Nostalgia is powerful, especially when it comes to music. Consider this passage from “Science Friday” regarding the subject. “Say you’re listening to the radio on your way to work, and a favorite song from 20 years ago starts playing. A sense of wistfulness comes over you, evoking fond memories of the past.”
That explains why New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys sell out arenas, since it’s been many moons since either boy band had a hit. It also explains the appeal of the POP 2000 Tour, coming Friday (1/24) to the Riverside Casino Event Center.
NSYNC’s Lance Bass is hosting the show, which features former boy band O-Town (“Liquid Dreams,” “All or Nothing”), pop/hip-hop act LFO (“Summer Girls”) and singer-songwriter Ryan Cabrera.
“I can see why people want to go back to the (Y2K) era,” Cabrera said by phone from his Los Angeles home. “It was such a good time and it’s so different from today.”
MTV was still a force in the music industry at the turn of the 21st century.
“We had “TRL” (Total Request Live) back then with MTV, and that show was so good,” Cabrera said. “I’ll never forget walking to the window of the MTV studio on Times Square and looking out at the fans. Back then people bought CDs and there was no social media. You had to bust your butt to connect with fans. It was a great time and the fans who come out want to go back to that and the music.”
Cabrera, 37, will deliver the hits when he performs in Riverside. Expect his breakthrough hit, “On the Way Down,” as well as the catchy “True” and the melancholy “40 Kinds of Sadness.”
“It’s fun playing those songs that people know, and I love watching them sing along,” Cabrera said. “They can go back in their mind to that period when the songs came out.”
The Dallas native will slip in a new song or two.
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“I’m working on my next album,” he said. “I’m exciting about what I have and the fact that I’m playing acoustic. You’re going to get some variety at this show.”
Also expect some shenanigans.
“Every night is different,” he said. “We mess around all of the time. A cardboard cutout of Lance made its way from the dressing room to the stage the other night. That surprised a lot of people, since from a distance, it looks a lot like Lance. You might see Lance dancing a lot onstage when we come to Iowa, but it’s ... the cardboard version of Lance.”
Bass, however, might sing some NSYNC tunes.
“If you’re a fan of NSYNC, don’t be surprised if some of those familiar songs go down,” Cabrera said. “I love when we do some NSYNC songs. I love that this show is so loose. We can mess around. I don’t have a set list. I just connect with the audience and decide what to do in that moment and just have fun playing the songs acoustic.
Cabrera only has one question when it comes to performing in Riverside.
“What’s the weather going to be like,” he asked. “That’s my only concern.”
Cabrera laughed when he learned of the forecast. “I’ll wear my Alaska jacket and just deal with the elements,” he said. “I know it’s cold this time of year in Iowa. But we’ll generate some heat when we take the stage.”
• What: The POP 2000 tour featuring host Lance Bass of NSYNC, Ryan Cabrera, O-Town and LFO
• Where: Riverside Casino Event Center, 3184 Highway 22, Riverside
• When: 8 p.m. Friday (1/24)
• Tickets: $50 standing-room center section, $30 side reserved seating; Casino Gift Shop, 1-(877) 677-3456 or Tickets.riversidecasinoandresort.com
• Tour website: Pop2000tour.com