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.
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.

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