Into the Millennium Tour
|Tour by Backstreet Boys|
|Start date||June 2, 1999|
|End date||March 15, 2000|
|Number of shows||47 in Europe
76 in North America
|Backstreet Boys concert chronology|
The Into the Millennium Tour was a world concert tour by the Backstreet Boys in support of their 1999 album, Millennium. The tour comprised 123 in 84 cities spanning three legs. The North American legs featured concerts at arenas and stadiums and it became the fastest grossing tour of all time. The tour was beaten by the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Reunion Tour for the Pollstar Concert Industry Award for Major Tour of the Year for 1999, but won the award for Most Creative Stage Production.
Before the tour commenced, the group filmed a Disney Channel concert special on May 11, 1999 from the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The first leg of the tour was a European leg, which ran from June 2–August 7, 1999 and featured more than 40 concerts in over 30 cities and 13 countries. The first leg of the North American tour initially sold 53 dates (40 announced and 13 added due to demand) in 39 cities, scheduled to run from September 14–December 2, 1999. The entire leg sold out on the August 14 onsale date. The reported 765,000 tickets grossed sales estimated at $30 million, with face values set at $28.50 and $38.50. putting the entire tour onsale on one morning was an unusual sales method which allowed the onsale to become an event and resulted in broken sales records. A majority of the tickets sold out within the first hour of the sale, and several venues set records for sell-out speed. After adding several additional shows, the leg ultimately comprised 56 shows with some venues hosting three consecutive shows. As a result of Hurricane Floyd, which was approaching Florida, the band was forced to postpone the first two tour dates from September 14 and 15 to December 5 and 6.
This leg (if not also the final leg) was officially titled "Sears Presents Backstreet Boys Into The Millennium Tour", as Sears sponsored at least the first North American leg, as did Polaroid. The second North American leg of the tour ran from February 11–March 15, 2000. The concert at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, was the 5th most attended concert in American history and the most attended concert by a pop artist.
There was some controversy over the distribution of tickets at the Denver show of the first tour leg by promoter House of Blues Concerts. It was alleged that House of Blues had reserved a large number of tickets not purchased by season-ticket holders to private brokers, instead of offering them to the public. The brokers then resold the tickets for well above face value. The band subsequently requested that House of Blues donate $75,000 to a Columbine High School scholarship fund as compensation for their actions. The promoter agreed to make the donation to Columbine victims, but said it would offer the donation to a group of its own choosing, claiming the Columbine College Fund, chosen by the band's management, might not have been legitimate.
The staging for the tour featured a pentagonal stage situated in the center of the venues, with a 360-degree in the round audience design. The stage featured a pentagonal outer track with five ramps to a central platform. This platform would normally be higher than the rest of the stage, but could be lowered down below the stage to allow the band to enter from or exit to the "understage" area; the ramps would adjust accordingly. The instrumental band was situated in the space between the outer track and the central platform, with band members separated from each other by the ramps. The stage was also accessible by stairways down off the outer edge of the stage, from where the "understage" could be accessed. Among those involved in designing the staging was Mark Rabbit.
Performance and show elements
The band was backed by both an instrumental band of six members, and as a complement of ten backup dancers (five male and five female) who backed up the mainly for group for the uptempo numbers when the band typically also danced. Due to the in-the-round nature of the stage, the band would sometimes split up and perform one member to each side or corner of the stage, but at other times would perform only to one side of the audience.
The band began each show in a separate curtained-off enclosure elsewhere in the venue. At the start of each concert, the dancers would carry torches onto the stage to the prerecorded track of "The Imperial March", which would then be left on the stage as part of the set. The band would then rise from the curtained enclosure to the main Star Wars theme and ride to the stage on hovering surfboards by means of wire harnesses. They would circle the stage and present themselves to each side of the audience before starting the first song, "Larger than Life".
The band used several costume changes during the show. They wore their "futuristic/space" costumes for the first segment of the concert; these costumes were replaced in February a couple of shows in on the third leg of the tour. The original outfits featured blue checkerboard turtlenecks under padded blue vests. The later outfits featured moulded armour-like tops which were individually designed for each band member. As the press is typically only permitted to photograph concerts for the first several songs, these outfits became the most publicized costumes of the tour.
After the first three songs, each band member would separately introduce themselves to the audience and at the same time change from their space vests into dark trench coats for "As Long As You Love Me", which was performed with the song's "chair routine". The backup dancers performed and extended routine and the band played an extended instrumental outro as the band changed into leather outfits for the next songs. For the outro of "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)", the band was again hooked up to harnesses and flown over the crowd, each to a different side of the audience. They would also be given items by their crew to throw out to audience members. During the instrumental outro to that song, the band would again change into red and black motocross racing deflectors (plastic upper body armor) on top of black shirts and pants. Metal ladders were added to the corners of the stage for the band to climb and hang on during the next song, "Don't Want You Back".
They removed the deflectors for the next song, "The Perfect Fan", which they performed with five several sets of mothers and daughters brought onstage. Following that, a grand piano was raised on the central platform, and Kevin Richardson played a piano duet with saxophonist Mindi Abair, leading into "Back To Your Heart", which Richardson co-wrote. Nick Carter also played drums at some of the later concerts. After another costume change into white outfits and an extended intro, the band performed an up-tempo medley of "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)", "We've Got It Goin' On" and "That's The Way I Like It".
