When most people hear the name Nick Carter they automatically think boyband.
Last night however, the Dancing With The Stars runner up – and yes boyband heartthrob – was in town for a solo gig in support of his third studio album, All American; which was released March 11th 2016 in Canada. A mix of beach boys and Springsteenesque tracks, the album is a catchy combination of rock and pop that for the most part makes you want to dance. When asked in a recent interview to explain what could be expected of the show Carter said: “In the beginning half, I play guitar for the first five or six songs and it’s pretty hard rock and a little edgy. We come out really strong and then we bring it down a little bit like a little romantic acoustic section. Then towards the end of the show, I do what I do best… A bunch of Backstreet Boys songs.” With that in mind, and having gone to many BSB concerts as well (read: all of the Montreal shows and many more), you can understand that my expectations were reasonably high. Thankfully he did not disappoint.
Opening with Blow Your Mind from his first solo album, Nick came on stage sporting a retro look with dark rimmed glasses that reminded me of Buddy Holly, a Danny Zuko leather jacket and with his electric guitar in hand he got the crowd on its feet immediately. The title track from the new release and after which the tour was named, All American, was playfully replaced with an All Canadian version which pleased all the ladies in attendance.
During an acoustic set, songs like As Long As You Love Me, Show Me The Meaning and Madeleine from his BSB repertoire got rave reactions. I think it’s important to note that despite recovering from pneumonia, Carter was able to hold his own during what is usually a five part harmony, showing us his well-honed range. Where he really shined however is with his own material, especially the track I Will Wait For You, a touching ballad fans became familiar with when he danced to it during the Dancing With The Stars finale. “Am I doing a good job for you Montreal?” He asked genuinely at some point during the performance, making it clear that he wanted to please.
Taking command of his stage with high energy, poise and a joyful attitude, he continued to entertain us for a full 90 min set that kept us moving and singing along. Highlights were a cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall that everyone in attendance sang along too and his newest single, 19 In 99, which translated incredibly well from audio to the stage and had everyone clapping along to the distinct beat.
My only disappoint, if you can call it that, is that he chose to end the show with the Backstreet Boy classic Backstreet’s Back and I would have preferred he finish the night with something of his own to remind us who we were really there to see. If you haven’t taken the time to listen All American I recommend it. It is available on iTunes and in stores. And I certainly recommend going to see this tour if it’s stopping in your city. A fun time is guaranteed by all.