As everyone knows when the Backstreet Boys go on tour for a new album they mainly perform their past hits and songs from their newest album. It’s rare that they perform songs that were only album tracks from past albums on a current tour. The DNA tour is a prime example of them including those songs. Many didn’t expect songs from Black & Blue or Millennium on the set list that weren’t singles. Or even songs from their first two albums Backstreet Boys or Backstreet’s Back. Albums that were never released in the U.S..
There were occasions in the past where you got to hear songs they don’t normally perform. Such as on their cruises, after parties, and when they used to do soundcheck parties prior to concerts.
With the Backstreet Boys 30th anniversary coming up next month, April 20th, I decided to share 10 songs that I think are underrated. Including songs they should perform again or songs they never sang live.
10,000 Promises (Backstreet’s Back, 1997)
It may not be underrated by fans, but 10,000 Promises is a song many may not know about because in the U.S. Backstreet’s Back was never released here. Unless you are a die-hard fan that bought the album, or the A Night Out with the Backstreet Boys home video/DVD it’s not as widely known. Even if they performed it on tours such as NKOTBSB and In A World Like This. Let’s throwback to their A Night Out performance.
I Still (Never Gone, 2005)
Never Gone isn’t an album I’m a fan of, but it does have a few good songs that are some of my favorites. I Still was the third single from Never Gone. The song could be considered underrated in the U.S. due to Climbing the Walls being the final single here. The rest of the world got I Still. Most people may not know of it unless they own the album.
It’s been several years since they sang it live and they should bring it back. The first time I heard the song live was during their Up Close & Personal Tour in 2005. Where they previewed songs from Never Gone before it was released. Here’s a performance of I Still from Germany.
Everything But Mine (Unbreakable, 2007)
On the opening night of the Unbreakable tour in Tokyo, Japan Everything But Mine was on the set list. The next night it was removed and never to be performed again on the tour. They did however sing the song during their soundcheck party prior to the concert in Hong Kong. There is a video on YouTube here.
They should have kept it. It’s a fun uptempo song that reminds me of their dance pop sound. I still listen to the track every now and then. Since Kevin’s return to the group the guys don’t perform songs from Unbreakable or This Is Us. on tour. Other than Undone from This Is Us. They have sung a few songs during their cruises. So, why not on tour? Is it necessary for Kevin to sing songs he wasn’t around for? I feel fans would love to hear them even if he’s not singing with the other guys.
Unmistakable (Unbreakable, 2007)
A mid-tempo ballad that I loved from the moment I first heard it. I still enjoy the song as much as I did back then. It’s a pop mid-tempo ballad and probably one of my favorites. There’s so many songs it’s hard to choose a favorite, but this song has stuck with me ever since. They performed this song during the Unbreakable tour and you can see their performance from the O2 Arena below. Would love to hear them sing it now knowing that Nick’s voice has improved since 2008.
Downpour (Unbreakable, deluxe edition, 2007)
Depending on what country you’re from Downpour was either on a deluxe edition of their Unbreakable album or a bonus track. Again another mid-tempo track. The song has a lot of emotion from each of them. I felt it was deserving to be a track on the album rather than a bonus track. Nonetheless, I was glad that they released a deluxe edition of the album so we could hear two more songs. The other song was a track called In Pieces.
This Is Us (This Is Us, 2009)
The title track to their second album as a quartet is a pop/r&b mid-tempo song. This album was where we saw Nick’s voice had vastly improved and sounded his best. His part in the second verse and the note he holds after the bridge is an example of that. Below is a performance from their This Is Us tour in Toyko, Japan.
If I Knew Then (This Is Us, 2009)
This mid-tempo track could be classified to be more uptempo than most. Sort of like Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) where it’s a mid-tempo track that makes you want to dance. While I appreciated the guys for going back to the pop/r&b genre on This Is Us, many of the uptempo songs lacked lyrically. The guys didn’t perform this song on the tour except on a few occasions including the show I attended in Pittsburgh. They performed the song on Lopez Tonight in 2010 and on their cruise.
Make Believe (In A World Like This, 2013)
A new era with Kevin returning to the group after 6 years. This album was their first independent album and one where they wrote many songs. Make Believe was written by Nick, Kevin, Howie along with Dan Muckala (who wrote/produced Incomplete and others). This song was another that I instantly loved and still do. I always felt this song was more like a fictional story. I liked that it wasn’t a song about loving someone, missing them, etc and a story instead.
If we could only make believe
You and me together
We could be king and queen
Rule another world forever
We’d set our course to live or die
Across the universe I’d be by your side
If we could only make believe
I’d love for them to sing this song live someday. This is another song they have never sung live at a concert except during a soundcheck party.
Madeleine (In A World Like This, 2013)
Back in 2013 the Backstreet Boys held a 20th anniversary event where they previewed a few tracks from their In A World Like This album. Madeleine was one of them. AJ described the song as being about all of the bullying that goes on. I remember being at the event and happy to see that they did a song about bullying. As a victim of bullying myself it meant a lot. Listening to the lyrics, the song could be for anyone going through a tough time. It’s an acoustic type song and the guys would play instruments during the performance on tour.
I think the song is underrated mostly for the fact that songs like this don’t seem to get praise or attention. Below is a performance of the song from MTV Live Vibrations.
Let It Be Me (Steve Aoki, 2019)
While the Boys were working on their DNA album they also worked with DJ/producer Steve Aoki. This resulted in the song Let It Be Me. A song about going through hardships to be with the person you love. The music video features stories of those who dealt with those hardships. While the song had a mixed reaction among fans, it is underrated for the fact that not many people may know about it. Once the song was released they began to play it before their show during the DNA tour. It was at the iHeartRadio Music Festival where they performed the song alongside Steve Aoki in 2019. This was the only time. The performance features the couples that were in the music video. You can watch the music video here.