An instrumental jazz melody was used to allow the band to change into suits (initially pink, but replaced with dark pin-striped suits later in the tour). They were raised on the central platform with stools and mic stands to sing a string of ballads. They added matching fedoras for the "hat-dance" routine in "All I Have To Give". "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" featured five of the female dancers slow-dancing on the outer track while the band remains on the upper platform until after the bridge when the band members came down to the track to slow-dance with a dancer. They returned to the platform and were lowered under the stage to end the song, and ostensibly end the concert.
As an encore, the band returned to the stage in street clothes to perform "It's Gotta Be You" with a break in the song to introduce each of the dancers and allow each pair of a male and female dancer to do a brief routine. They then introduced each instrumental band member and gave them each a solo. Finally, they circled the stage to bow to each side of the audience under a blast of confetti, and ended the song, and again, ostensibly, the concert.
The band finally returned once more with the final encore, "I Want It That Way", often adding a local sports jersey to their previous street clothes. After ending the song, an instrumental outro was played as the band said its final goodnights, fooled around, shook hands with the audience members, and had a sing-along with the crowd to the final choruses of the song.
Backstreet Boys agreed to a merchandising tie-in with Burger King to exclusively sell a set of three CDs and one VHS cassette featuring songs and video respectively from the tour. Each For The Fans CD contained three live tracks from the tour, as well as three studio-recorded tracks, and enhanced computer content. The video contained footage of all nine songs, as well as interviews and other footage from around the tour. The material comes mainly from the concert in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- "Larger than Life"
- "Get Down (You're the One For Me)"
- "The One"
- Group monologues
- "As Long as You Love Me"
- "Don't Wanna Lose You Now"
- "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)"
- "Don't Want You Back"
- "The Perfect Fan"
- "Back to Your Heart" (preceded by Kevin Richardson's piano solo)
- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" / "We've Got It Goin' On"
- "That's the Way I Like It"
- "Spanish Eyes"
- "I'll Never Break Your Heart"
- "No One Else Comes Close"
- "All I Have to Give"
- "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
- "It's Gotta Be You"
- "I Want It That Way"
- Cancellations and rescheduled shows
|September 14, 1999||Sunrise, Florida||National Car Rental Center||Rescheduled to December 5, 1999|
|September 15, 1999||Sunrise, Florida||National Car Rental Center||Rescheduled to December 6, 1999|
|February 22, 2000||Greenville, South Carolina||BI-LO Center||Cancelled|
|March 5, 2000||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Myriad Convention Center Arena||Cancelled|
- "Backstreet Boys Wrap Up Sold-out World Tour". World Beat (NYRock). 2000-03-24. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Lewis, Mark (2000-02-07). "Springsteen, Backstreet Boys Win Pollstar Concert Industry Awards". liveDaily. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Waddell, Ray (1999-08-17). "Backstreet Boys Sell Out 53 Shows In One Day". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "They want it that way: Boys tour sells out in hours". The Hollywood Reporter. 1999-08-17. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Backstreet Boys Tickets Prompt Box Office Gold Rush". MTV. 1999-08-17. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Nailen, Dan (1999-10-23). "Backstreet Boys Take Success 'Into the Millennium'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Boehlert, Eric (1999-08-17). "Backstreet Boys Sell Out 53 Dates in One Day". Rolling Stone.
- Evans, Rob (1999-08-19). "Backstreet Boys Cash In On Unorthodox Ticket Sales Plan". LiveDaily. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Palace press release on Into the Millennium Tour sell-out record". Backstreet.net. 1993-10-23. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- Evans, Rob (1999-09-12). "Backstreet Boys Postpone Tour Launch To Sidestep Hurricane". SoundSpike. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Polaroid and The Backstreet Boys Create a Picture-Perfect Partnership; Polaroid Inks Sponsorship Deal for Into The Millennium Tour" (Press release). Cambridge, Massachusetts: PR Newswire. September 1, 1999. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Bob, By (2009-10-30). "U2's Rose Bowl Show Breaks Attendance Record". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- Lewis, Mark (1999-12-02). "Tour Accountants Raise New Allegations In Backstreet Boys Ticket Controversy". liveDaily. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Lewis, Mark (1999-11-28). "Backstreet Boys, House Of Blues Concerts Square Off Over Scalping Fiasco". liveDaily. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Sakamoto, John (1999-05-22). "Backstreet Boys talk about tour". Jam!. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Grassi, Giovanna; Cesarale, Sandra (June 30, 1999). "Backstreet Boys, supershow da fantascienza" [Backstreet Boys, super sci-fi show]. Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Cubillo, Igor (July 12, 1999). "Backstreet Boys no llena Anoeta en su primer concierto en España" [Backstreet Boys does not fill Anoeta in their first concert in Spain]. El País (in Italian). Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Schneider, Mitch; Rondan, Marcee; Brodginski, Todd (December 23, 2000). "BACKSTREET BOYS PREPARE FOR 2000 TOUR ON THE HEELS OF FOUR BILLBOARD AWARDS" (Press release). Los Angeles, California: Mitch Schneider Organization. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Schneider, Mitch; Rondan, Marcee; Brodginski, Todd (December 23, 1999). "HISTORY-MAKING BACKSTREET BOYS COMPLETELY RE-DEFINE THE CONCERT INDUSTRY" (Press release). Los Angeles, California: Mitch Schneider Organization. Retrieved December 8, 2013.