|Tour by NSYNC|
Tour memorabilia poster
|Start date||May 23, 2001|
|End date||September 1, 2001|
|No. of shows||44 in North America|
|NSYNC concert chronology|
PopOdyssey was the fourth concert tour by American boy band NSYNC. Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Chili's, the tour promoted the band's third studio album, Celebrity. The tour's name is defined as "an adventurous journey towards popularity, beginning as just a dream and ending in reality". The tour became the biggest production in pop music, beating U2's PopMart Tour. The 2001 tour earned over $90 million, becoming one of the biggest tours of the year. It was also nominated for "Most Creative Stage Production" for Pollstar's "Concert Industry Awards". The tour primarily visited North America with dates in Japan proposed, but never realized.
While promoting their appearance at Rock in Rio in 2001, the band stated that have already begun production on their forthcoming tour. Following the performance, SFX Entertainment announced the band were beginning a summer concert tour, to promote their upcoming album. Initially, the tour was expected to being May 12, 2001 at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami. English pop group BBMak were slated to be the opening act. At this time, it was believed the album was to be released along with the tour. However, the album was pushed back until June, as the band were still in the recording process. According to bandmember Lance Bass, the tour dates had to remain the same, as the group needed to complete their stadium tour before football season commenced. Subsequently, the album was pushed back, once again, to July. Collectively, the group decided to have a majority of the concert focus on their album, Celebrity, giving attendees a special preview of the songs before the album was released.
The tour faced a few setbacks as well. Deemed "the largest production for a pop concert", the stage was five stories tall with three video screen and five mini-stages. The setup took four days to complete. For this reason, the commencement of the tour was pushed to the end of May, to allow the crew to complete construction of the stage and to give the band time to rehearse the new material. Brad Wavra, Vice President of Touring for SFX Entertainment stated, "['NSYNC] wanted to make sure that all their fans got the full effect of this dynamic tour. We, along with the group, regret any inconvenience this schedule change may have caused for the fans. We promise this tour will be a musical extravaganza for the record books." Further roadblocks occurred when the band were forced to cancel dates, as there was inadequate time to complete stage construction for the venue. Additional dates were cancelled due to weather conditions in the South. Despite the minor setbacks, the tour was one of the most anticipated tours of 2001.
The tour debuted at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida to positive reviews. They were joined on tour by several pop acts including: Christina Milian, Samantha Mumba and Deborah Gibson. During the show, PSAs were shown for an anti-drug campaign with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Here, the bandmembers stated their healthy alternatives (or distractions) to smoking. The band also partnered with the Candie's Foundation to help prevent teen pregnancy. They performed at "Event to Prevent", at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. They were joined by Destiny's Child, Macy Gray, 98 Degrees and Eve. The tour also opened the newly built Heinz Field.
The band's third studio album premiered at the top of the charts, setting another record for first week sales. The tour ended in the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos. During this downtime, the band worked on several side projects. Bass and Joey Fatone starred in the film On the Line. Fatone also filmed his role in the 2002 hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. They honored Janet Jackson as MTV's first icon. The group performed a bossa nova version of her number one song, "That's the Way Love Goes". For the other Jackson, the band performed alongside Michael Jackson during the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, to their hit "Pop. The group performed "Dancing Machine" with The Jackson 5 at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special.
The band performed at another Jackson event, "United We Stand: What More Can I Give", at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The concert paid respect to those lost during the September 11 attacks. The group presented another concert to benefit the families of the attacks. On November 11, 2001, the group performed to 150,000 fans on South Beach. 100% of concert proceeds were donated to the Miami Recovery Fund and Families of September 11. They were joined by Dante Thomas, Willa Ford, Deborah Cox and Tito Puente, Jr.. This was followed by a promotional concert at Atlantis Paradise Island with special guest, Tim McGraw. Bass also stated interest into joining a space mission and had begun training in Russia to be eligible. Despite having surgery to complete training, minor technicalities prevented him from participating. Bass would have been the youngest person in space, if the trip came to fruition.
