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Big Time Rush Treats Fans To A “Big Night” At Gibson Amphitheatre

Jenny Chen |
February 20, 2012 | 2:16 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Big Time Rush in concert.
Big Time Rush in concert.
“BTR! BTR! BTR!” hundreds of young fans chanted inside the Gibson Amphitheatre Saturday night as they waited for boy band Boy Time Rush to take the stage. 

Performing their most well-known singles with finesse and flair, Big Time Rush could have turned even the most wary in the audience into “Rushers” – a term fans have dubbed themselves. 

Making their return to hometown Los Angeles, Big Time Rush (or BTR) was greeted with a sold-out crowd in Universal Citywalk on the second stop of their “Better With U” tour. 

Originally formed in 2009, BTR is composed of four members: Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson. The four band mates, all 21 or 22-years-old, are featured on a Nickelodeon television show titled “Big Time Rush” about a boy band trying to make it in the music industry.

The show is entering its third season, thanks to hordes of kids and tweens who continue to watch. 

Up-and-coming artist 15-year-old Jackson Guthy and 21-year-old veteran JoJo opened the night. Guthy displayed a level of maturity and potential for stardom, all the while pulling up his one-size-too-big pants. JoJo performed new singles and old favorites (i.e. “Too Little Too Late”) showing the audience the vocals that originally brought her fame in 2004.

However, the crowd kept screaming “BTR!” in anticipation for the main act. And BTR didn’t disappoint.

BTR kicked off their concert with the TV show’s theme song, decked out in white button-downs and black vests and jackets. Looking sharp, they worked the crowd.

The set was simple, but the boys used it to their advantage. Featuring ramps and ladders with a trampoline in the middle, the set lent itself to the band’s infectious energy. As they jumped up and down performing tricks, confetti and the occasional streamers blasted the crowd while a few pyrotechnics spiced up the scene. 

Yet, rather than let a big show overwhelm their performance, BTR used the simplicity to run around like kids and the open space to dance. The alterations on the album version do not do the band justice, who is a strong presence when performing live. 

In “Nothing Even Matters,” the boys harmonized quite nicely, proving they are better together than solo. However, all of them shared equal singing time, which can be a rarity in bands. 

Their brotherhood camaraderie came out in “If I Ruled the World,” as the boys kicked each others’ feet, playing off each other as they bounced around on the trampolines. Once they changed into black V-necks and wife-beaters with red pants, it seemed as if the band was channeling the ‘90s with their look and moves. 

BTR slowed it down in “Invisible,” sitting on chairs elevated high above the stage with an unpretentious backdrop. Even though their ballads are not nearly as catchy as their dance tracks, BTR proved they were capable of performing without the excess noise. 

The real surprise of the night was the band’s natural tendency to include their fans. In the first song, the words flashed on the screen encouraging even the most shy to join along. Later, they ran around filming the arena during “Boyfriend." BTR then brought up a fan for “Cover Girl,” during which she burst into tears when the boys kissed her cheek.

On the one hand, Big Time Rush’s songs do not offer anything musically or lyrically genius. They certainly play into a cookie-cutter style that Nickelodeon churns out. Their performance wasn’t perfect either; nothing was particularly surprising. 

The performance was also short, spanning just one hour. None of the members talked or conversed with the crowd; they simply shouted out the mandatory “What’s up Los Angeles!” and “How are you doing tonight?”

Maybe they filled up their short performance with as much music as possible to keep the audience engaged, or they were hoping to keep the little ones awake for as long as possible. After all, their audience was filled with kids whom likely stayed up past their bedtime to stay behind and catch a glimpse of the band after the show.  

Confetti during "Till I Forget About You"
Confetti during "Till I Forget About You"
The songs, with lyrics like “So everybody get up, up, out of your seats/Kick off your shoes like you’re down at the beach/Jump up, up on the beach/Singing Ayo, Ayo” won’t win BTR any awards. 

Yet, the band who has performed globally knows how to satisfy their fans. They know how to move, perform tricks and pump up the crowd. They know how to take those radio-friendly hits and transform them on stage. They share the spotlight and can sing live while performing legitimate choreography. 

BTR can’t be put on the level as trained dancers or major seasoned performers. But, the group has gone on tour for a reason. Songs like “Time of Our Life,” “Superstar,” “Elevate” and “Love Me Love Me” all seemed like fan favorites. 

Closing with “Till I Forget About You,” BTR gave the kind of chipper and hyper performance that only boy bands can give. They were met with the kind of insane cheering and applause that tells you that even if the boys were frozen on stage, their fans would still be “Rushers.” 

Reach reporter Jenny Chen here.
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