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With a brand-new Las Vegas residency, the Backstreet Boys are back

It’s about two months before the Backstreet Boys take the stage in Las Vegas as part of a multi-show residency and member Howie Dorough is in his Florida home thinking about taking a snooze in the middle of the day; he’s trying to squeeze in as many disco naps as possible. He knows that, soon, sleep will be at a premium.

“I’m definitely gonna get ahead on sleeping now because I know I won’t be sleeping much when I’m out there,” he jokes.

The best-selling boy band of all time kicked off their residency at the Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in early March, performing all their songs from yesteryear in their “Larger Than Life” show.

2017 DATES

APRIL: 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28

JUNE: 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30


Tickets can be purchased online at BACKSTREETBOYS.COM or in-person at the Zappos Theater Box Office.

“We’re definitely coming to Vegas with all the greatest hits. The main goal is to do every song and take our fans on a musical journey with us,” Dorough reveals. “We’re going to do that, but Vegas style, which means doing the best renditions and having great scenery and really blowing it out of the park. When people come to Vegas, they expect a huge show with all the bells and whistles, and we’re going to do that.”

And, forgive the pun, but their rabid fans want it that way. And to say that Backstreet Boys fans are rabid is certainly not hyperbole either.

Shortly after the group’s shows went on sale, Backstreet’s fans couldn’t scoop up tickets fast enough, so more shows had to be added to satisfy demand. After all was said and done, the group set a modern Las Vegas record for fastest tickets sales of a residency show.

“Words can’t express how that felt,” Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell says. “I hope that it turns into many, many years in Vegas, and I hope people want to see our show over and over again.”


While “Larger Than Life” includes Backstreet Boys’ biggest hits, much like the band’s touring show, the Las Vegas show has extra effects, such as magic, different melodies and an ever-evolving set list that features upward of 30 songs on certain nights.

Backstreet Boys perform at private show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Backstreet Boys perform at private show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Photo by Leavitt Wells.

“We’re doing some of the same things that we’ve been doing, but we’re also going out of the box because the Vegas show is different than a show on the road,” Dorough explains. “We’re really about putting on an unbelievable show.”

Littrell adds, “Vegas is Vegas. It’s over the top. It’s very extravagant. There’s a lot with the dynamics of this show. There’s a different energy. This show is on a different level, setting the bar higher and maintaining the mystique of the Backstreet Boys. It’s basically Backstreet Boys on steroids with dancing and showmanship.”

In September 2016, the Boys — which include Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Dorough and Littrell — got a taste of what it would be like in front of a Las Vegas crowd when they surprised a sold-out arena at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, performing two songs with country duo Florida Georgia Line. Afterward, the group again surprised the crowd by coming back out to perform a short set of their own. They received the loudest reception of the evening, in which the lineup included U2, Sting, Usher, Drake and Ariana Grande, among others.

“When people come to Vegas, they expect a huge show with all the bells and whistles, and we’re going to do that.” — Howie Dorough

“We definitely felt the love when we did the iHeart show,” Dorough said. “We saw the reaction from the crowd and heard from all program directors that we killed it. In the press the next day, it was all about Backstreet Boys. It was really cool. I think that’s when we realized that this Vegas residency was a cool thing. It was such a great feeling to be on a euphoric high with the love and appreciation that we got.”



The Backstreet Boys have sold over 130 million records worldwide.

BLACK & BLUE (2000)
THIS IS US (2009)

With album sales topping 130 million worldwide, the Backstreet Boys are bonafide international artists, and any artist of that stature will tell you that touring can be taxing on the body and family. Being in one central location like Las Vegas has immense benefits (especially considering three of the five members live in nearby Los Angeles). And, since the five guys are all family men with children, now is the perfect time to set up a home base.

“The fact that we’re doing this at this time in our careers with families is probably helpful. We know we have to pace ourselves,” Dorough says, but adds that his surroundings aren’t lost on him. “I love Vegas. I love the accessibility to all the great restaurants. I’ll admit, I love the casino. I love me some craps and some blackjack. I just gotta make sure I don’t end up paying the light bills,” he says with a laugh. “I’m definitely going to have fun.”

The group is also well aware of the history and the stigma that once surrounded Las Vegas headliners —you know, the one that said entertainers go to Vegas long past their prime. Tell that to Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars and a slew of other young top- tier performers who are now selling out residency shows on a nightly basis in Sin City.

The Backstreet Boys will celebrate their 25th year together

Backstreet Boys. Photos by Leavitt Wells.

“There’s been this huge youth movement going on. Vegas has become the mecca of the music and entertainment industries, and it’s been that way for many years. You want to be a part of what is going on in Vegas now,” Littrell says, adding that Back- street Boys can hold their own amid the glitz and glamour of The Strip.

“Our journey is something to be reckoned with,” he continues. “It’s very hard to have a stable career in the music business. A lot of people have a song or two, or maybe a couple albums, and have a small impact — and then they go away. For us, we’ve always focused on having a long career in this business.”

In 2018, the Backstreet Boys will celebrate their 25th year together. Over the years, they’ve played in football stadiums; conquered the Billboard charts; have a firm place on the Mount Rushmore of boy bands and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If their record-setting ticket sales are any indication, they’re already headed toward Las Vegas royalty. In other words, don’t sleep on the Backstreet Boys.

Backstreet Boys can hold their own amid the glitz and glamour of The Strip

Backstreet Boys perform at a private show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Photo by Denise Truscello.


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About The Author

Mark Gray is a freelance writer who has had over 2,500 nationally-published stories. Having lived in Las Vegas since 2005, Gray worked in the public relations field before taking a job with PEOPLE Magazine, where he worked for nearly eight years. A pop culture junkie, he’s a contributor to PEOPLE, Rolling Stone,,, and others. The Salt Lake City native is an unapologetic fanatic of both punk rock and country music, and when he's not studying the latest news on celebrity culture, he's likely posted up somewhere watching a gluttony of sports.

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