Screaming girls, marriage proposals, and literal flash mobs . . . that was just in the1960s. The overwhelming adoration of frenzied fans, particularly from teenage girls, has a long and storied pop history from Beatlemania to the Beliebers.
There seems to be a never-ending cycle of demand for wholesome entertainment supplied by a quintet of cute boys that always have impeccable hair and polished outfits. It's a guilty pleasure that's obviously not going anywhere.
It's not just teens still getting into the act. Nineties foursome 98 Degrees just announced a decade-long reunion 15-city summer tour and fellow millennium-era popsters The Backstreet Boys still haven't called it quits, recently teaming up with noted predecessors New Kids on the Block for a "NKOTBSB" tour and the formation of a supergroup. Even New Edition is currently on tour, stopping in Houston last week.
But this boy band wave isn't all about nostalgia. Recent RodeoHouston performers Big Time Rush are evidence of a new generation of American boy bands. What initially began as a concept developed for a Nickelodeon television show, Big Time Rush blossomed into a full-functioning music group, with millions of viewers tuning into their regular-aired series and made-for-tv films. They're also making a return to Houston this summer for their Big Time Summer Tour at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on July 13.
A band that has stolen a spot on BTR's tour and has created a lot of buzz, are recent runaway chart-toppers One Direction or "1D." Who are these kids, you ask? The U.K. sensations burst onto the U.S. scene by first generating hype on the U.K. version of The X Factor. Each member — Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson — initially auditioned as a solo act but were later brought together by Simon Cowell and judge Nicole Scherzinger.
One Direction finished third on X Factor's seventh season, but have now crossed the pond and have already taken over the charts. Their debut album Up All Night debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, a new record for a British group. The boys will make a sold-out, arena-size pit-stop at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on June 24 for their headlining tour.
Fellow British import The Wanted is the latest boy band to follow in 1D's footsteps. The group consists of slightly older boys between the ages of 18 to 23 who made their U.S. television debut on Ellen. They've already scored a hit with addicting club anthem "Glad You Came" that's currently sitting at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100 and has since been climbing up due to a spot on Glee.
With a more mature sound and a bad boy image, The Wanted also aim to win over U.S. fans with a stateside debut of an album to be released on April 24. Members Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, and Nathan Sykes have been gaining exposure and seem to be in good hands — they're not only labelmates with Justin Bieber, they also share the same manager.
Could this boy band trend be just a seasonal phenomenon? Teenage girls are intense, but they can also be fickle — just ask The Jonas Brothers.