Review: *NSYNC at Atlantis
Originally posted 2001-12-11 by popgurls.com
At Last, Atlantis
Amanda: Should we make any comments up front? Or just go for the gusto?
Melynee: I don’t know–about what?
Amanda: Ahahahahaha. Good point.
“It’s Gonna Be Me”
Amanda: I have to say right off the bat that Chris’s outfit was not designed to make him look svelte. Unlike, say, JC’s outfit. Which is a little too Howie Dorough, but somehow still manages to be fabulous. And Lance? Oh, Lance.
Melynee: I want JC. In that shirt. In my room. Now. STUNNING. JC is stunning.
Amanda: Come hither fingers destroy me every time.
Melynee: And you can totally hear Chris. He must be friendly with the sound person.
Amanda: I’m sorry to be so one-track-mind. But Lance. Just. He’s. He’s never been hotter in his life than he is at this moment.
Melynee: Even IMAX?
Amanda: Even then.
Melynee: Aw, Chris. Your little voice broke.
Amanda: Lance is thrusting in my face. Are there other boys on the stage?
Melynee: OK. Justin did not need to spank her booty.
Amanda: I think this was hotter at the VMAs. But that might just be because there was more boy-skin then. It’s still hot. Way hot. And Lance. With the girl. At the end. Looking pretty manly.
Melynee: And JC is the only one looking straight into the camera. Mmmmm.
Amanda: With his hair all wild and his face all scruffy…Chris is fucking up the sex vibe for me, though. Again.
Interview Segment and “Pop”
Amanda: I really do believe that this dolphin sequence led to my JC making-out dream.
Melynee: Petting the microphone? Joey? What?
Amanda: Lance still looks scared when he pops out of the stage. Not that I blame him. Spirit fingers!
Melynee: Whip that head around, JC.
Amanda: Someone needs to put weights in the bottom of JC’s shirt, so he doesn’t have to tug it down. You should volunteer.
Melynee: NO! NO! Need divahips!
Amanda: But they showed Lance! Lance! Lance fan vindication, yo.
Melynee: Also, I’m fine if the shirt rides up. Really.
Amanda: It’s so wrong that there’s a three-year-old in the crowd singing “when your body starts to rock.”
Melynee: Ok. JC is the only one who goes all the way to the floor on the stagehump.
Amanda: Those gauze shirts should be tear-away. Truly.
More interviewing, and “Tearin’ Up My Heart”/”I Want You Back”
Amanda: Kristen says her only quibble with this special is that they went to above-the-waist shots when they shouldn’t have.
Melynee: I would agree with that assessment. And that they should have left on the white outfits. I’m a big fan of the white outfits.
Amanda: The white outfit is not kind to Joey, though.
Melynee: I’d say it’s more kind to Joey than to Chris. It looks like Chris had a painting accident.
Amanda:Chris needs to stop wearing chunky jewelry around his thick neck. It’s a problem. We talked earlier about the difference between this and seeing them live this summer, and I think this little medley is a great example of how they were more engaged here. JC is just glowing, and seems so relaxed. He’s always into the performance, but he isn’t as intense here. He’s more loose.
Melynee: And Lance, who this summer was past not-caring, somewhere into maybe active dislike, or at least extreme ice-princess-ness, looks really happy to be there, but still sort of I’m-better-than-this. Which I love.
Amanda: He *is* better than that. *Look* at him. I wonder if they will still be doing the same choreography for these songs in ten years. On the one hand, it’s comforting. But on the other. I’m getting so bored.
Melynee: I don’t know–it sort of warms the cockles of my heart that the literal “back” choreography can be relied upon.
Amanda: I miss the flipping.
Melynee: I miss it, too, except for the fear that nowadays someone might get dropped.
Amanda: And you’re right. You can totally hear Chris. And he sounds great. They all sound great.
Melynee: Yes! I just kept listening to JC. And thinking that whoever did sound for this concert needs to have a talk with whoever did it for Brit’s HBO special.
Amanda: I hope the same people worked on the Pop Odyssey DVD.
Melynee: Okay. Does the audience really know who Tim McGraw is? Just wondering.
Amanda: Some people in the audience do. They sing along when he does his solo song.
Melynee: Also. I think I like the white on Joey. It gives his skin this gorgeous caramel glow.
