RALEIGH — Big Time Rush fans came prepared for the Big Time Summer Tour on Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek.
From homemade T-shirts to neon posters declaring admiration for the band to smart phones at the ready — teens, tweens and those in-between (mostly parents who escorted their kids there) — were anxious to capture every moment of the Nickelodeon stars’ concert. Screaming boys and girls of all ages could be heard from the lawn to the stage, shouting out the names of their favorite performers periodically.
James Maslow, Logan Henderson, Kendall Schmidt and Carlos Pena Jr., known to Rushers by their first names only, surprised the audience by walking out to various stages throughout the amphitheater, shaking hands and hugging fans along the way.
My companion for the evening, my 10-year-old son, was most impressed with the number of songs performed from “Elevate,” the band’s 2011 release. He would lean toward me and whisper favorites like the title song and follow it up with a hop-jump along to the beat. “Windows Down,” a great summer sing-along tune, was a great way to wind down the summer since many of the concertgoers are preparing to go back to school.
The band, according to an Associated Press story earlier this week, performed at the White House in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy living campaign on Monday. In a time where video games and other handheld devices are so prevalent, the members of Big Time Rush are obviously advocates of fit lifestyles.
As a parent, what was most appealing about the concert and these amazing young men was their ability to not only get kids up and dancing, but the way they interact with the crowd. At one point, four female audience members ranging in age from elementary school on up, were escorted on stage and performed alongside their favorites.
Twitter feeds were posted prior to the band’s concert and the performers revealed that they follow Twitter as well. The song “Invisible,” they admitted, was inspired by a fan’s Tweet that she felt like “she was invisible” and they didn’t read anything posted on Twitter.
“You guys are not invisible to us,” Pena Jr. said. “We see every one of your Tweets."
In the band’s British-inspired “Big Time Movie,” it covered four Beatles songs and two — “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Help” — were welcomed by parents, who mouthed the words.
Raleigh was one of the stops on the popular band’s 60-city tour this summer and although the concert lasted a few hours past most young listener’s bedtimes, the energy and excitement continued long after the encore as fans continued to hum and sing along while walking to the parking lot.