When I was 10 years old, I wanted nothing more than to find a quiet place, grab my CD player and lip-sync along with late-90s-early-Millennium pop star Aaron Carter.
So naturally when it was announced that Aaron would be coming through Tucson on his After Party Tour, his first tour since 2004, I immediately knew I must go. When I learned there would be VIP passes to meet him after the show, I thought the fates had aligned for me.
The event was a ’90s Party at The Rock, a small venue that is host to many bands. Drinks such as “The Rocket Power” (Red Bull and Vodka) and “Capri Sun Punch” (Capri Sun and Rum) were served and there should have been a costume contest for the amount of people who dressed in their best ’90s attire.
The UA’s a cappella group CatCall opened the show followed by Bangarang, who played Blink 182 songs to my delight. The next opener was Something Like Seduction, a rock-reggae band that performed a couple Sublime songs (also to my delight.) Lastly, an all-girl-fronted band of sisters, Petrel, took the stage and played feminist-rock. Between acts, a DJ spun classic ’90s songs by the likes of The Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake, The Beastie Boys and Britney Spears.
At last, it was time for the show we were all waiting for! As Aaron Carter took the stage hundreds of thrilled girls rushed as close as they could to the stage. I am not afraid to admit I was one of these girls. I couldn’t help it — I’d waited 10 years to see him in concert!
He was still recognizable; blonde hair, bright white smile, fantastic dance moves…just a bit taller with some new tattoos. Aaron has been doing well since his departure from the public eye as a pop star child prodigy. He had a stint on Dancing with the Stars, followed by the role of Matt in off-Broadway play The Fantasticks. After small shows here and there, Aaron announced The After Party Tour, which has been touring since February and will reach up to 80 venues in the US.
He performed classic songs such as ‘That’s How I Beat Shaq’ and I was surprised that I could still sing along, word for word. He also performed some new hip-hop he’s been working on lately. He had a couple costume changes during the show, from his infamous American-clad jacket to an all-white outfit (he took off the shirt to many screams.)
Throughout the show Aaron flirted with the girls in the audience, bringing a couple on stage to serenade and kiss as well as leaning over the stage to kiss girls during his performance. It sounds a little creepy, but we mustn’t forget he is only 25 years old!
The last two songs he performed were ‘I Want Candy’ and ‘Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),’ arguably his two most popular songs and exactly what every person in the audience was there to see live.
After the show I was shuffled into a line for those who purchased VIP tickets (apparently if you could put a price on a childhood dream it would be roughly $72.) After what seemed like the longest wait time in my life as I had been at The Rock for 7 hours at this point, it was finally time to meet Aaron. My heart pounded as I walked up the steps to the stage, and as I saw Aaron I couldn’t believe this was real. I would be fulfilling a childhood dream of meeting today’s Justin Bieber and yesteryear’s New Kids on the Block.
“If I knew 10 years ago that I would meet you today, I would have freaked out,” I said.
“And how are you now?” Aaron asked.
He was a great hugger and he smelled of really nice cologne. We took a picture together and then he kissed me. On the lips. Well, me and a dozen other girls that night, but that didn’t matter to me! As if this moment couldn’t get any more surreal, he asked me to put my phone number in his backup dancer’s phone. I didn’t see any other girls with this honor!