At the end of 2001, the tour became the biggest concert tour in North America, falling short to veterans U2. In January the following year, the band announced another string of tour dates known as the "Celebrity Tour". This time around, the band felt their songs were well known and were able to experiment a little more with their songs. Originally, the group wanted to perform in theaters, however, they were pushed to arenas due to demand. During an interview, bandmember Chris Kirkpatrick stated the second outing would remove the spectacle of the previous tour and focus on the music.Justin Timberlake added,
"[Fans] knew when they were coming to the show last summer that they were going to get something that nobody else had, which was basically about 80 percent of the album that was going to come out after the tour. This year, obviously, they'll know the songs, but we put a twist almost on everything, so it makes it fun for them to hear it a different way and to try to recognize those tunes."
Joining the band on their second venture were R&B singer, Ginuwine and rapper and entrepreneur P. Diddy. Punk band Smash Mouth also joined the boys. The new tour dates coincided with the group's partnership with Chili's. The band was featured in several advertisement for the restaurant online and on television. Before the tour began, the band released the third single from the album, "Girlfriend" and performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Medals Plaza on February 23rd, 2002.
On this tour, all six accompanists treturned from the no strings attached tour. Two new additions would join the ranks, however
The following setlist was obtained from the concert held on May 23, 2001, at the Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. It does not represent all concerts for the duration of the tour.
|May 23, 2001||Jacksonville||United States||Alltel Stadium|
|May 26, 2001||Hershey||Hersheypark Stadium|
|May 28, 2001|
|May 31, 2001||Foxborough||Foxboro Stadium|
|June 1, 2001|
|June 3, 2001||East Rutherford||Giants Stadium|
|June 4, 2001|
|June 5, 2001|
|June 6, 2001||Cincinnati||Cinergy Field|
|June 10, 2001||Orchard Park||Ralph Wilson Stadium|
|June 13, 2001||Philadelphia||Veterans Stadium|
|June 16, 2001||Chicago||Soldier Field|
|June 17, 2001|
|June 19, 2001||Toronto||Canada||SkyDome|
|June 21, 2001||Cleveland||United States||Cleveland Browns Stadium|
|June 22, 2001|
|June 24, 2001||Minneapolis||Metrodome|
|June 26, 2001||Milwaukee||Miller Park|
|June 28, 2001||Detroit||Comerica Park|
|June 29, 2001|
|July 2, 2001||St. Louis||Trans World Dome|
|July 4, 2001||Little Rock||War Memorial Stadium|
|July 6, 2001||Houston||Reliant Astrodome|
|July 8, 2001||Irving||Texas Stadium|
|July 10, 2001||Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium|
|July 13, 2001||Denver||Mile High Stadium|
|July 16, 2001||San Diego||Qualcomm Stadium|
|July 18, 2001||Phoenix||Bank One Ballpark|
|July 21, 2001||Oakland||Network Associates Stadium|
|July 22, 2001|
|July 24, 2001||Pasadena||Rose Bowl|
|July 27, 2001||Whitney||Sam Boyd Stadium|
|July 31, 2001||Tampa||Raymond James Stadium|
|August 5, 2001||San Antonio||Alamodome|
|August 10, 2001||Louisville||Cardinal Stadium|
|August 11, 2001||Atlanta||Georgia Dome|
|August 13, 2001||Washington, D.C.||RFK Stadium|
|August 16, 2001||Indianapolis||RCA Dome|
|August 18, 2001||Pittsburgh||Heinz Field|
|August 20, 2001||Columbus||Columbus Crew Stadium|
|August 22, 2001||New Orleans||Louisiana Superdome|
|August 24, 2001||Jackson||Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium|
|August 27, 2001||El Paso||Sun Bowl Stadium|
|September 1, 2001||Mexico City||Mexico||Estadio Azteca|
|May 12, 2001||Miami, Florida||Hard Rock Stadium||Rescheduled to August 2, 2001|
