Montreal is an amazing city with one tiny draw-back. (Depending on who you ask)

We don't always get access to all the cool new stuff from the US and from the rest of Canada. and some things never make it our way like restaurant chains, clothing stores, and concerts. (Like the Tragically Hip tour that won't be stopping here)

Long story short, we're usually the ones on the sidelines looking enviously at our lucky neighbors.

But there's one thing we get before anyone else.

Boy Bands.

Did you know that Montreal was a secret testing ground for potential boy bands?

In a video interview with Poster Boys artists Richmond Lam and Eve Thomas they mention:

"I don't know if you know this, but growing up in Montreal, we were kind of a testing ground for boy bands"

Someone in the audience mentioned the Backstreet Boys, so I decided to see if this was true.

As it turns out, in 1995 a radio host on Mix 96 heard the Backstreet Boys song "We've Got It Goin' On" which was only playing in Europe and he decided to play it on the air. Later he also played the song "get down".

The songs were so well received that it essentially launched the Backstreet Boys' career in North America.

According to the Station Director: "Our female audience was in love."

This led to their first gig in Canada at Montreal's 1996 International Balloon Festival.

They started getting played on Musique Plus which quickly got them some air time on Much Music. And when they actually visited Much Music, the streets had to be closed down because 20,000 people flooded the area.

Eventually their popularity made its way to the US and the rest is history.

"It really was the first place we broke in North America." - Kevin Richardson

Today, the Backstreet Boys are still the highest selling boy band of all time, so it's nice to know we'll always have special place in their hearts.


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