N Sync are downsizing from last year's stadium tour with spring dates that pass through relatively intimate sports arenas. R&B singer Ginuwine will open for the first two weeks, and then Smash Mouth (with Steve Harwell) will join the outing, which runs from March 3rd through April 28th. "We love to have anybody on the road with us," says 'N Sync's Chris Kirkpatrick. "As long as their stuff is catchy, we're not particular about what style they play."
"We were looking for something a little different," says Brad Wavra of Clear Channel Entertainment, which booked the tour. "The one thing we hadn't done was to put a straight-ahead rock band [with 'N Sync]."
'N Sync's performances will be more stripped-down than usual, and each member plans to perform a cover song representing a key influence. Kirkpatrick will likely choose a Paul McCartney or Beatles song, but that wasn't his first choice. "I was originally thinking Sex Pistols or Billy Idol," he says, "but I don't think our fans will know the music or appreciate that as much as I do."
This story is from the March 14th, 2002 issue of Rolling Stone.