With so much Lollapalooza action happening the past weekend, we almost forgot the Backstreet Boys were kicking off their "In a World Like This" tour at the First Merit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island Friday night -- and reports indicate the night did not end well for the band or fans.
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The Backstreet Boys, who first rose to fame as a late-90s boy band, saw their set abruptly cut off before the finale, leading to the awkward series of events captured in the video embedded above.
One of the band members can be heard yelling "I'm not leaving, I'm doing one more!" as the men pace the stage trying to figure out the situation. With almost 10 minutes of banter and asides to the audience, the group could have probably fit a brief a capella number in the time it took for things to get sorted out. Ultimately, things get especially nasty when AJ McLean's mic gets cut (around 5:52).
Ultimately, BSB led the crowd in a few refrains of "I Want It That Way" before heading backstage to produce an apology video (embedded below).
After a flurry of angry reactions from fans via Twitter, the band, Chicago police, Live Nation and others were playing hot potato with the blame. From the stage, the band blamed police for enforcing the curfew, while NBC Chicago reports a CPD spokesman said "[Police] had nothing to do with it."
At one point the Chicago Park District apparently tweeted in response to a fan that the call was Live Nation's, though the message appears to have been removed. On Saturday, the official Facebook site for the First Merit Bank Pavilion blamed the time crunch on the band's elaborate setup saying they started late and thus didn't have enough time to finish:
As has always been the case, the Backstreet Boys production is unlike anything else on the road. Getting this new, state of the art show ready, however, caused the doors to be delayed and the beginning of the show to be pushed back. FirstMerit Bank Pavilion has a strict curfew of 11:00 PM. Given the artist was running behind on setting their production up, the show had to end before the set could be finished.
There were erroneous reports of the Chicago Police shutting the show down. The venue on Northerly Island is bound to an ordinance that requires all performances to conclude prior to 11:00 pm. Venue management worked with the artist to complete their show within the allotted time and, when the show exceeded the curfew, the artist was asked to conclude the show.
As the Tribune noted, Live Nation is supposed to adhere to a strict 11 p.m. curfew.