If the rain has trapped you inside with your resident Big Time Rush fan in the past several weeks, you’ve probably seen the new “Big Time Invasion” episode of Nickelodeon’s hit tween comedy. This is the one in which the handsome goofballs of the title fear they are about to lose fans to the exotic lure of a new wave of British boy bands.
As is often the case with tween TV comedy, there are bits of adult-skewing satire: One of BTR’s faux British rivals is named after their signature fashion, Colorful Pants, while another is merely called Simon Cowell’s Next Boy Band.
But among the fake acts, Big Time Rush names one enemy invader that actually exists: One Direction, the Cowell-created global colossus that brings its U.S. summer tour to South Florida next week.
At the end of 30 minutes of slapstick, the boys of BTR (including Weston ex Carlos Pena) regain their confidence, thanks to a history lesson from a supportive mom: “This is America, and we invented the boy bands!” she barks. The line of succession stretches “from the Platters to the Jackson 5 to New Kids to Backstreet to you guys,” they are told.
These fighting words have never been more appropriate than now, as some of the most-popular American boy bands of all time crisscross the country to show One Direction how it’s done. Here’s a look at the acts on their way to South Florida during the summer concert season:
One Direction: Extra credit for covering Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” in concert, but the painfully sweet “Little Things” will cause cavities. Thursday, BB&T Center (Tickets: $41.50-$103.75); June 14 at AmericanAirlines Arena (Tickets: $43.10-$106.05).
New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men: NKOTB’s version of “Step by Step” on “Today” last week showed exactly what they are selling these days: fun. The crowd, older but no less enthusiastic, ate it up. And how does Nick Lachey still look that good? June 22, BB&T Center (Tickets: $41.75-$108).
The Monkees: The original made-for-TV quartet, now missing the late Davy Jones, rekindle classics such as “I’m a Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.” July 27, Mizner Park Amphitheater (Tickets: $49.30, $139.85).
The Jonas Brothers: The video for their latest song, “Pom Poms,” shows they still have one foot in high school. But, hey, it’s fun. Again, nothing wrong with that. Aug. 2, Cruzan Amphitheatre (Tickets: $51.85, $94.40).
Backstreet Boys: The first product off Lou Perlman’s assembly line in Orlando, which also made ’N Sync, LFO, Take 5 and others, Backstreet is the top-selling boy band of all time. Their 20th anniversary tour reunites the original members and includes songs from a new album, “In a World Like This,” due out July 30. Aug. 25, Cruzan Amphitheatre (Tickets: $35-$111.75).