One thing many of us can agree on in the fandom is that Kevin has not been given near enough solos in the almost 30 year catalogue of music the Backstreet Boys have created.
Ok, so Kevin was on hiatus for 6 or so years…but still. They’ve had 8 albums with him on it. Nowadays, there is definitely more diversity in the musical choices and the voices we hear on the songs.
And I get so excited every time I hear Kevin’s beautiful, smooth, perfect voice. The most exciting piece of that? Getting to see him perform those songs live.
Here’s a look back at my favorite Kevin performances (in no particular order because I can’t choose!):
10,000 Promises (Frankfurt, Germany: 1997)
Many of us in the US may not be familiar with the song 10.000 promises because it was never officially released in the US. This song was released on the international Backstreet’s Back album and the US missed out. Big time. This is one of my all-time favorite Backstreet Boys songs and thankfully I managed to find an imported release of this album so that I was able to hear it. For those of you that do know this song, you might be wondering why this song is being brought up in a Kevin appreciation post. Kevin does not sing lead on this song on the recorded version. Lucky for us, prior to the release, Kevin performed this song live in Frankfurt during a concert. Even better, Kevin sang the whole song as a solo, while playing the piano, and was accompanied by none other than Nick Carter on the drums. If you’ve never heard Kevin sing this one, please take the 10 minutes to watch this video, courtesy of Aline Loiola’sYouTube page. I promise it is worth it.
Nobody but You (BSB Cruise 2018-Millenium Night)
Although we rarely see Kevin getting solos on many of the early albums, Kevin actually did have a solo song on the original Backstreet Boys “red” album which was only released outside of the US. This isn’t a song we get to see the boys perform much anymore, but it was one he did on the earlier tours. However, on the BSB cruise in 2018, when the boys went through basically every album they’d ever put out until then, Kevin did sing this one and it is awesome to see him all on his own on a song that was his own. Check out this clip from SlappySar23’s YouTube page from that cruise.
Back to Your Heart (Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2013 & Backstreet Boys Cruise 2016)
Any time I see Kevin sing this song live, I get emotional. And he tends to also…It’s no wonder he actually does not have a solo on this song on the album version. He can barely sing it without the tears flowing. And for good reason. As he has shared, he wrote this song for his fantastic wife Kristin, at a time when they were split up. The song itself has a lot of meaning in his life.
Thankfully, that love story has progressed nicely, but the emotion and pain he felt at the time is evident not only in the lyrics, but also in any live performance he does of the song. There have been a few really wonderful performances of this one that I couldn’t choose just one to share. Enjoy this performance, from Karah, of Back to Your Heart from the In A World Like This soundcheck in Tuscalossa Alabama, 2013
And this one from the 2016 Cruise, courtesy of sv02’s YouTube page.
Chances (Live in Japan, 2019)
Chances is one of the latest songs the boys have released, from the DNA album. One of my absolute favorite songs the boys have ever done for a variety of reasons.
Part of the genius of this song is having Howie sing in the lower part of his range and Kevin following him singing in the upper part of his range. It’s not what we are used to hearing from them and it is magical. The only problem on this song is that they didn’t let them sing more! Check out this live performance from Japan courtesy of BSBOfficialChina’s YouTube page.
Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely (IHeart Radio show, 2017)
Another one of my favorites from the boys. I love when each of the boys is given a chance to show off their vocals. And this one in particular just exudes beauty from each of them.
Kevin has such strong vocals every time I’ve heard him do this one live. And thankfully this is a staple in their shows. Such a beautiful song, with a beautiful sentiment and Kevin definitely does it justice every time. Check out this performance from an IHeart radio show they did in 2017 from the Backstreet Boys official youtube page.
I Want It That Way (NKOTBSB concert, Los Angeles, 2011)
The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block toured together for an epic NKOTBSB collaboration. Sadly, this happened while Kevin was on hiatus. Fortunately, Kevin did make an appearance at the Los Angeles show, much to the surprise and delight of a packed arena. Kevin joined the boys during I Want it That Way, popping up on the stage unexpectedly, and giving the most beautiful performance of the iconic and well-known song that I’ve ever heard him give.
Maybe this was partly due to the fact that we had missed the hell out of him, but either way, it was amazing. And all the feels came right along with it. He rejoined the group officially shortly after that. Check out this clip from the Backstreet Boys official site.
I know there are so many more! I’ll be digging in the archives to find them all. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this look back on some of the best Kevin live performances.