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.