The Backstreet Boys have enjoyed a wild two-year ride performing in Sin City & AJ McLean told us about the emotional, ‘bittersweet’ end of their run.
The Backstreet Boys proved they really were “Larger Than Life” when they announced their massive residency in Las Vegas, and their two-year stint is about to come to a close. Band member AJ McLean, 41, took the time to reflect on their wild run in Sin City in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. For the boy bander, the residency changed his entire perspective of what performing in Las Vegas means. “You know, it’s funny. Back in the day, my personal impression of when you have a show in Las Vegas, that you’re at the end of your rope,” the singer tells HL. “Like…It’s just done.” But — he admits Celine Dion and others who have taken their stage show to the city changed the game. “Celine was the first to prove that no, that’s not what it is anymore. This is the new staple. Then, Britney [Spears] really truly I think, set it off, opening up the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. Probably one of the coolest moments for me was, I went to go see my buddy, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic perform at the Troubadour, about a year and a half ago. He was like, ‘Dude, congrats on Vegas.’ He’s like, ‘That’s the dream.'”
As a new era of superstardom hits Vegas, AJ excitedly tells us about the incredible list of artists that have landed themselves in the Vegas limelight.”Aerosmith just kicked off theirs, and you’ve got Def Leppard, you’ve got Bruno Mars, you’ve got Gwen Stefani, now Christina Aguilera is going to come out to our theater. It truly is like the … It’s the biggest stage in the world, if you really think about it that way. It really is, because it’s such an international hub. You have acts that have fans like us, but that are from around the globe. Fans are all flying in from everywhere, so I think it’s the sweetest gig.”
As the five guys get ready to hit the stage with their residency for the last time on April 27, AJ admits the show closing holds a tinge of sadness. “You know, it’s definitely bittersweet. I think it hasn’t hit all of us yet. At the same time, it will definitely on Saturday. Obviously, everybody and their grandmother’s [are] coming out…all of our wives, and families, and friends, and it’s going to be just a celebration of life. Vegas has embraced us with open arms, and it’s such an amazingly tight-knit community out there. Nick actually moved out there two years ago. He loves it out there.I have to say though, I said this recently, when we did our little hand prints in stone, to be etched in life out in Vegas, but I said, ‘Look, we will come back. If you guys want us back here, after we’re done with our DNA world tour, we’d love to come back to Vegas.’ It’s such a sweet gig, and super easy to be in one place. I get to fly home, and fly back, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
What was only supposed to be a handful of shows for the Backstreet Boys, has now turned into a multi-year stint driven by popular demand. “What was nine shows, will now end at 80 shows,” AJ tells HollywoodLife. And that fact is enough to speak for itself.
Catch more with AJ on “LADYGANG,” Sunday at 11pm on E!