In the late '90s, the Backstreet Boys owned MTV, radio, and the souls of millions of middle-schoolers. Over the next 20-odd years, BSB became a cultural curiosity. Almost no one was regularly listening to “I Want It That Way” or “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” with any sincerity. But BSB became one of those groups whose songs people drunkenly sing full-throated at karaoke bars like a chorus of fools letting the world burn outside. They’re the kind of group that makes grown-ass women up to their necks in mortgage debt blush at the memory of owning posters featuring AJ McLean, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, and Nick Carter. But it's not just soccer moms who show love to BSB these days. More than 25 years after the group formed in 1993, the boy band is enjoying a resurgence of Backstreetmania
. Its 2019 album, DNA
, debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in January, making it the group's first album to achieve the feat since 2000's Black & Blue. 8 p.m. Friday, August 23, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; 954-835-7000; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets are sold out.
: This Houston trio wasn't expecting to make it big when it became a band. The group plays trippy, weirdo, chill dub psychedelic soul stuff, so it's understandable that they may not have thought they'd catch on to a larger audience. Bassist Laura Lee was learning Thai at the time and named the band Khruangbin, meaning "flying engine" or "airplane." Lee and guitarist Mark Speer met playing gospel at a Methodist church. They joined forces with drummer DJ Johnson Jr. and released their debut in 2015, The Universe Smiles Upon You
with Thai musical influences. Check out the band's latest release, Hasta El Cielo,
to trip out before the show, but be mindful that Saturday night's show is a DJ set. 11 p.m. Friday, August 23, at the Ground Miami, 34 NE 11th St., Miami, 305-375-0001, thegroundmiami.com. Tickets cost $10 to $25.
: You've got to give it up to the Smiths and Morrissey tribute band Ordinary Boys: They are really fun to watch in a way that is in some ways more enjoyable than watching Moz himself. While yes, seeing Morrissey could be a spiritual experience, he's supported some pretty rank ideas lately. With Miami's Ordinary Boys, you can just let it all hang out and sing your favorite Morrissey songs without feeling guilty afterward. The band will bring the Manchester vibes when it plays Gramps this weekend. 9 p.m., Friday, August 23, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami, 305-699-2669, gramps.com. Admission is free.
Vampire Weekend returns to Miami Saturday night.
Photo by Ross Stewart
It’s not quite a reboot or a reset, but Vampire Weekend is in the midst of an aesthetic renaissance. Gone are the days of the Ezra Koenig-led band whose members bore a reputation as pretentious, preppy indie-rockers. Well, maybe those days aren't entirely gone. But there’s no denying the band that released Father of the Bride
earlier this year is drastically different from the one that rose to prominence singing about Cape Cod and grammatical anomalies in 2008. More than a decade into its career, Vampire Weekend is six years removed from the dense, complex triumph of Modern Vampires of the City
, the group’s last record to feature multi-instrumentalist and producer Rostam Batmanglij as an official member. Now, following a lengthy hiatus, the bandmates once derided as self-important Ivy Leaguers have made a transition into a markedly different era
. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 24, at the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; 800-745-3000; jlkc.com. Tickets cost $47.50 to $67.50 via livenation.com.
Many know the term "lovers rock" thanks to the turn of the millennium Sade album by that name. But the guy who actually brings lovers rock music to fans is Beres Hammond. The Jamaican musician has been making hip-swinging sounds since the '70s with then-group Zap Pow. He was influenced by his dad's collection of jazz and soul. That, mixed with his island heritage, made for a wonderfully delightful auditory cocktail. Over the years, he's experimented with his sound, but he's always returned to ballad-style songs. He's worked with many other big names in the industry including Wyclef Jean and Buju Banton. But this legend will be appearing live and solo at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts this weekend. 7:30 p.m., Sunday, August 15, at Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222, browardcenter.org. Tickets cost $35 to $125.