Aaron Carter’s party came to Madison

Marisa Comeau-Kerege, News Editor

The crowd at the Majestic Theater, made up of millennial girls and a handful of guys – there on their own volition or dragged by their girlfriends – awaited the highly anticipated return of childhood heartthrob, Aaron Carter.  Although many were there as kind of a joke, a blast from the past as it were, many fan girls still broke out in highpitched screams as Carter retweeted them from backstage.

The opener, a Madison local, Catch Kid, rocked the stage with a few original songs followed by a cover of “Bittersweet Symphony.”  As the screaming fans changed their chants from Aaron Carter to Catch Kid, the lead singer commented that standing on stage in front of a crowd full of girls was, “a single man’s dream.”

The local band was followed up by Carter’s touring opener, Lineup Atlantic, a duo out of Poughkeepsie, NY.  The drummer took the stage with a solo to get the crowd warmed up.  The group played their original songs, attracting the crowd’s adoration, but in the middle of their cover of Fall Out Boy’s “Dance, Dance,” a hooded figure ran out on stage and dumped a water bottle on the lead singer.  It wasn’t until a girl from the crowd pointed to the stage and screamed, “That was Aaron!” that anyone realized that the man of the evening had made his first appearance.

Once Lineup Atlantic finished their set and cleared the stage, the crowed buzzed with anticipation.  But instead of getting what they came for, the child-wonder and pop star made his fans wait another 20 minutes.  According to online reviews of his current tour, Carter is known for taking his time getting to the stage.

At one point, the fans broke out into a chorus of, “We want Aaron!” to the tune of Carter’s hit, “I Want Candy.”  Less patient crowd members made comments such as, “Aaron, you’re famous, but not that famous.  Let’s hurry this up!”

Finally, Carter graced the audience with his presence.

Starting out, he sang many of his newer songs, because yes, Carter will be releasing a new album next year.  Although his songs worked well with the vocals we all fell in love with in the early 2000s, many in the crowd weren’t familiar with his newer works so it was hard for fans to really enjoy them.  For most, this was less about the music and more about connecting with their own childhood through their long lost preteen heartthrob.

Carter did what he could, however, to make sure that all in attendance had a good time.  He took a phone from a girl in the crowd and took selfies on stage. At one point yelled for the crowd to back up from the stage and plucked what looked to be a six-year-old girl out of the crowd.  Getting past why anyone would bring a child that young to a concert in the first place, Carter made sure she was ok then allowed her to watch the show from the side of the stage where he could make sure she was safe.

Halfway through his set, for an unknown reason, Carter called a security officer onto the stage then pointed out a girl from the crowd who was promptly escorted out of the building.

In one of his last songs he pointed up to the balcony where two older ladies sat and said, “Oh hey mom, how’d you get there?”  Turns out Mama Carter came to support her son in his final performance.

For the majority of the show Mama Carter looked unimpressed, but everything changed when Carter sang the song he wrote and dedicated to his sister, Leslie who died from an overdose of prescription medication in 2012.  His song, “Recovery,” was a heartfelt ballad that left his mother in tears.

From there, Carter gave the audience what they had been waiting for.  He sang a mash up of “I want Candy,” and “Aaron’s Party,” and invited a few, which quickly turned into twenty, fan girls up on stage.  When he asked for assistance from security to get the girls off stage, they just looked back at him blankly and did nothing.

This was their last show of an eight month, 15 country tour, because yes, this 90s Justin Bieber is still quite the hit everywhere, except America. Carter and his dancer Lee got the entire audience to throw up a Wisconsin “W” for their Instagram.  Many in the crowd saw this as the end of the show and left, hoping to beat traffic.  However, those that stayed got to see Carter perform “Not too young, not too old,” and “How I beat Shaq.”

Upon leaving, the crowd remained in a childhood bliss accompanied by ringing ears – no thanks to the high pitched screams.  So Carter may be a bit out of his era, but if he keeps bringing back our childhood classics, he may have a career yet, in America.