God, the internet is weird. Also *NSYNC fans, but mostly the internet. Just days after Lance Bass's non-denial an *NSYNC reunion at Sunday's VMAs was confirmed, in this order, by Joey Fatone's dad and the opening of a verified Twitter account in their name. , which immediately drew 67,000 followers. This is great news for, in this order, the non-Timberlake members of *NSYNC and people who self-identify as '90s Kids.
The best part of this whole thing--unless you're aching to hear "Bye Bye Bye," which seems like the odds-on song-choice favorite if there's a performance element to the reunion--is learning that they haven't missed a boy-band beat: Their tweet is exactly the kind of awkward attempt at sounding unrehearsed that would have garnered them screams 13 (yikes) years ago.
I mean, come on--you can imagine Justin Timberlake saying this with the afro and then doing that awkward I-know-you-girls-have-confusing-dreams-about-me smirk-laugh, right?
Mic check, mic check one.. two... is this thing on?!
— *NSYNC (@NSYNC) August 24, 2013
In this case it got them 20,000 retweets and another 10,000 favorites, which isn't bad considering they last performed before MySpace existed and didn't tweet again on Saturday.
As a '90s time capsule they'll provide even the boy-band haters among us with plenty of experimental data. For instance: How does a boy band that last performed in 2001 tweet? It's like watching Gary Condit microblog from his Star-Tac. (Even he came back before *NSYNC.)
So far they're looking pretty good: "Bye Bye Bye" somehow has 34 million views on Vevo.
Granted, that's half as many as its permanent nemesis, "I Want It That Way," but by the time Vevo took over YouTube's music video operation in 2009 the Backstreet Boys had already released three post-comeback albums and toured the country several times.
The Backstreet Boys, incidentally, are a template and a warning for *NSYNC if this comeback somehow progresses past a nostalgia-laden VMAs performance. Never Gone, their first comeback album, sold 300,000 copies in its first week of availability and debuted at third on the Billboard charts. Unbreakable, their second, sold 81,000 and debuted at seventh; it's yet to break 300,000 copies in six years.
At the beginning of the comeback, a band is a time capsule--it's a chance to relive your adolescence and remember how much you once cared about Nick Carter. After that, though, you're just back--at this point the Backstreet Boys are a product of 2013, not of 1999.
*NSYNC has held out longer than any of its peers, and because Justin Timberlake has something better to do it probably won't overstay its welcome. But eventually the hype and the giddy, gleeful regression to a million tween-girl childhoods will wear off. Once you've made your debut in the present, you can't stay in the past forever.
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