Friday, April 9, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 127

Concert Review: Lauryn Hill


About the Cougar

iN Sync, Ali groove for sold-out crowd at Compaq Center

Jake McKim
Entertainment Co-Editor

Never before has music been targeted to a teenage audience like it has during the late '90s. 

Groups like the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, 98 Degrees and iN Sync give pre-adolescents a chance to scream their heads off while spending millions on merchandising and other money-making gimmicks.

Wednesday night at the Compaq Center the cash-collecting machine was in full gear with boy band iN Sync in town.

Members of 'N Sync from left to right include: Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone Jr., Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass and JC Chasez.

Carlo Dalla Chiesa/RCA Records

The multi-platinum selling group is the updated version of the Beatles, without the talent but with the same fan base -- fanatic young females who lose their heads at the slightest smile or raising of an eyebrow by one of the members of the group.

Playing a rushed two-hour set, iN Sync shook, gyrated and grooved while singing songs about cheesy teen love. Not surprisingly, most members of the audience knew every single word.

Fans of iN Sync undoubtedly left the show completely satisfied. The boy band even tried to get creative with flashbacks to the i60s, i70s and i80s, dressing up like popular groups of those time periods and performing a time-appropriate hit song.

The group finally culminated the night with a look back at the i90s and a possible glimpse into the future of what may be yet to come.

Songs like "Tearin' Up My Heart," "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You" and "I Want You Back" whipped the entranced crowd into a frenzy. The girls' deafening screams must have been heard across town.

While their stage show is polished and very enjoyable, iN Sync's music would make the average adult cringe. Educated music lovers would instantly recognize the lack of creativity and tacky lyrics in the group's material, but this apparently goes right over the heads of most 10 to 17 year olds. 

Opening acts Divine and Tatyana Ali got the night started with a bang and warmed the crowd's vocal chords up for the ensuing iN Sync set.

Tatyana Ali brought her charming good looks and amazing talent to Campaq Center Wednesday night as the opening act to the main attraction, boy band 'N Sync.

Reisig and Taylor/MJJ Music/WORK Group

R&B artist Ali, who played Ashley Banks on the hit TV sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, grooved in and out of bass-pounding, soul-laced tunes that pleased the crowd and could help her sell numerous albums in the future.

Backed by four female dancer/singers and two male dancer/singers, Ali flashed her innocent smile and charming good looks, calling on fans to help "get this party started." Her one major flaw is that her music lacks the power punch and simply hasn't been heard by enough people to be recognized.

Still, Ali can groove with the best of 'em, and she proved it Wednesday night. Look for more to come from this talented and blessed singer/dancer/actress in the years to come.

As for iN Sync, give it two more years and most fans will have completely forgotten about them.

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