Aaron Carter @ The Stone Pony 3.7.13
by Cara McGrath (Graphic Design), published March 20th 2013
The thought of attending an Aaron Carter concert in 2013 is absurd. But how could one resist the chance to see a pop star who peaked at age 14 attempt an unwarranted comeback? As most could have easily guessed, Carter made no strides toward serious stardom at his show at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. With his tour entitled “The After Party Tour,” it is clear that he is still trying to monopolize on his most successful song, the 2000 hit single, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” A surprising amount of young people in the crowd genuinely supported Carter with high-pitched screams, handmade posters, and VIP meet and greet passes. However, the majority of attendees were there for the same reason that my friends and I were: for nothing more than to laugh.
Carter’s performance was an archetypical boy band routine, a very unfamiliar kind of concert for me. Two large posters of the 25-year-old’s face flanked the stage and a DJ and two overly animated back-up dancers accompanied him. Each of the dancers wore horribly tacky shirts that read “Keep Calm and Join the After Party.” Carter wore a headset microphone like that of a McDonald’s drive-thru worker and changed his clothes three or four times, sporting everything from a head-to-toe white ensemble to a yellow Shaquille O’Neal jersey.
While everything so far seems innocent and characteristic of Carter, it was impossible not to notice how downright creepy he seemed. When the show began, the DJ announced clearly to the crowd that Carter was a “single man” and needed “a girlfriend for the after party.” When one girl was propped up on someone’s shoulders in the crowd, Carter asked her to come forward to kiss him on the lips. And when three girls were brought on stage to be serenaded, Carter’s DJ announced that the only rule was that they “[could not] take his clothes off here.” It became pretty evident during the show that music may not be the primary reason for The After Party Tour.
Although the performance was entirely cheesy, it was very entertaining when the old songs came around. “Bounce,” “To All The Girls” and “I Want Candy” were among those I had forgotten. But as anyone could expect, “How I Beat Shaq” and “Aaron’s Party” were definitely the highlights of the show. Carter’s voice hasn’t seemed to change much since he was a teenager, so these songs sounded just like everyone remembered. Carter mixed in one or two new tracks, but didn’t try to force this on a crowd that was expecting all of his early 2000s hits. This choice, however, cannot possibly do Carter’s current and future musical career much good. Ultimately, seeing Aaron Carter try and fail at a serious comeback attempt was hysterical and well worth attending.