|May 15, 2001||St. Petersburg, Florida||Tropicana Field||Rescheduled to July 31, 2001. Moved to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida|
|May 18, 2001||Jacksonville, Florida||Alltel Stadium||Rescheduled to May 23, 2001|
|May 20, 2001||Jackson, Mississippi||Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium||Rescheduled to August 24, 2001.|
|May 22, 2001||Charlotte, North Carolina||Bank of America Stadium||Cancelled|
|May 24, 2001||Atlanta, Georgia||Georgia Dome||Rescheduled to August 11, 2001|
|May 30, 2001||Foxborough, Massachusetts||Foxboro Stadium||Cancelled|
|June 10, 2001||Plattsburgh, New York||Plattsburgh Air Force Base||Cancelled|
|June 26, 2001||Green Bay, Wisconsin||Lambeau Field||Cancelled|
|June 29, 2001||Pontiac, Michigan||Pontiac Silverdome||Moved to Comerica Park in Detroit|
|July 31, 2001||Las Cruces, New Mexico||Aggie Memorial Stadium||Cancelled|
|August 2, 2001||Miami, Florida||Hard Rock Stadium||Cancelled due to the effects of Tropical Storm Barry|
|August 7, 2001||Birmingham, Alabama||Legion Field||Cancelled due to the effects of Tropical Storm Barry|
|August 11, 2001||Vancouver, Canada||BC Place Stadium||Cancelled|
|August 18, 2001||Memphis, Tennessee||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium||Cancelled|
|August 20, 2001||Lexington, Kentucky||Commonwealth Stadium||Cancelled|
|Venue||City||Tickets sold / Available||Gross revenue|
|Alltel Stadium||Jacksonville||42,218 / 71,256 (59%)||$2,030,372|
|Hersheypark Stadium||Hershey||61,996 / 66,222 (94%)||$3,252,128|
|Foxboro Stadium||Foxborough||44,858 / 48,089 (93%)||$4,744,485|
|Giants Stadium||East Rutherford||154,359 / 176,817 (87%)||$7,364,012|
|Cinergy Field||Cincinnati||36,371 / 42,285 (86%)||$1,947,461|
|Ralph Wilson Stadium||Orchard Park||43,406 / 55,874 (78%)||$2,175,436|
|Veterans Stadium||Philadelphia||46,005 / 54,212 (85%)||$2,534,204|
|Soldier Field||Chicago||85,650 / 103,903 (82%)||$4,739,359|
|Miller Park||Milwaukee||34,148 / 44,978 (76%)||$1,956,157|
|TransWorld Dome||St. Louis||31,790 / 48,808 (65%)||$1,708,437|
|War Memorial Stadium||Little Rock||31,062 / 41,126 (75%)||$1,517,261|
|Reliant Astrodome||Houston||44,116 / 65,144 (68%)||$2,328,582|
|Texas Stadium||Irving||44,564 / 44,564 (100%)||$2,374,325|
|Arrowhead Stadium||Kansas City||40,863 / 53,143 (77%)||$2,107,135|
|Bank One Ballpark||Phoenix||42,959 / 49,111 (87%)||$2,213,026|
|Rose Bowl||Pasadena||62,196 / 62,196 (100%)||$3,154,129|
|Sam Boyd Stadium||Las Vegas||29,003 / 38,100 (76%)||$1,297,973|
|Alamodome||San Antonio||55,206 / 67,573 (82%)||$3,000,974|
|RFK Stadium||Washington, D.C.||41,831 / 47,962 (87%)||$2,232,680|
|Heinz Field||Pittsburgh||48,118 / 56,275 (85%)||$2,558,856|
|Sun Bowl Stadium||El Paso||38,313 / 48,987 (78%)||$2,048,331|
|TOTAL||1,014,174 / 1,238,536||$52,540,838|
|Promotional concerts setlist|
The tour was documented for video during the concert at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Bandmember JC Chasez mentioned the band chose to film at that venue because rehearsals were held at that facility. The VHS, entitled *NSYNC: PopOdyssey Live, was released on November 21, 2001. A DVD edition was released on April 23, 2002. The DVD featured the entire concert along with special features, which included: interviews with each bandmember, photo gallery, profile of each musician, web links and a documentary. A special intro video was made for the video release to explain the meaning of the tour name. The original video shown at the beginning of each concert was made available as a special feature. For the Celebrity Tour, the concert at the TD Waterhouse Centre was filmed for a possible DVD release. However, the footage was deemed "unusable" and not released. Bootleg DVDs were sold on eBay in 2003 with ameuter footage of the concert in Anaheim. A professionally filmed video montage appeared on YouTube in 2006.
