By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Many who attended the show claim the headliner got upstaged. The humbled omni-pop personas of Boy Division members play down the cold reception some say the band received from Superstar. "I don't know where the upstaged rumor started," Flash says. "We played first and turned out a phenomenal show. Our reception was giant, as usual. Then Har Mar played. He also put on a fantastic show. I don't see where there is any room for conflict. In this business, someone somewhere is always out to ruin you [and start rumors]. I don't think it was Atom, so I bet it was that guy who married Jessica Simpson. He's always hated us."
But what about the critics who say boy bands have no substance? The naysayers who point out that boy-band songs are oversexed cookie-cutter songs with no real substance? "With the exception of the violent rap cameo by Low Tech, there is no profanity in any of the Boy Division/N2U songs," Sweetz says. "With no profanity and drug references, you can slip everything else underneath the radar. So, hey--whatever they want to say."
Flash refers to the critics as "playa haters," people who want to tear the king of the mountain from his throne.
"This business will try to kill you as it gives you life," Flash says. "Our success infuriates some. To them, I say, 'Get off your duff and start your own awesome band.' It is the act of a coward to detract from another."
But he doesn't deny the subtle innuendoes that are evident in their performances. Lyrics such as "Cats like us can chase the fur all day" simply can't be overlooked or ignored.
"I am the womanizer, so they say," Flash says. "I got ladies all up in my mix 24/7. I'm not a player, more like a scrimmage partner. You might notice that most of my lyrics objectify women. I was not brought up to believe this way. It's just part of my life as a pop star."
Each member lives the life of a pop star--the overindulgence, the excess, the ladies. Flash even has a motto he brings along to pump him up for shows: "Singing like champions, dancing like warriors and scoring chicks like the '86 Mets."
So N2U was a success. They had a fan base, were playing more shows. On a roll. Why, then, the sudden name change?
Almost in a defensive tone, Sweetz rattles on about pop power and the phenomenon of pop culture making up the rules as it goes. "Why did Keith Richards or Richard remove or add the 'S'?" he attempts to justify. "Because we can. So we became Boy Division." Translated from boy-band speak, that means some other pop phenomenon had already been going by N2U for years in Los Angeles. And Denton's boy band stands in the shadow of no other.
It's been almost a year since the four members last took the stage. Countless message board postings that rumor a sour split rival only those anticipating Friday night's show.
Boy Division promises it to be well worth the wait.
At camp Boy Division there are no platinum records lining the halls. No bags of fan mail. No pubescent stalkers waiting outside. Only true dedication to pop music. These guys don't need the pretentious validation of Teen Beat pictorial spreads or their own action-figure doll. Boy Division is running on the drive the members get from making the "best pop music in the world." "We believe we have shown people how to 'pop,'" Flash says. "Are we here to send the other boy bands back to school? We damn sure are."