Throwback Thursday: ‘N Sync’s First North American Tour!

June 12, 2014
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A recent obsession with the app TimeHop has caused me to get sentimental almost daily. Isn’t it crazy how things stay the same day-by-day but they’re completely different once you look at the big picture? Well, today I’m here for a special edition of Throwback Thursday as we turn the hands of time back sixteen years. Yes, that’s right, June 11, 1998 was a huge day for music lovers—especially those obsessed with 90s boy bands!

Now would be a good time to close your eyes and imagine this: the summer heat has arrived and the humidity is at an all-time high at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida for the beginning of an era that would change the music world forever. Sixteen years ago was the beginning of ‘N Sync’s first North American tour, appropriately titled “‘N Sync in Concert.” The tour would continue for over a year and a half, changing names multiple times while hitting North American cities.

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Although the band had impressed girls all around the world, nobody was sure how the public would react to a tour. “’N Sync in Concert,” started at the perfect time as the band played in nightclubs, radio music festivals and state fairs. From June 11, 1998 until September 23, 1998, the band hit cities all across the continent. From Florida and California to Canada and Salt Lake City, almost everywhere got a taste of ‘N Sync. Hitting 42 cities, ‘N Sync recruited N-Tyce to join them on the road for select dates.

After the immediate success of a Disney Channel concert special, the band added more dates as part of the “Second II None Tour,” expanding to theaters and auditoriums. The second leg included opening acts Sweetbox, B*Witched and newcomer Britney Spears. Visiting 38 cities between November 1998 and February 1999, the “Second II None Tour” was full of  high-energy and screaming girls.

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After a brief hiatus, ‘N Sync stepped up their game and started playing arenas in the United States during the tour’s third leg, titled the “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now Tour.” Between early March and mid-June 1999, ‘N Sync visited 59 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Asking B*Witched, Divine, Tatyana Ali, and Blaque to join them on the “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now Tour,” the audience was definitely given a show to remember.

Later expanding to amphitheaters and stadiums, the “Boys of Summer Tour” was born. The tour’s fourth leg included a lot of friends such as Blaque, Jordan Knight, 3rd Storee, Billy Crawford, Five, INOJ, Mandy Moore, Michael Africk, P.Y.T. Trey D., Shanice, Sugarhill Gang, and Ron Irizarry. As the last leg with the nineteen track set-list, the “Boys of Summer” leg of tour would be one to last a lifetime.

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Ending on New Year’s Eve, it only made sense that a fifth and final leg titled “The Winter Shows” was added. Switching up the set list to include tracks like “For the Girl Who Has Everything,” “Music of My Heart,” and hit single “Bye Bye Bye,” we got an insight on the future of ‘N Sync. As the band focused on the west coast of the United States and Canada with three final shows in Hawaii between November 26, 1999 and January 2000, there couldn’t have been a better way to end off the 90s. Joined by A-Teens, McMaster and James, Wild Orchid, and Innosense for the last 12 shows, ‘N Sync reminded us why they were such a powerhouse. While Y2K didn’t impact the world as greatly as people were expecting, we definitely had the perfect end to the 90s!

We don’t see identically choreographed numbers anymore, further proving today’s boy bands can’t compare to those of the 1990s. I can’t decide what’s crazier—that it’s been sixteen years since ‘N Sync’s first North American tour or that I was in kindergarten as they were touring the country multiple times. What about you? Send your thoughts over to @weknowthedj, we’re anxious to read them!

Meg C. (@meganciampo)

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