Amanda: Oh, Justin. “Some people were made to be firefighters, and some people were made to be policemen, and some people”…were apparently made to thrust their hips at the camera…
Melynee: Ok. Several things: JC needs to take off that awful candy-striped shirt. Please. And Chris, wearing that outfit and talking about being “just a normal guy” just doesn’t quite work.
Amanda: With the horns. Don’t forget the horns.
Melynee: My father was snerking at Chris.
Amanda: All the earrings. And the necklaces. And the horns. And the glasses…
Melynee: It’s a fine look for a rock star, but not for the guy at the checkout line at Farmer Jack’s.
Amanda: Not a so-called “normal guy.” Although, I would argue that it’s not a fine look for anyone. Lance looks like a man of leisure. And Joey looks like a middle-aged hot dad. And Justin looks like he’s auditioning for Boogie Nights.
Melynee: I’m always amused when Lance says, “those four guys have worked their butts off.” Apparently, he hasn’t. He’s just reaping the rewards. So to speak.
“Up Against the Wall”
Amanda: This choreography looks better every time I see it. My favorite parts being when they all dance across the stage in a group, when Lance grabs his dancer’s hips, and every other part. Really. And. I think I could “work it” in a much worse way, were any of these boys near.
Melynee: That’s my favorite part, as well. Because it showcases them all doing primo dorky dance moves. And! They left in the slow-mo part, which JC so enjoys! Sad, though, that we don’t get to see much of the JC-and-girl thrusting. He does it so well. I was impressed that the CBS execs didn’t veto it altogether, however.
Amanda: Also! My brain melts every time they do the chant, and Lance is in front all crouched, and he manages to pull off all three Signature Moves.
Melynee: Lance greatly amuses me, because he so appears to be trying his very best to be “down.” I giggle.
Amanda: He’s keeping it real, obviously.
Melynee: Oh yes. In the hood.
Amanda: AHAHAHAHA. Poor baby.
The Boys on Tim McGraw, “Fire and Rain” and “Lean on Me”
Amanda: Tim is American? He’s a man’s man? He’s got a “flirtation with danger about him?” Justin? What the FUCK?
Melynee: I think Justin prolly was the least into Tim, and then got caught by the reporter, and had to make up some stuff off the top of his head. It’s always bad when he has to do that.
Amanda: I get this feeling that Lance and Justin aren’t the closest of the five. I can see Justin thinking this was Lance’s thing. He would have wanted Jay Z. You know Lance is salivating at performing with the man who sleeps with his girl Faith Hill. Who, of course, Joey needs to point out is hot. As that is Joey’s only role these days, to point out the hot girls. I feel it’s *my* duty to point out that Tim is also very hot. And JC agrees. Lance looks like he’s going to puke from the beginning, in anticipation of his solo. Chris won’t look at Tim! I think it’s because his boy Jup is on the other side. And Tim is a little too manly for his tastes.
Melynee: So. Tim, wearing that shirt, reminds me of nothing more than a candy cane. Also, standing next to our Boys, he makes them look like children, and he’s their chaperone. So, an adult candy cane, but a candy cane, nonetheless.
Amanda: I would lick him (to continue the analogy). But he does look like a hot older uncle. And his shirt matches the pants JC puts on next.
Melynee: Oh, yes. And yeah, the JC love for Tim is unmistakable. Whereas Tim just looks like he’s humoring JC.
Amanda: I was wondering. If you met JC out in the wild, would he look at you like he was in love? Because he seems to have this way of looking at everyone that way.
Melynee: I think it’s part of his whole transforming-onstage thing. Because he doesn’t really seem to do it in TV interviews. Then, he just gets ditsy. I was so excited when I heard that they were going to do “Fire and Rain.” And yet, in performance, it’s not my favorite. Whereas they sound fabulous on “Lean on Me.” And Lance is incredibly endearing.
Amanda: Lance should have stood between JC and Tim, so JC could comfort him. Instead he has to beg the audience to sing with him. I can’t watch. I’m covering my eyes. He’s so nervous! I feel so bad for him! He’s not lying when he says he doesn’t want to sing lead. And he relaxes immediately after. Chris puts his around him to make him feel better! And he’s all blushing!
Melynee: But he sounds great! I didn’t remember from the first time I saw it, and so I was listening carefully. But he does have that utterly shy way about him when he’s soloing, that I love.
Amanda: His voice is all quaverly. Or some other word that I didn’t make up. Joey sounds outstanding. I can even forgive him for the Britney-esque wrist cuff thingy.
