The boy band, that pop culture phenomenon that peaked in the 1990s, seems to be making a comeback, and this year’s new tours from bands young and old are proof.
Big Time Rush, launched from their 2009 Nickelodeon show directly to tween stardom, will be making the rounds of the United States this summer. After finishing up some U.S. dates this month on their frequently sold out Better With U Tour, the quartet kicks off their Big Time Summer Tour on July 5 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.
Countering conventional wisdom that the boy band faded out with Y2K, Big Time Rush have achieved significant success in the U.S. since their start. Their 2010 debut album, “B.T.R.” was certified gold and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 100, and their television series has been renewed for a third season.
On their upcoming tour, the BTR boys will hit 50 plus cities across the U.S. and Canada in support of their second studio album, “Elevate”. At this time, the group is scheduled to wrap the tour on Sept. 18 at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, OR.
Another boy band is following in the footsteps of the internationally famous 1990s British group Take That. This year’s U.K. sensation, British-Irish group One Direction, was formed on last season’s reality singing competition “The X Factor,” when Nicole Scherzinger suggested that the five male singers form a group.
The band finished third in the season’s competition, but their subsequent debut single, “What Makes You Beautiful” hit the U.K. Singles chart at No. 1 and was the third fastest selling single of 2011. “Up All Night,” their debut album, peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. Albums chart and was the fastest selling album of 2011.
Despite the temporary absence of band member Zayn Malik due to a death in his family, 1D is currently finishing up their first U.S. tour, opening for Big Time Rush in their final Better With U concerts at such venues at Radio City Music Hall and Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. The band will also perform at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, and they will appear on the network during this month to host Saturday nights on Nick. In April, the group heads to Australia for a number of dates.
But the most anticipated boy band news of the year may just be that of teenybopper icons The Jonas Brothers. The group, which has been on hiatus since last year to pursue other projects, is set to debut new music in the coming year, according to MTV News.
Brothers Joe and Nick have found that their solo efforts over the past year did not match the success of the group’s previous work, and in recent weeks Joe confirmed to MTV News that the group is moving toward a new release.
Joe and Kevin plan to join brother Nick in New York, where Nick currently stars in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. There, the brothers will continue to work on an upcoming album, which Joe suggests will be out either late this year or early 2013. Joe also reports that some performances are booked as well, but no details are available at this time.
Formed in 2005, the JoBros were heavily promoted by Disney and rapidly gained popularity among the tween set. Their self-titled 2007 album was certified two times platinum and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. 2008’s “A Little Bit Longer” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album chart and eventually went platinum. 2009’s “Lines, Vines and Trying Times”, the group’s last effort before going on break in 2011, also debuted at No. 1 but performed less well than their previous two efforts.
The Jonas Brothers have played frequently to sold-out crowds in recent years, with their 2009 World Tour the sixth highest selling tour of that year.
The year’s new boy band tours, combined with the success of last year’s sold out shows by the Backstreet Boys in joint concerts with New Kids on the Block, do seem to signal an awakening of the tween masses once again to make boys bands the next — once again — big thing.