The shrieks came from toddlers to teenagers to college kids — and some of their parents. But the shouting was unquestionably happy when Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush took the stage for nearly 6,000 mostly young people at the Allegan County Fair on Sunday.
Hot Chelle Rae’s well-received opening set fired up the crowd for BTR — comprised of James Maslow, Logan Henderson, Kendal Schmidt and Carlos Pena from Nickelodeon’s series of the same name – Big Time Rush.
After the quartet raced onstage to greet their followers to the strains of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” James Maslow bellowed, “Let us hear you scream!”
BTR opened with “Famous, followed up with "'Til I Forget About You."
Maslow executed a perfect back flip. Energy soared. Tiny girls perched on their parents’ shoulders and a huge portion of the largely female audience pressed to the front holding huge, carefully-crafted love notes with messages like “It’s my birthday!” to attract band members’ attention in the sea of young faces.
“I love BTR,” said Sabriah Torres, 11, of Holland. “Logan is hot.”
She and her sisters, Anissa, 10, and Beyonce, 9, sported hand-lettered clothing crafted for the event. The concert was Beyonce’s early 10th birthday gift and she celebrated in her own personal style.
“They wrote on their shirts with Sharpies,” said Mom Leticia Torres, 30. “They are just obsessed.”
The BTR T-shirts flew from the merchandise tents to winding lines of enthusiastic fans nearly as fast as the beer flowed at the Kid Rock concert the previous night.
The only consistent complaint resonating through the crowd was that nearly no one seated in fold-out chairs on the track could see anything with everyone standing on chairs blocking their view of the performance.
The deliriously happy young fans behaved like ladies and gentlemen. There was not a drop pf alcohol served at the fair on Sunday, but still, two mothers engaged in a chair-flinging scuffle over their children’s places near the front row before being escorted away by patient security staff members.
Some parents could learn a lot from their kids.
BTR thanked the parents in the audience with their own rendition of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
Some say that BTR is too sugary. Others wonder why clean-cut, crowd-pleasing young men without need for a parental advisory on their CD could possibly be a negative influence. Think Backstreet Boys. Think ‘N Sync.
With sharp looks, smooth harmonies and melodies — let alone their electric, synchronized dancing — BTR may be the resurrection of the boy band.