I have some experience of playing along to backing tracks...but never to a gigging level.
The singer I was working with used [url="http://www.karaoke-version.com."]http://www.karaoke-version.com.[/url] He downloaded the full track and then used his DAW to filter out certain instruments. I played mainly acoustic guitar over the tracks and I have to admit...I just didn't like it. I like my music to have a bit of push and pull and a bit of spontaneity, all of which is missing when using backing tracks. Also, I'm not the greatest guitarist in the world...I'm pretty terrible., so that didn't help
However...if you can handle the discipline to stick to exact tempos and structures...backing tracks are a good way to make your music sound massive! The times that we got it right it did sound awesome!