July 14, 2012
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Dallas, TX USA
Review by David Huff
Photos by Crystal Prather
Big Time Rush
They came in all shapes and pint sizes. The polite yet excited crowd, not old enough to drive a car yet powerful enough to get chaperones to do the work for them, descended on the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas, Texas with one specific purpose in mind. They were going to cut loose, scream like crazy, and go literally wild for three hours. There was absolutely nothing mom or dad, (but mostly mom) could do about it. Such was the power and allure of Nickelodeon's favorite hockey misfits, Big Time Rush.
Honestly, I still can't tell you what I witnessed tonight. The deafening noise the kids made when their heroes first appeared was extraordinary. You would have thought when Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Carlos Pena Jr. took the stage, they were John, Paul, George and Ringo reincarnated. If the female adults in the crowd didn't have flashbacks of their own youth as their young charges danced, gyrated, hopped and screamed, well, they must have led a very sheltered childhood.
Before I get into the Nickelodeon created BTR, there were two other acts that got this crowd equally excited. The first was singer was Rachel Crow. This 14-year old has a future in the music business, period. Her voice was so powerful and explosive it literally sent shivers down my spine. Crow, for those of you not in the know, was the fifth place finisher last year on Simon Cowell's U.S. version of his successful British show, The X Factor. I'm not much a fan of reality vocal shows, but I will admit that Crow was indeed a diamond in the rough discovered by the program. Her singing proved she belonged in a much more adult league than the one she was performing to this evening. But hey, she's 14, so why not enjoy the adulation of a crowd that's definitely going to grow up with you.
Next up was Australian artist Cody Simpson. Like a lot of teen dreams these days, this pop star is a product of YouTube, where his talent was discovered. The now 15-year old was 13 when he started posting songs he was singing on the Internet. A million hits later, a big time producer sees his videos, notices the unreal number of hits he's getting, and the rest as they say, is history. Anyway, the audience cheered every move Cody made. He had every tiny heart going pitter patter as he sashayed across the stage and gestured toward his young admirers. He sang all the songs from his new EP. Well, at least I think he did since it was just released.
Okay, it was 'time' for the 'big rush' of the evening. By now, all the adults in the crowd were comfortable with the fact they had to be at this show. So why not make the best of it. Besides, what better way for adults to show how cool they are, than capturing the concert moments with the kids on their camera phones, then transmitting the pictures right on to their Facebook page. I'm sure that scene was repeated hundreds of times this evening.
With BTR bouncing around - they had a trampoline built into the stage - coupled with the exuberance of these pint size rockers, the level of enthusiasm inside the Gexa Pavilion was amplified ten-fold. The Fearsome Foursome's antics on stage guaranteed pandemonium. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation. In fact, the moment took me back 30 years ago when teen heartthrob Rick Springfield made his first appearance in Dallas. The screams by the girls inside the auditorium for the "Jessie's Girl" songwriter were so loud, the noise drowned out the music completely. That wasn't the case this evening, but level of sound was intense. Fortunately, if experience has taught me anything over the years, when it comes to attending any sort of boy band concert in their prime, bring ear plugs.
As I just mentioned, I was well aware of teen dreams of New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys and N*Sync when I attended those shows. Their music was all over the airwaves, and some of it was quite good. Tonight, I was admittedly clueless to the music being performed on stage. And honestly, I'm glad I was. About the fourth song in, I found myself slightly nodding my head and tapping my right foot. Yes, I was actually enjoying these teen sensations.
Big Time Rush is what I call an 'in the moment group.' What these four teens are accomplishing right now is perfect for the times, and their target audience. The sad part to this equation - BTR has a short shelf life and won't be around in five years. Unfortunately, they will have essentially outgrown their usefulness. Opener Rachel Crow has a brighter future in store for her than these four polished entertainers. And folks - and I'm talking to all the adults reading this review - my comment is no way meant to slight or diminish what these four have accomplished. It's just the nature of the business they're in. Both the band and their fans are going to grow up. As they do, worlds collide with the group, and their fans, each going their separate ways.
But until that time comes, BTR are shining stars, and there are tens of thousands of screaming youngsters around the country ready to shower them with adulation. If parents are hesitating about taking their offspring to this show, you shouldn't. Buy the tickets and enjoy your child's experience. Adults always say their children grow up so fast, they don't know where the time went. This concert package affords parents the opportunity to hang with the kids and enjoy this special moment in their life.
Seriously, creating memories are what Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson and to an extent Rachel Crow, are all about. Tonight, the job of the parents, besides driving, was to make sure these mini-rockers were well hydrated so they could enjoy this remarkable experience. They gladly shelled out money for concert shirts and other assorted items. This was a moment of celebration where young children danced, the young kids sang and everyone - young and old - just screamed.
Yeah, one day BTR and Cody Simpson will be a memory. The souvenirs bought at the show will gather dust in the closet or the attic. Ten or fifteen years from now, when parents find the cute concert shirt that's been stowed away, they'll want to show it to their now grown up child. As they proudly display the memorabilia, the words "Remember when" will be the first words spoken. As you both laugh and reminisce about the concert, in the back of your mind, you'll be thankful you spent that special time in the past growing up with BTR. It's a cherished moment for the both of you that will stand still forever. That's what this show was really all about.