Before the group began the Celebrity Tour, they performed a few promotional concerts that aired on television. The first was a CBS Thanksgiving special entitled "*NSYNC: The Atlantis Concert". The show was filmed at the Atlantis Paradise Island on November 14 and 15, 2001. The concert was exclusive to guest of the hotel and featured duets with country recording artist, Tim McGraw. The special aired on November 23, 2001 alongside The Rugrats Movie. This concert was followed with another promotional performance. To celebrate the 2002 Winter Olympics, the band was one of the headlining performers for the "Olympic Celebration Concert Series". The concert was filmed at the Olympic Medals Plaza on February 23, 2002. The concert aired live on NBC.
The tour received mixed criticisms from numerous music critics in the U.S. Many commented on bad acoustics in certain venues while others complained of the massive staging taking away from the show. For the debut concert at Altell Stadium, Nick Marino (The Florida Times-Union) writes despite the massive stage, the band's stage presence was out of this world. He continued, "A big pop show, an expensive pop show, but a pop show all the same. NSYNC realizes (thank goodness) that they are famous, in part, for being famous, and they're using that fact as the touchstone for this entire tour. Pretty smart".
At the Hersheypark Stadium show, Peter Debruge (Entertainment Weekly) felt the group strayed away from the traditional "pop" sound. He further states, Judging by the thousands of glow-stick wagging teenage girls whose eager screams punctuated each peppy chorus, the crowd enthusiastically approved of the unfamiliar songs, even if it meant not being able to sing along. And it's clear that NSYNC's fan base extends beyond these enthusiastic teens, as I discovered while standing in line between a young gay couple and a middle-aged man wearing an 'I'd Rather Be Hunting' T-shirt. Or maybe that guy was just someone's dirty pop. Sean Richardson (Boston Phoenix) thought the show at the Foxboro Stadium "colorful". He goes on to say, "The group's wacky sense of humor dominated, especially during a series of slapstick video segments like the faux Western that introduced 'Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)'. A bit of a drag on record, the song came alive when the guys flew out across the audience from the top of the stage at the beginning and engaged in a crowd-pleasing display of synchronized bull riding at the end".
Neil Strauss (The New York Times) compared the show at the Giants Stadium to U2's PopMart Tour, saying the production was spectacle for the sake of spectacle. He continued, "But where NSYNC had its stadium rivals beat was in the sheer size of its budget and gimmickry. Almost every song came with its own elaborate filmed introduction, expensive high-tech effect, or both. The stage was like a lavish amusement park and arcade. During various songs, futuristic mechanical bulls, giant playpen toys, zip wires, trampolines, treadmills, magic tricks, rubber sit 'n' bounce balls, bicycles, individual elevating platforms, Velcro suits, freight elevators and video game simulations were used by the band". For the same concert, Isaac Guzman (New York Daily News) felt the show was "all sizzle, no steak". He explains, "On a stage set so large it looked as if someone had parked the upper decks of an ocean liner on the field, the group—Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, J.C. Chasez, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick—was dwarfed by the size of the production. To a certain extent, that was the point: 'Popodyssey' is meant to explore the meaning of 'Celebrity', which happens to be the title of the group's next record, slated for release July 24. In NSYNC's world, celebrity means facing down gold-digging girlfriends and complaining about having to wear sequin-covered chaps while singing 'Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)'. It also means being open to your fans' admiration by sincerely reading their love letters aloud".
Reviewing the show at the SkyDome, Jane Stevenson (Jam!) gave the performance three and a half out of five stars. She states, "The non-stop display of spectacle aside—there were also levitating platforms, Velcro suits, moving sidewalks, fans taking pictures of the group on stage and the band's final disappearing magic act—the crowd erupted into ear-piercing screams whenever NSYNC performed their neo-Chippendales dance maneuvers". At the Metrodome show, Jon Bream (Star Tribune) noted the effects were bigger, brighter and bolder than their last tour. He says, "This time around, the Prefab Five seemed to be projecting more of an attitude, as if some of the songs and the messages on the video screen were flipping a figurative finger at critics. The feistiness adds a much-needed edge, but if critics are NSYNC's biggest gripe, these guys have nothing to complain about". Scott Mervis (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) called the show at RFK Stadium the "mother of all stadium tours". He follows, "But the shtick was piled ever higher. There were flying contraptions. A tasteful helping of pyro. Toys to ride around on. Costumes louder than Joey that they changed into while we were entertained by their slick home videos. One of those Velcro walls inspired by David Letterman for 'Up Against the Wall'. Hot chicks in superhero costumes, and a diabolical wizard taking the controls for 'The Game Is Over'.