Melynee: See, I think Lance almost sounds better than Joey. And the only redeeming thing about the outfits here, for me, is that you can see JC’s arms. Not that they’re actively bad (aside from Joey’s). They just don’t move me. Justin looks like Prep School Ken.
Amanda: In the shirt he just played a game of rugby in.
Melynee: Yes. Girlfriend?
Amanda: Oh. Yes. Good call.
Amanda: I want the shirt Justin is wearing under the silk blouse for myself. “Does he know what you feel” JC is the best JC ever. He’s hot. He’s sincere. He has fabulous arms.
Melynee: I want Justin’s pants. I COVET those pants. Also, holy FUCK, but the hips were outta control. And the cameraman knew it, and was right there, underneath. Damn.
Amanda: And I could kiss whomever choreographed this, because they understand that Lance STALKS across the stage like he owns it. I didn’t even like the choreography the first time, as you know. But now, even with the stirring the sauce and pumping the oil arm movements, I think it’s really good.
Melynee: The outfits here are unfortunate. Except for Lance, who looks stunning. It’s as if they costumed everyone that way on purpose, so that you’d have to acknowledge Lance’s jaw-dropping hotness. JC is continuing his Ugly Pants Tradition.
Amanda: I’d be sad if JC had good pants, frankly. It just wouldn’t be right. I want to roll out of bed in the morning. Pick Lance’s jeans off the floor, put them on with Justin’s shirt, and go cook them eggs.
Melynee: As for the song, I have to say, this has been one of my favorites from the beginning, and the choreography just intensifies that for me. I think this is the choreography that looks fabulous on them–mid-tempo, lots of nice, draggy movements, accentuated by syncopation. And LOTS of attitude. Which is why Lance stands out in this one. And also, I find the JC hair-pet shockingly cute. I thought I couldn’t heart the boy more, until I saw this song.
Amanda: They were also kind enough to put in a couple of nose rubbing movements, as if she/he knew that JC would do it anyway. The hair petting is just too much. Coupled with the hot Lance. I. I’m just dead.
Melynee: You know Justin has to love that move, too. “Look! I’m a boxer!”
Amanda: In my silk blouse!
Melynee: What I want for Christmas from The Boys is a personal, private performance of this song. Really. That’s it. Very personal. Very private.
Amanda: The aquarium? Are you ready for the aquarium? Are you sitting on the floor?
Discourse on Accoustics and “This I Promise You”
Amanda: They sing in the shower. Together. It doesn’t sound weird, JC, it sounds like something I want to see. Immediately. JC LOVES LANCE SO MUCH! And they sound good, too. But JC LOVES LANCE SO MUCH!
Melynee: I figured it out. JC looks like a woman from 1910 England in that shirt. That’s what it is. He could be a Gibson Girl, if the hair were a bit longer, with the puffed shoulders, and the lace.
Amanda: I would give my left arm to know what Lance said or did to make JC smile at him like that. Just. Brilliant. Crinkly Eyes.
Melynee: And also, they sound better than I have ever, ever heard them sound. Incredibly, fucking good.
Amanda: Ever, Ever. I have chillbumps.
Melynee: And then JC continues to sneak looks over at Lance during the remainder of the song.
Amanda: Yes! JC looks at Lance again when he says, “till the day my life is through.”
Melynee: And Lance, onstage, is having his full-blown Stool Issues. The boy cannot just sit on it.
Amanda: I was just wondering if his stool is shorter than the others, for his stubby legs. But I don’t really want him to sit on the stool. I love the slouch. The elongated Lance. I’m a fan.
Melynee: Lance always manages to sprawl across it. Like he’s afraid to take both feet off the ground at once. Maybe there was a stool accident somewhere in his past?
Amanda: Well. There is a brief moment here, where he wobbles just an itsy bit, and he reaches out to steady himself on JC’s stool. I think his bottom is just too round to properly balance on a stool. Not that I look at his ass, or anything.
Melynee: On another note, check out Chris when we watch Gone next–he’s embraced his inner Goblin King. The ears just look pointier and pointier, and he looks more and more otherworldly.
Amanda: Let’s watch, then! Because I happen to know that there is also more Lounging Lance. So I am eager to continue.
Amanda: And there he is. Lounging on the stairs. Like he hasn’t a care in the world.
Melynee: Lance and Justin have sort of the same attitude in this song. Knowing s/he’s Gone, but knowing that s/he is really fucking regretting it, already. Where as JC looks really sort of pained.
