O-Town Set To Conquer L-Town

By | July 19, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Concert promoters say London is a last-minute town when it comes to ticket buying… but not when it’s O-Town fans doing the buying.

 It took just 100 minutes for the first of tomorrow’s two Centennial Hall shows by the boy band machine to sell out two months ago. The second show went almost as quickly to fans who had lined up unsuccessfully for that first show. That’s more than 3,000 tickets.

 As the late, great Jim Morrison of the Doors used to intone, the men don’t know, but the little girls understand.

 The thing that sets this American five-piece group apart from all the other boy bands is that almost every “unhhh” in their career has been documented.

 Millions of people tuned in last year for the ongoing saga of O-Town on Making the Band (ABC/YTV), which saw pop marionetteer Lou Pearlman help create the band from 1,800 boy-band wannabes.

 Pearlman, however, does not manage the group. Its debut CD (J Records/BMG) came out on the label run by ageless music mogul Clive Davis, lately famous for helping bring Carlos Santana all those Grammy awards.

 Cameras still follow O-Town in the second season of Making the Band. Now the five young men with two big hits (Liquid Dreams, All or Nothing) are coming to London.

 “Well, we are boys in a band,” smiles O-Town’s Trevor Penick, the funny, funky or vociferous one, depending on which fan or flack is talking. “We don’t deny that.”

 Ashley Parker Angel, Jacob Underwood, Dan Miller and Erik-Michael Estrada are the others who made the final cut and set off to conquer the world. Miller, in fact, was picked by the other four. They agreed he was the man to take the spot of a previously selected finalist who dropped out.

 What Penick and his O-Town pals don’t like hearing is the anti boy-band hype that goes like this: They can’t write music; they’re up there because they’re cute; they’re only in it for the money.

 “If you say that about us, then I’ll say, ‘No, we’re not a boy band, because we do write music,’ ” says Penick.

 So far, the only blip in O-Town’s road is a back injury to Underwood. “I broke two bones in my lower back, so I’ve been out for a month and a half,” Underwood has been telling fans, as he begs off dance routines.

 Penick says his man Jacob just may be dancing in London.

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