NSYNC: BIGGER THAN LIVE

NR
Reviews

NSync: Bigger Than Live features a one-hour rendition of an NSync concert and promises to make you feel closer to the action than if you were there in person. The bouncy gang of five appears bigger than bigger-than-life on the giant large-format screen, but viewers might prefer a home-video version after craning their necks to take in the full image. Fortunately, the top half of the screen may be ignored much of the time, as it only displays a jumbo-sized video monitor for the concert-hall fans in bad seats.

As concerts go, the NSync act provides mostly indistinguishable songs, busy choreography, spangly costumes, and an unimaginative use of lasers, lights and fog. There is also a moving platform stage for the fans to get closer to the fellas. But young girls attending should beware of the hefty-looking security guys ready to pounce on anyone who gets too close.

Actually, one feels sorry for these faceless crew members, as well as the unheralded workers who are seen constructing the stage in the Wiseman-esque opening shots. One also feels a bit sorry for the NSync performers themselves. In their opening number, they portray marionettes, a inadvertent representation of how entertainers are the puppets of the promoters, producers and corporate interests of these sort of events. (Rock has always been a pseudo-transgressive art form--even the Stones have sold out many a time for television commercials). Likely, in a few years, one will feel sorriest of all for the four potbellied ex-members of NSync, as hottie lead singer Justin Timberlake rejects the plan for a reunion in lieu of a feature film role.

The songs include something about 'The Wild Wild West,' with the lyrics 'Yi Yi Yippie Yi Yo' and a little crotch-grabbing that will hardly cause sleepless nights for Eminem. A funky rap tune follows a soulful love song, reminding us all how, once again, whites have appropriated black culture--for fame and profit. (If one has any sympathy left, pity the barely glimpsed black musicians in the dark corners of the stage.) Speaking of profit, another song features the guys in shirts made with coin and money motifs. The group's signature tune, 'Bye Bye Bye,' closes the show.

--Eric Monder