Last night, I attended the Rhode Island leg of Aaron Carter’s “The After Party” tour, located at Pawtucket’s intimate venue “The Met.” Hoping for the best (but preparing for the worst), a few friends and I made the 10-minute trek by cab for a night of what we hoped would be filled with good ol’ pre-teen nostalgia fun. While the
mildly creepy 25-year-old Carter hardly resembles the adorable 12-year-old we all fell in love with (duh, Sydney), the concert did not disappoint. Yeah, AC is no longer talented or relevant – but I get the sense that he knows it, which makes this whole “After Party” tour thing OK in my book. If you have any interest in Aaron, blonde hair, dancing, Shaquille O’Neal, nostalgia, and / or Bar Mitzvahs, you should probably read about the 6 things I learned at AC’s concert:
1) His dance moves haven’t changed.
All of his sweet moves are the same as they were in 2000… with the addition of some sexual hip thrusts and floor humping. But the classic boy-band-esque gestures (i.e. stepping side to side whilst making the “numbah 1” hand signal)? Still around!
2) He still loves Shaq.
I didn’t realize this until I was scrolling back through the 50+ blurry iPhone pictures the next day, but Aaron was rocking a #34 Lakers jersey for the second half of his set – in honor of his man Shaquille O’Neal, obviously. For those of you who aren’t familiar with da big AC, Carter released a song on his Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) 2001 album called “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” The lyrics go: “It’s like boom (boom) / I put it in the hoop like slam (slam) / I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam) / I swear that I’m telling you the facts / Cuz that’s how I beat Shaq.” Basically, in an attempt to impress the 14-year-old biddies, wee Carter created an elaborate story in which he beat the famous basketball star in a one-on-one game. As if, AC. (My point is: he was wearing a Shaq jersey, it was cool, and it made me nostalgic.)
3) The concert was essentially Bar Mitzvah-themed.
Two life-size portraits of a young-looking Carter flanked either side of the stage, and he was accompanied by a couple of hype men for the duration of the show. I had a serious throwback to my days in the Bar Mitzvah circuit… Aaron, your Torah portion was amazing!!!
4) “I Want Candy” will never be as good as it was in Aaron’s glory days.
Not that anyone was expecting otherwise…just thought I should let y’all know. Also, upon further investigation, I stumbled upon the fact that “I Want Candy” was originally recorded by a group called The Strangeloves in 1965, and was later covered by several artists, including Bow Wow Wow (1982) and Spice Girls’ Melanie C (2007). This Candy chick sure gets around.
5) AC is seriously horny.
I actually lost count of how many times he humped the stage/DJ table/the massive poster of his own face.
6) No matter how obvious the lip-syncing is, “Aaron’s Party” is still a good time.
Let’s be honest: Aaron peaked in the early 2000s. But he’s not trying to fool anyone – I mean, this tour is called “The After Party,” as in, the party already happened. He’s just here to have a good time and let all of us screaming twenty-somethings relive our glory days. I went in with realistic expectations and was not disappointed. I shamelessly sang along with “I Want Candy,” “Aaron’s Party,” and “Iko Iko,” and still danced to his “new stuff” (although it can’t hold a candle to the Carter music I fell in love with as a pre-teen). I paid a mere $20 for a night of unadulterated, nostalgic, girly bliss, and it was awesome. Throwback Thursday, you did me good.