was quite short. Every single person at the HEB Center in Cedar Park was there for the boy band that has stood the test of time. So … the first acts kind of dragged.
After too long of a pause after being introduced on stage, presumably from technical difficulties, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, and AJ McLean hit the stage to one of their biggest hits ‘Larger Than Life.’ And, the crowd that had been waiting and waiting through sets of people they didn’t know, erupted.
After waiting two hours and 45 minutes for them, their set flew by because it was considerably short. They came by just to do their hits and two new tunes. ‘I Want It That Way’ and ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ were obviously fan-favorites along with ‘As Long As You Love Me,’ but the highlights were their two new songs.
Shawn Mendes and Ryan Tedder wrote them a song called ‘Chances’ which is the current single they are promoting. It’s a cool song about ‘what are the chances’ of a guy and a girl crossing paths, but nothing out of this world. However, the thing is that this song sounds very much like something that plays on the radio – which is exactly what they need. Take their other single ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ as an example. It helped them get some kind of resurgence into the mainstream scene as it has decent radio play, they performed it at the VMAs and CMT Awards, and is even nominated for a Grammy.
Those two songs are off their upcoming 10th studio album DNA, which drops Jan. 25. It will be followed by a world tour that includes two stops in Texas for Houston and Dallas. Even though AJ hinted that they might be adding a stop in Austin as well – perhaps more dates will be added after their first leg.
Their charisma is still on point, but they have been working very hard. Their schedule this year was full of promo, random one-off gigs like this one, and their extremely successful residency in Las Vegas. It’s been a lot. Heck, when Nick asked the audience if they were ready for winter break Brian ran from behind and said ‘I am.’ Ha!
Opening up the night was Scottish rising star Nina Nesbitt. She is someone to look out for. She has been making waves in the pop scene lately and had a very nice set last night. She did two of her singles that were great such as ‘Colder’ and ‘Loyal To Me,’ as well as a short yet sweet cover of ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears. She is releasing her sophomore album The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change on Feb. 1.
O.A.R.’s frontman Marc Roberge was up next for an acoustic set. It was good, but it didn’t fit the lineup. His music just isn’t the kind of thing that resonates with Backstreet Boys fans. It was very anti-climatic, the crowd was talking for the entirety of the set, and it sucked the energy out of the building. And, his set felt very long.
Michael Franti took the stage next and helped bring back the energy. His sets are always fun and intense, and his placement on the lineup was perfect. He ran into the crowd, had everyone dancing and singing and jumping, and really left it all on the stage. So dope. ‘The Sound Of Sunshine’ sounds much better and more fun live, ha!
Personally, I would have enjoyed a longer set from the Backstreet Boys and an opening set from Nina. That would be a great combo for a concert night. Regardless, it was a fun show right before the holidays and I’m looking forward to the Backstreet Boys new album at the top of next year!
Check out our Instagram page for photos and videos of the show later today!
(Photos: Jenna Elizondo/B&B)