Last night I experienced something pretty epic. Two girlfriends and I trooped it down to the Molson Canadian Ampitheater along with thousands of other buzzing, makeuped and scantilly-clad female fans waiting to re-live their younger days. The minute we walked through the gates we came face to face with a myriad of opportunities to adorn ourselves in headbands, t-shirts, and glow wands all toting the band name.
We found enough space on the lawn for 3 kindergarten students and squeezed in like we’d spent our lives preparing for this moment. Others had snacks and blankets and rain boots and we had….beer. The intro act wasn’t bad but it wasn’t my age group’s true love. I spent most of the opening act shooting dagger looks at the 5 youngins in front that insisted on standing and swinging their barely covered bums in our faces and flipping their hair like they were Willow Smith. I’m pretty sure every person behind them over the age of 24 was collectively judging as they swayed and bopped together, effectively blocking views everywhere.
Then, the lights went down and we were suspended between our boring modern world and one that existed all those years ago when we made up dance routines to catchy pop tunes and argued over which one of us would marry which icon. It was the moment we’d waited for. Multi-coloured backlighting illuminated five perfect man statues and they all moved forward in unison as the music began. I knew within moments I’d have no voice by the end of the night. Every single sitting female in the place spontaneously sprang to their feet and began to sing. Beer sloshed over the edge of cups as we screamed and kept time to the music and sang lovingly to one another. We time travelled. It was 1997 all over again.
It was hours of the most unapologetic girl bonding I’ve ever witnessed and been a part of. Pure passionate shared love for a boy band we’d all since forgotten. Every word to every song came back to us in a rush and we belted them out in a collective haze of beer and excitement. We chanted and screamed and swayed and bounced and hugged for two solid hours in unequivocal backstreet bliss.
BACKSTREETS BACK, ALRIGHT!