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The Summer's Hottest Tours: 'N Sync

After a rough start, the boy band frenzy shows no sign of abating

'N Sync performs at Madison Square Garden on July 25th in New York City, New York.
KMazur/WireImage
August 17, 2000

GREENSBORO, NC, JULY 4TH – Launched in May and running through August 2nd, with all thirty-eight shows (stadium-size, of course) sold out, 'N Sync's No Strings Attached tour hit a patch of early-summer turbulence. A June 25th date in Joliet, Illinois, had to be scrapped after heavy weather damaged the speedway venue. On the nation's birthday, their performance in Greensboro, North Carolina, got delayed by a bomb threat. The show eventually went on, and 'N Sync dazzled the Greensboro Coliseum's capacity crowd of 15,000 with a high-energy display of fireworks, vocal and otherwise. Over the deafening din of swooning fans, JC Chasez asserted, "It is the Fourth of July, and we are having a party right here!"

They did indeed bring the noise, and it took twelve buses and nineteen trucks to shuttle it here; with a $1 million-plus average gross per show, they can afford it. Heartthrob Justin Timberlake, whose recent cornrows were a hot topic of conversation among the female throng, kept his hair hidden under rhinestone-studded kerchiefs most of the evening. The group drew heavily from No Strings Attached, with nine of thirteen songs hailing from that septuple-platinum phenomenon. Most tunes were given an over-the-top treatment, complete with limber choreography, pyro worthy of Ozzfest, and high-tech stagecraft, such as the platform that detached to surf the band around the arena during the ballad "This I Promise You." In short, the 'N Sync frenzy showed no showed no signs of abating, as the crowd remained dauntlessly loyal and pumped up, even through five opening acts and a bomb scare. What's the secret of 'N Sync's success? "They're cute, they have good music, and they dance well," according to Jessica Blankenship, a tenth-grader who trekked down from Lynchburg, Virginia, with a carload of 'N Sync-smitten classmates. Or, as the crowd put it in an unbridled commentary that sounded something a bit like this: "Ahhhhhhh...."

This story is from the August 21st, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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