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'N SYNC 'POPS' OFF STAGE.

Byline: Sandra Barrera Staff Writer

Imagine this - the awe of a Fourth of July fireworks finale combined with the magic of the Blue Man Group and an action-packed blockbuster movie.

Throw in the adrenaline rush of playing a state-of-the-art video game, enjoying a hit Broadway musical and seeing 'N Sync live in concert, and you've got the makings of the boy band's latest Pop Odyssey Tour.

This highly anticipated show pulled into the Rose Bowl on Tuesday, the same day that the group's new ``Celebrity'' album hit stores. An estimated 100,000 fans - mostly preteens or younger accompanied by a parent - filled the outdoor venue. Many wore body paint from head to foot, like a giant human poster, scrawled with the names of their favorite 'N Sync performers or phrases, singing the praises of the new album.

Catchy new tracks blared from decorated cars, crawling through 2 1/2- hour-long traffic jams en route to the Rose Bowl. Inside, young fans impressed each other by reciting lyrics to new songs in preparation for the concert. Their preparation fell by the wayside, however, as soon as the lights dimmed.

It was replaced by uncontrolled screams that lasted for the duration of 'N Sync's performance of songs from its last three albums. The group was accompanied by a live band, and the singers were constantly in motion for the duration of the two-hour show.

It opened with a video short shown on three giant video screens, the largest perched high above center stage. Joey Fatone, 24, was featured as a convincingly nerdy school teacher who educated the crowd on 'N Sync's rise from unknown to history-making pop group. Featured were Fatone's fellow bandmates: Jason Timberlake, 20; JC Chasez, 24; Lance Bass, 22; and Chris Kirkpatrick, 29.

Fatone wrote ``pop'' on the chalkboard, and then put the word ``dirty'' in front of it. The entire group appeared in the classroom setting looking like street thugs out of a Michael Jackson video.

Moments later, 'N Sync appeared on a platform island and performed the single ``Pop'' off its new album. Interactive video-to-stage production was seen throughout the concert, including a short that featured Bass and Kirkpatrick as cowboys on horseback, presenting a slide-and-video show of the group in western attire at the beach, watching ``The Munsters'' on TV and dancing the jig around a campfire.

Just then, the group came flying down on ropes right off the screen - or so it seemed - and landed on the island for the song ``Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)'' off the top-selling ``No Strings Attached'' album. The group also performed songs off its self-titled debut album, including ``God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You,'' ``Tearin' Up My Heart'' and ``I Want You Back.''

The intro to last year's big hit ``Bye Bye Bye'' came at the end of the night, and featured the guys in a video game, doing battle against a space-age Phantom of the Opera. His organ-playing sent laser beams shooting over the crowd.

Choreographed numbers also made up the bulk of 'N Sync's big production; the last half of the concert included female dance partners. Variations of the running man, pelvic thrusts and ``Thriller'' dance moves were interspersed in numbers where the guys also played on adult-sized bouncing balls, posed on a moving belt across the stage and finally stuck themselves ``Up Against the Wall'' with Velcro.

'N Sync did a lot of running around on the stage just to please everybody, and the fans appreciated it. Completely.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

The members of the group 'N Sync perform before a sell-out crowd at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday night.

Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review; L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 26, 2001
Words:611
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