So let’s throw it back…way back to 2002. Backstreet Boys were at the height of their career as far as we the fans knew, and just finished a sold-out Black and Blue World Tour. Nick Carter decided to venture off for a solo album of his own. This was exciting and scary to the fans. We were worried, what if this, and what if that…
Flash forward 18 years, it’s 2020.
Today has been 18 years since Nick released his “Now or Never” album. The Backstreet Boys have come off another sold-out world tour that is currently on hold due to a pandemic. I wanted to reflect on his first solo show as the anniversary approaches this week. I went back and watched a recording on YouTube from Karah, which you can find below.
It is hard to believe but it was 18 years ago that I first saw him at his first solo show. It wasn’t at the Hard Rock of House of Blues, it wasn’t in a club or amphitheater. It was in his hometown, Tampa, a few days before the release of his first solo album, on October 26, 2002, in a parking lot in Ybor City, which is pronounced (E bor, not Y bor, in case you are not familiar with this area outside downtown Tampa).
It was also a celebration for Tampa called Guavaween, which was a Latin-inspired Halloween celebration with a free concert from 93.3 FLZ. It was here that Nick was performing for the first time.
I was thrilled to be able to attend this event as I was completing my senior year in college at University of Tampa and went totally alone to see him, but nothing was going to stop me even getting lost as I walked around to find the exact location of the show. By the time I got there, it was not too crowded but I was ecstatic to get a spot around the second or third row, which at this point was the closest I had ever been to a Backstreet Boy or at a concert.
This was an opportunity to be the first ones to hear his solo music, to see him perform live, and just get close to see him do his thing! The show finally gets started so when he walks out in an orange jumpsuit a la “Orange is the New Black”, and handcuffs, I think every girl there almost passed out! (This is ok that he is dressed up since it is a Halloween celebration.)
He starts singing “Blow Your Mind,” and I think this has been engrained in my head for all time. I don’t think I really remember much else after he rips his handcuffs apart because it is all pretty foggy now. All I can say, is he must have blown my mind! He continued with the show to sing “My Confession,” “Help Me,” a love song with balls called “Do I have to Cry for You,” “I Just Want to Take You Home,” and “Who Needs the World.” He rocked it out to all the songs and was super excited to curse, throw water and beads at the fans, and of course represent for the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS.
Let’s come back to the present. Nick is still playing and singing his music from “Now or Never,” still loves TB Buccaneers, still crazy as ever, and loves to curse. Luckily, we are getting to experience some of this on his new Twitch page as POPKIDNICK.
Some thoughts 18 years later:
- I could have been friends with Karah way back then since she was apparently in front of me at this show.
- I could have been friends with at least a few others that were there.
- Why didn’t I go walk around after the show when he said he would go and hang out around the strip.
- Going back to the handcuffs, he threw them into the audience, and guess who got one?
- Lastly, I think I was lucky to be at his first solo show and to get to see and experience a different side of him.
So thank you 93.3 FLZ for having Nick perform that night. It really did help me and blow my mind!