Lance Bass Hosts A Boy Band Nostalgia Trip at the Minnesota Zoo

Over the weekend, Lance Bass hosted The Pop 2000 Tour featuring Ryan Cabrera, Aaron Carter and O-Town.

Growing up, my sister Hilary exposed me to the world of boy bands. We’ve always bonded over *NSYNC. So, when I told her Lance Bass was hosting a boy band nostalgia show at the zoo, we were totally in.  

Going into the show I did not know what to expect. Being hosted at the Minnesota Zoo of all places, my first assumption was that this was going to be a shit show of has-beens performing to drunk women. 

The night turned out to be one of my all time favorite concert memories. But, I fear I might not be credible enough to review this alone. So I am teaming up with my sister for the rest of this review: 

Ryan Cabrera opening for the Pop 2000 tour at the Minnesota Zoo.

A Brother-Sister Boy Band Review:

Hilary: The Pop 2000 Tour promised a nostalgia trip that 33-year-old Hilary needed and that 16-year old old Hilary always dreamed of. During the height of the boy band craze, I once skipped AP US History (Sorry, Mr. Hering) to see O-Town perform at the Mall of America. 

I waited three hours on the second floor of the mall rotunda to see O-Town perform, taking pictures with a disposable camera for my scrapbook. The energy they brought on their first tour was impressive as they chased their dream of being the next *NSYNC.

The O-Town of today no longer needs to chase boy band stardom, and have found a way to own the nostalgia of their first album along with their new music, sans Ashley Parker Angel. The performance they brought to the Pop 2000 Tour proved that they are more than the manufactured pop, reality show boy band that Making the Band set out to create. 

O-Town performing at the Pop 2000 Tour at the Minnesota Zoo.

Dylan: I am genuinely shocked more people aren’t talking about this tour. I could rant about how meme worthy and ironic it was to see Aaron Carter. I could joke about this show being at the zoo. But this is a group of performers who know who they are and are doing what they love. This is truly for the fans. 

Hilary: And it is also for the bands. Ryan Cabrera, who opened for the tour, joked that he liked the O-Town so much they wanted to share a tour bus. Everyone on the tour had no qualms about who they were in the past.

Dylan: Ryan Cabrera performed an acoustic set with charming stage presence. An incredibly likable and easy going set, it was the perfect way to start the night.

Aaron Carter’s set was a total jam. While the 90 degree weather possibly prevented fans from going as hard as they could have, Carter gave it his all. He performed a remix of “I Want Candy,” solid new tracks and the classic songs he put out when he was just seven years old.

O-Town proved to be the stand out performance of the night. Even through the rain, the band led the fans through about an hour of some serious jams.

Aaron Carter proving he still can bring it:

Hilary: O-Town can seriously dance! The entire set featured back to back  singing and dancing that was just as good (maybe even better) than their Making the Band days. The O-Town of today knows their audience and gave everyone the performance many had been waiting over 15 years for. 

Dylan: They performed with high energy, near flawless dance moves, and total passion. I was surprised they didn’t totally pass out during their nonstop, high energy set. 

Hilary: There is no doubt that O-Town loves what they do and appreciate their fans for growing with them. Near the end of the high energy set they made their way into the audience, taking over cell phones for selfie videos and pictures (no disposable cameras this time!) 

Dylan: The greatest moment of the entire night came towards the end when the group performed a cover of “It’s Gonna Be Me” by *NSYNC. As soon as the cover started, anticipation built up in the audience. We were all begging for them to bring out Lance Bass to join them. 

“How about one more?!” The anticipation grew deeper. 

Suddenly, “Bye Bye Bye” starts playing and Lance Bass joins the group for a quick rendition of the mega hit. It was seriously a dream come true!

Hilary: I almost cried. When I saw *NSYNC back in the day it was in the Metrodome before stadium tours were really a thing. The sound was awful, the stage was so far away, and most of my memories have combined with the Disney channel special I watched too many times. It was literally the closest I will probably ever be to *NSYNC.

Dylan: Being a massive *NSYNC fan, I never thought I would see any of the members perform those songs again in person. I am seriously so confused why this hasn’t gone viral yet.

“Bring back *NSYNC” fans shouted, myself included. Honestly, following this and their reunion at Coachella, I can totally see the group coming back even without Justin Timberlake (Since Man of the Woods was a flop commercial, maybe he’s ready to help stage the come back?)

Hilary: Stop it! Man of the Woods was wonderful. I will fight you over it.

Dylan: There is absolutely a place for these boy bands to return to the mainstream. All of the performers on this tour are talented beyond words and are due for a major comeback soon. Even if it was just for a nostalgia driven tour, I am psyched to see this subculture is still thriving!

Lance Bass performing with O-Town.

Support these artists new and old music here: 

O-Town is dropping new music soon. Check out their come back album and their classic hits. Click here to listen. 

Aaron Carter’s newest album LOVE is out now. A mix of Justin Bieber style pop with a well produced modern edge. Click here to check him out. 

Ryan Cabrera still brings it too. Check it out! 

*NSYNC Reunion at Coachella 

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.


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