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A Journey Through the @Backstreet Boys DNA Tour Set Designs

by | Mar 31, 2020 | Backstreet Boys, Boy Bands, Concert Reviews, Music, Review | 0 comments

With the North American Summer tour dates around the corner we’ve been feeling all the DNA vibes over here and decided to rewatch the show in full on YouTube. What a way to round out week two of quarantine, right?! There are tons of great videos of the DNA Tour shows out there, but we chose this one because it does a really great job of capturing the set design as a whole and if you’ve read any of our other posts, you know that we’re all about the aesthetics!

So let’s take a stroll down DNA Tour memory lane and share some of the highlights of this insanely fun set design, shall we?!

Aesthetic: black and sparkly gold

Songs: Introduction sequence

Overall vibe: exciting, suspenseful, upscale, successful

First things first, that damn intro. The BSB crew is SO good at getting our hearts racing with anticipation before the boys make their first appearance on stage. The flashing gold aesthetic, perfectly coordinated with the beat of the music makes for an even more dramatic build-up. We’re then shown the Backstreet Boys’ entire discography in flashing gold DNA font on the big screens, taking us through a journey of the successful records leading up to now — and we’d venture to say most of those records are certified way past gold. 😉 Finally, the first visual reveal of the boys on screen is so freakin’ epic and still brings tears to our eyes every time we see it!

Aesthetic: red + black

Songs: Everyone / I Wanna Be with You/The Call / Don’t Want You Back

Overall vibe: dramatic, edgy, bold, sexy

This show takes us on a journey through quite a variety of different looks and feels from the set design alone, but we really love that they kicked things off with the red and black theme, giving us DNA vibes even though they were singing some of the classics. Could this be a nod to the purpose behind the tour itself—promoting the DNA album?! 

This is also when we first get to see the lighting setup as a whole—with those geometric lights framing the stage. These elements are totally the key (in our opinion) to making the look of each set so unique while pulling everything together in a fun, cohesive way, too!

We’ve gotta note how well-coordinated their outfits are with this set design, too! The overall vibe is made that much edgier with their black getups — especially during New Love! This song definitely kicks up the sexy factor a notch, and not just because of all the thrusting and crotch-grabbing (though, that certainly helps). The introduction of background visuals on the big screen behind the stage is what really contributes to the sultry vibes we all already expect from a song like New Love.

Aesthetic: purple + pink

Songs: Chateau

Overall vibe: relaxing, fun, nostalgic

Despite the fact that this was a very small part of the show, we felt that it was necessary to highlight in regards to set design. Is that because hot pink and purple are two of our favorite colors? Maybe. But we also couldn’t help but notice that this ignited some Vegas residency vibes for us…during Chateau…coincidence? We think not. 😉

Aesthetic: nature scenes 

Songs: Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely / Incomplete / Undone

Overall vibe: moody, somber, dramatic, 

Throughout this sequence of these songs, we experience a LOT of feels, and the subsequent set effects make sure those feels are amplified x100. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely kicks things off with some really dark and moody blue lighting, coupled with cloudy smoke visuals on that big ol’ trusty screen. We feel like we’re floating through heartbreak. Mission accomplished?!

Incomplete is where things start to get weird. We admit, we don’t understand all the nature visuals used throughout this show (if you do, please explain! lol) but hey, brownie points for creativity!? During the next couple of songs, we get a variety of more subdued lighting balanced with those random nature visuals—water droplets on plants, a colorful waterfall, just…lots of wetness…oh wait…NOW it makes sense! 😉

Aesthetic: stained glass

Songs: Quit Playin’ Games with my Heart

Overall vibe: colorful, carefree, 

This one definitely caught us off-guard so we figured it deserved a mention. We have no idea what church-like stained glass windows have to do with QPGWMH but…it’s pretty?! Kelsey did note that this is her favorite and most nostalgic BSB song so this set design almost felt symbolic in an emotional way to her — like, “HECK YEAH, BOYS. TAKE US TO CHURCH!!” We digress.

Something that we do love about this part of the show is that the boys took a break from choreography to sit down on the platform, walk around, goof off, and interact with fans. While this isn’t a part of physical design, their actions are certainly part of the overall aesthetic and this starts to give us a really laid-back, fun, and carefree appeal for this song. (Which, again, doesn’t really align with stained glass?!) 

Whatever, we can’t help but feel like we’re at a boyband megachurch when everyone in the crowd starts waving their arms back and forth and, well, that’s pretty damn cool. ???? #PraiseNick

Aesthetic: minimal lighting/effects, main focus on the guys

Songs: Breathe, Drowning

Overall vibe: simple, minimal, symbolic, important

The boys’ performance of Breathe was ALL about their voices (as it should be!) and the set design for this song made sure that we knew that! With literally NO lights other than the spotlights and simple single frame, arenas experienced a huge contrast here from all the colorful flashing lights and visual effects that had been present for previous songs. The use of the moving platform here was super unique too—it allowed the guys to stay just standing still as they focused on those beautiful singing voices. We love how it began to rise once they started singing, almost as if they were powering the platform with their acapella. This was a much-needed break in the middle of the show, allowing us to regain composure after all those high-energy vibes and giving us a chance to, well, breathe. 

Sidebar shout-out to Drowning, which also utilized minimal lights and no background video, but brought in some purple and shades of blue to give us those underwater feels. We also freakin’ LOVE when they get the whole crowd clapping and the strobe lights begin flashing along to the beat—so fun and interactive!

Aesthetic: super colorful lighting + all-white outfits

Songs: Everybody / We’ve Got It Goin’ On / It’s Gotta Be You / That’s The Way I Like It / Get Another Boyfriend / The One / I Want it that Way / Larger Than Life

Overall vibe: fun, exciting, high-energy, happy

Way to go out with a bang, huh?! This was probably our favorite aesthetic from the entire show. We’re suckers for bright, bold, happy colors, and that’s exactly what the set design for these songs gave us. 

The best part just might be the contrast of the colorful lighting and visual effects with the boys’ all-white outfits. If they weren’t wearing all-white, these songs wouldn’t have the same effect. I mean, this is a collection of some of the biggest classics, and these outfits are super nostalgic (hence why Millenium is our favorite album cover)—the perfect pairing!

Also, who remembers what colors the lights changed to during Get Another Boyfriend?! Black and blue! HeyooOOo!!

Finally, ending with Larger Than Life (which we felt was also symbolic in a way since this is how BSB Vegas started) gave us ALL. THE. FEELS. While still channeling those colorful, happy, nostalgic, vibes, this song gave us the grand finale of the decade by bringing out every single special effect all at once. (And somehow not looking like a shit show?!) We also love how the spotlights were going wild all over the audience during this song, perhaps intentionally shining the light on the fans since that’s who the song is all about?! 😉 #cute

Before we wrap up, we’ve GOTTA give a shout out to those epic video intermissions used periodically throughout the show. It’s amazing what these video sequences can do—gets you completely amped up as if the show is starting all over—and the guys aren’t even on stage! Seriously, whoever creates these things, you’re our hero. Our all-time favorite concert video will forever be the BSB Vegas intro mashup, but these ones came pretty close in our book! 

And can you believe it, folks?! That didn’t even cover the entire show! Damn, we are spoiled. Tell us in the comments—what was your favorite part of the show? (We’ve got the fangirls answers here!)