Backstreet Blockade

Moncton Times & Transcript, January 6th 1998


Hundereds of shrieking teenage fans turned fashionable Queen Street into a concert hall Sunday night as the Backstreet Boys took over Much Music's downtown headquarters. The crowd of mostly girls crushed up against barricades to get a glimpse of the singing and dancing hip hop quintet, who performed songs from their hit record Backstreet Back and answered questions from fans across the country. Much Music opened the parking lot at the Chumcity building to accommodate the hordes, but it wasn't enought, the estimated 2,500 fans filled the street from side to side "Our Canadian fans are very special to us. We won't forget you," kevin Richardson, the oldest of the group at 25, told Much Music VJ Master T. The Orlando, Florida, group has good reasons to feel sentimental about this country. Of 10 million albums sold worldwide by the Backstreet Boys to date, two million have been sold here. While they have been huge over the past two years in Europe and have only recently gained ground in the U.S., Canada, particularly Quebec, has remained a profitable and loyal market. Those lucky enough to get into the main studio enjoyed a dozen or so upbeat tunes in an intimate setting, while those outside stood in freezing rain to watch through the windows. There were some casualties, most with twisted ankles, hypothermia and over-excitment, who were hustled into the building's lobby where an impromtu emergency centre was set up. Two dozen police officers and private security kept the audience at bay while the Boys donned winter coats and stepped out into the street for an a capella version of Quit Playing Games (With My Heart). "I just love Nick, I just love him," A fan, 14, of Toronto repeated over and over through clenched teeth as she watched shivering from the street. Kevin Richardson, along with group mates A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter and Brian Littrell played to a crowd of 27,000 at SkyDome Saturday night. The clean-cut group have needed heavy security throughout their Canadian tour. Hundereds of fans in Ottawa were rewarded with autographs Friday after they lined up outside the National Press building for the group's only press conference of the tour.The group began a five-night stand last night in their mega-fan base of Montreal.

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