Amanda: He’s really upset that someone has hurt his friend Justin. He’s indignant on Justin’s behalf. And now Lance is sloooooooowly leaning back, like someone put her hand in the flat of his chest and pushed him backwards. It’s. You know. Good.
Melynee: I do like the way Justin oozes toward the camera, but I must say I am saddened by the lack of thrustage. Saddened, I say.
Amanda: It’s a family network, babe. There are rules. The PG Justin is still really hot, I think. Dropping to his knees. Showing a little belly. Shirt sliding off his shoulders so you can see his freckles. Hot.
Melynee: And, I grow weary of Justin’s crinkled half-face. Learn a new way of emoting, babe.
Amanda: But. But. The furrowed brow!
Melynee: He does it all. The. Time. I need variety.
Amanda: Or they could just film him below the waist all the time. Because I don’t so much need variety there.
Melynee: This is true. Also, kudos to the cameraman for timing the cuts to the music. But slightly longer shots of each of the boys would have been appreciated. Also, more mid-range shots–where you can see the whole body, but don’t have to squint at them to do it.
Amanda: Again I ask: Are Chris and Joey even there? Because I think I saw Chris with the pointy ears exactly once.
Melynee: They do show him quite a bit. In all his faerie glory.
Amanda: Let’s skip Tim.
Melynee: Sounds good. Although I do have to mention that I did appreciate, um, looking at him. In his tight little pants.
Amanda: Well, I was just thinking that, probably, JC was standing backstage staring at him, having that exact same thought. He probably poked Lance in the side and said, “That’s a bass on his shirt! A BASS!” and Lance had to tell him it’s a trout.
“Bye Bye Bye”
Amanda: Joey used to own the punching and bouncing. But it belongs to JC now. With the hair. *bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
Melynee: JC’s hair is in it’s own area code, by the time the show finishes. And I totally forgot to mention earlier, that when Tim does a little gratuitous FPA at the end of the first medley, it’s so touching. He knows their choreography!
Amanda: He should have come out at the end. Done a little punching of his own in his tight fish shirt.
Melynee: Yes. I would approve. I don’t approve, though, of the teenie in the audience weeping. For god’s sake, girl, you don’t weep at BBB. Weep at “Gone”, if you must, or TIPY, but BBB is for full-out shakin’ yo booty.
Amanda: I just read a livejournal entry about that weeping girl, and the person who wrote it made a good point that she’s not hysterical. She’s not squealing. She’s just got tears running down her face. She’s so moved by them. Not the song. Or the dancing. Just. Them. *NSYNC. They moved her to silent tears. I like her more, now. Having read that.
Melynee: Ok, I guess I can see that. But still. Don’t cry for the hotness. Just absorb.
Amanda: You’ll remember, of course, the moment I first fell for Lance. During the MSG BBB crotch grab. Because he didn’t want to do it. Looked all shameful. In the IMAX, he grabs, and sort of growls, and it’s. A lot to absorb. And here, he’s all grown up. In his perfectly fitting jeans. That wonderful shirt. And he grabs, and thrusts, and bats nary an eye. My chest hurts because my heart is beating so fast.
Melynee: Lance is still sort of delicate about the grab, though. He chooses which fingers to use. And the “I don’t want to be a fool” slow mambo section amuses me so much when they’re standing in a line instead of in a triangle. They look like they really are riding each other, now.
Amanda: Especially since JC has somehow figured out how to pop and lock the movements. I’m so sad when it’s over. This is the best “live” performance I’ve seen them give since *last* year’s Christmas special, which has long been a favorite of mine. And this has choreographed moves, where that one didn’t.
Melynee: Yeah, I was just thinking about how this show excites me in a way that I haven’t felt about their live stuff in a while. And I’m wondering if the break had something to do with it. I mean, their shows always kick ass, but here it looked like they were back to being really thrilled about it. And it makes sense, that if they’re running around every two days, doing the same show over and over again, that even professionals are going to get tired. And here, they most certainly weren’t.
Amanda: I can’t help but wonder, if Sept. 11 hadn’t happened, would they have done some holiday tunes, instead of uplifting ones?
Melynee: I don’t know – I’ve gone past the point where I can even attempt to figure out what goes on in their little heads.
Amanda: The break from each other showed up in all the appearances they did leading up to this, too. They were more comfortable with each other. Very touchy. They all seemed very close. I think they miss each other when they’re away, even though they need the time off. So to be back on stage. Doing familiar songs, familiar dances (for the most part)…it just all clicked, here.