By Mark Gray | March 1, 2017 | Culture
If you majored in boy bands in the '90s, your concentration comes in handy this year.
The Las Vegas entertainment scene has hopped into a music time machine and set the dial squarely to a time when crop tops and high tops were the norm and when songs smelled like teen spirit. Yes, the city is fully embracing the 1990s and it’s paying off. In March, the Backstreet Boys kick off a 26-show residency at The Axis at Planet Hollywood (844-379-0370). Ticket sales were so swift that more shows had to be added to satisfy demand. In fact, Backstreet made Vegas history as the fastest selling residency show in the city’s modern history. It’s not just them. In February, Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd (remember them?) and a slew of others set their sights on Hard Rock’s The Joint for the “I Love the 90s” concert.
In May, New Kids On the Block, Paula Abdul, and Boyz II Men bring their “Total Package” tour to the T-Mobile Arena (702-692-1600). Luxor’s LAX nightclub has been successfully booking ’90s-era acts to perform for over a year now, as well. Why? “There’s a lot of nostalgia around the ’90s,” says Kurt Melien, president of Live Nation Las Vegas, the masterminds behind the Backstreet residency. “These people are at that perfect age where they remember what it was like 20 years ago, when they were effectively 10 to 15 years old. If this was happening five or six years ago, it wouldn’t be quite the same.” In other words: Stop, collaborate, and listen to the music of a generation we can’t get enough of.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHNNY LOUIS/FILMMAGIC (BOYZ II MEN); DENISE TRUSCELLO/WIREIMAGE (BACKSTREET BOYS); LEON BENNETT/
GETTY IMAGES (NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK); R MICKSHAW/AMERICAN IDOL 2009/GETTY IMAGES FOR FO (PAULA ABDUL)