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Thousands of Teenage Fans Pack ESA for Backstreet Boys Concert

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RALEIGH — "Backstreet Mania" took over the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena on Friday.

The Backstreet Boys made their first appearance at the arena, setting an attendance record of nearly 20,000 screaming fans. It only took a few hours before tickets were gone.

The show lasted for more than two and a half hours. Many fans showed up as early as three hours before the start of the show.

"We're going to be screaming our heads off," said one fan.

Concert officials kept everything about the show under wraps.

"It's tight security for a show like this," said Larry Perkins, arena assistant general manager.

Parents, who may not be Backstreet Boys fans, were able to have fun at the concert as well. A special "Quiet Room" at the Entertainment and Sports Arena was available to escape the noise of the screaming fans.

"It makes you feel secure that your kids are not far away," said Steve Davis, a parent. "If they need you, you can get to them. I don't have to hang out with them, which she wouldn't think is very cool."

Parents were able to work on their laptops, read magazines and enjoy free refreshments.


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