LE ZENITH, PARIS, BSB WORLD TOUR '97

My mum and I saw the advert for this particular concert in "Smash Hits" magazine before Christmas and decided to go to the concert and have a mini-weekend in Paris. I was really excited and I couldn't wait until I would see the lads again, after their UK tour in November '96.

It took forever to get to Paris by train and I was glad when we got to the hotel on the Friday afternoon, the day before the show. Once we had settled in we went to do a bit of shopping, starting with Virgin Megastore, a megastore it was!! I found 6 different versions of various BSB singles, so I bought them all, much to the dismay of my mother's credit card!!

Saturday came and we went and had another look around the shops before heading off to the venue to see how many people were waiting. As it was unreserved, many girls had waited from the early hours to get the front row, previous experience tells me that this can be both good and bad (Newport report, UK), so we decided to take the show in our stride and wait until about 5:30 before we would wait with the other mass of fans. We wandered around to the backstage area where we waited for 2 hours to see the boys arrive. However, we didn't see anyone arrive, no blacked out bus appeared. The fans were puzzled, but not too bothered as they were just concerned about the show. Whilst we were waiting, I was mobbed by a group of French girls who had spotted my photos from the previous shows and proceeded to scream and shout as they went through them, every time they saw a close-up pic of their fave BSB. I finally escaped at 4:oo p.m., back to the hotel room where we got showered and changed. I was determined to get picked for the "I'll Never Break Your Heart " section, so I chose decent clothes and made sure I looked stunning. When we got there the crowd hadn't really expanded that much, so we got in the queue and waited. Eventually they started letting people in, the organisation was NOT exactly spectacular so I got a little crushed, memories of Newport came flooding back!! Once inside we made sure that we were in a seated position, I couldn't be bothered to fight my way to the front, besides, I was gonna get picked!! Or, at least, so I thought. The arena wasn't sold out and there was plenty of room on the floor area so I could dance around to "We've Got It Goin' On".

The support group were naff, even more so because they were singing in French, not that good for the English people in the audience!! We soon realised that the sound was also a bit suspect, they obviously hadn't spent enough time on the sound check.

Finally, BSB came on, after their baby pics had been flashed to all the girls. Cries of "Aawwwwwwww" could be heard as photos of ,a very cute, Nick were plastered over a huge screen, he still looks exactly the same!! Once they arrived on stage it was clear that the show was a totally new one and I ran down to one side of the stage, where I could see perfectly, I was practically on the front row!! They were all wearing space age type clothes and Nick was sporting a freshly dyed haircut, obviously a trip to the hairdressers had taken place!! The crowd went mad, BSB fever hits France!!!

I went back to my seat and listened to them singing, the sound was sooooo bad!!! I couldn't even tell what they were singing!! I finally realised when I heard some familiar sections of "We've Got It Goin' On" so I started doing the dance, on my own, in the middle of the floor area!! A few people pointed, but I didn't really care, I was having a great time. Once again, I can't remember the order, but they sang everything off the album except for "Every Time I Close My Eyes" and as usual they did their own individual stuff. I couldn't recognise any of them, the sound was totally off, but maybe you should take a look at the Stockholm concert review, she seems to know what they sang. Even though the concert was excellent, I didn't enjoy it as much as the UK tour, the lads didn't seem to be as slick and well-practised as before. Kevin screwed up a couple of dance routines and Nick's drum kit had to be fixed just before he was due to play.

All the way through the show I was trying to picture myself on the stage with Nick, during "I'll Never Break Your Heart", needless to say, I was devastated when the tables didn't appear on stage and they sang the song without ANY girls on stage!! So my dream was over, SOB SOB!!

They also sang a new song from the album, it was either 2000 Promises, or 10,000 Promises, I can't remember. I bet when the album comes out it isn't either of them!! I'm sure that they all sang really well, but it really was ruined by the poor sound quality, and that's an honest fan's point of view!!

The encore included "Get Down" and "I Wanna Be With You"and the crowd went MAD!!!! They got a brilliant reaction, the whole crowd on the floor jumped up and down, whilst I ran around to the side of the stage and fought my way to the front again. It was really good cause you could see everything from different angles. They seemed really pleased that everyone was enjoying themselves and looked a little sad after the last song which was "Quit Playin' Games." I actually thought that a faster song would have been better, but it was still good and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

The show was really good, but I have to say that the lads need to practice it a bit more before they get it as slick and smooth as the last tour. But who cares??? We love 'em anyway!!

Written by Sara Watson, the Backstreet Babe.

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