It's going to be big-time music weekend in Bangor. In more ways than one.
It's a big-time weekend because Bangor Waterfront Pavilion is hosting three major outdoor concerts on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday.
And it's going to be "big time" literally, because that super-hot boy band full of TV stars, Big Time Rush, is headlining the Friday show. Saturday's show will be headlined by Australian country star Keith Urban, while fellow country star Jason Aldean is set to do a sold-out show on Sunday.
The outdoor series at Bangor Waterfront Pavilion has been growing since it started three years ago, from seven shows the first year to 17 in each of the past two years.
"We worked at getting the two country shows back-to-back to create a weekend," said Alex Gray of Waterfront Concerts. "But Big Time Rush was just tour routing."
That's life in the concert business -- it's all about routing. But in this case, the miracle of tour routing is bringing Big Time Rush to Maine at a time when it's one of the top boy bands.
Big Time Rush -- or BTR, as the group is known to its fans -- has sold more than 1.25 million albums and 3.5 million singles in the U.S. in the past two years, and won the award for Best Music Group at this year's Kids' Choice Awards. It's also the star of a Nickelodeon TV show that's in the top 10 of all kids' TV programming.
Gray says Big Time Rush is "probably a close second" in the boy-band department right now to One Direction, a British-Irish group that has taken the 'tween music world by storm.
One of the reasons BTR is so big is that it follows The Monkees' old formula. (Not a coincidence, by the way -- the Nickelodeon show's creator Scott Fellows has said he was inspired by Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky to create BTR.) The four young men were all recruited to be in the show "Big Time Rush," which is about a band, Big Time Rush.
In the show, they are supposed to be four young hockey-playing Minnesotans who move to Los Angeles to be in the band.
As the show heads into its fourth season, the stars are in their 20s and dealing with a busy filming and touring schedule, all while trying to figure out where this wild ride is taking them.
In an email interview with GO, each of the guys in Big Time Rush answered some questions about life as TV/music stars -- and the challenges that come with it.
"It feels like we eat, breathe and do everything Big Time Rush, but we are all committed to this project," Pena said. "I would say the biggest challenge of being so busy is not having a lot of free time to spend with my family and friends."
Henderson said in their free time, the band members like to do things most young men like to do, such as "play a lot of video games and try to get workouts in whenever we can."
But he added that while on tour this summer, they've also been recording new songs for their third album. So much for free time.
Maslow offered that everyone in the band is a fan of Justin Timberlake's music, but that he personally likes "a little bit of everything."
"I also listen to everything from Jack Johnson to Maroon 5, Skrillex and Adele," he said.
Schmidt said none of the members set out as a teens to be pop stars. They were basically singer-actors who got their big break early in life.
"I don't think any of us ever thought we would be in a boy band or have our own TV show, but we feel so lucky to be able to do what we love," said Schmidt.
That said, he admitted that the gig definitely has perks as well as drawbacks.
"I would say the biggest perk is that you get to travel the world and hang out with these guys every day," he said. "The downside is that we definitely get homesick. We are all pretty close to our family, so it's definitely hard to not see them so often."
So what's in the future for Big Time Rush? Will the TV show continue beyond its fourth season, which is set to begin filming in 2013? Will they be doing Big Time Rush reunions 40 years from now, like The Monkees'? Will there be a "Head"-style movie in the works?
The answers: Maybe, who knows, and yes. Well, maybe something not as trippy as The Monkees' "Head," and maybe not as BTR, but at least one member sees a film career in the cards.
"Moving past Big Time Rush, I've always wanted to do film," said Maslow. "I think TV's an amazing start, but film has always been the ultimate goal.
"I'm excited to play something more serious. I'd rather play fifth lead in a movie that's great than be the lead in something that wasn't good."