Despite the heat — and with no air conditioning in their dressing room — pop band Big Time Rush invaded the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif., Thursday night with tons of energy — and plenty of confetti to boot.
In light of the extreme temperatures, the boy band, comprised of Kendall Schmidt, Logan Henderson, Carlos Pena, Jr. and James Maslow, joked about taking their clothes off to a mostly female audience. As is to be expected, the crowd responded in kind with thousands of ear-shattering shrieks.
Most of the audience (an expecting Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green among them) was decked out in neon homemade shirts and carrying signs that read “Dibs on James” or “Marry Me, Logan,” as well as the obligatory “It’s My Birthday!” proclaimations. But the fans, dubbed Rushers, were surprisingly not all teenagers.
“If you look at the crowd we’ve kind of got two separate audiences,” James told The Hollywood Reporter before the show. “We’ve got the young kids who pretty much watch the TV show and so they know us as the characters, and they still enjoy the music. But then you have a lot more now — more and more growing — of just the pop audience. 18 and up.”
Big Time Rush formed in 2009 as an extension of the Nickelodeon TV show of the same name. Now in its third season, the show airs new episodes Mondays at 8 pm.
“People don’t see us — not every person — but they don’t see us as real people. We’re these characters that come to their living room every single night at 8 o’clock,” Logan explained. “Then they see us in real life and they’re like, ‘wait a minute.’ We each have pieces of our characters in us, but we’re actual real people who have certain personalities and we like to do certain things and they start to realize that.”
Rachel Crow (of The X Factor) and another boy band called New Hollow served as the night’s opening acts, earning a respectable reaction from the audience, but all that paled in comparison to the deafening screams that would follow.
After New Hollow exited the stage, a massive timer appeared on screen in the center of the stage to count down until the band came on. On either side of the stage, tweets and pictures were posted from the fans.
When the band did come out (belting the title track of their second album, “Elevate”), the audience got their first look at the set. Comprised of poles the boys could slide down, ramps, platforms (one literally elevated the band into the air) and a trampoline in the center of it all, the set looked more like a massive jungle gym than a stage. BTR used every bit of the set in their performance, and even ventured out into the audience for their performance of “Halfway There.”
More screams erupted when the guys brought four girls up on stage with them to sing “Worldwide.” They tugged on some heartstrings when Carlos brought attention to a diehard fan who had been to dozens of their concerts — too many to count, she confessed — and had expressed on Twitter how she wanted them to call her up to the stage if they saw her. The band, who claims to read every single tweet directed at them (one even inspired the song “Invisible”), proved why they have such a loyal following.
Despite several slower paced songs (“Worldwide,” “Cover Girl”) the band kept their energy up throughout the entire show, which lasted just over an hour. Towards the end, the band also performed covers of the famous Beatles songs “Hold You Hand” and “Help,” set to images from the band’s film Big Time Movie. The highlight of the evening, though, was during the band’s latest song, “Window Down.” The audience — if possible — got even louder when the band lead the audience in the chorus.
The band bounced off stage — literally — before returning with their fourth costume change. Keeping the encore short, the boys belted out the show’s theme song, “Big Time,” leaving a big time impression amidst pyrotechnics and confetti.