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Aaron Brings Party To Feve

Matthew Niendorf | Thursday, September 26, 2013

Club Fever: usually a place of sweaty bodies, sticky floors and life decisions you find yourself regretting as soon as you hop into the cab back home. 

On Thursdays, “Feve” is filled with seniors – because under Indiana State Law only those who are 21 and older are permitted into drinking establishments – trying to escape the worries of what they will be doing with their lives next year. Tuesday, however, these very seniors came together with the Greater South Bend community – including eager middle-aged women, garish ponytailed men, reluctant (only in expression) boyfriends and plenty of studded pairs of jeans – to forget, just for one night, all of their worries and to step back to a different era, a different age … the early 2000s

Aaron Carter, the prodigal son, musically missing for eight years, has at last returned unto us. 

Tuesday night it was Aaron’s Party in South Bend.

Before Aaron stepped before the crowd of approximately 150 fans, I got the chance to talk to his sister, Bobbie Jean, or BJ, as she insisted on being called. 

“This tour is going to relaunch Aaron’s career,” BJ said to me as she explained the details of Aaron’s new solo tour. 

The series of shows is hitting college towns all over the country, from Florida to Oregon. Carter is supported by his former backup band, “a real old-school bunch,” BJ explained, adding that the band also helped with Aaron’s forthcoming album, which is set to be released in two months. 

After the interview I returned to my balcony seating, usually reserved for those seeking refuge from the suffocating dance floor. On this night, however, it was mostly vacant as everyone was huddled around the stage, waiting for Aaron. And oh, how we waited. The doors opened at 6 p.m., and the show was supposed to start around 8 p.m. Well, it was not until about 9:50 p.m. that AC came running up to the stage in a plain black v-neck and tight red jeans.

But for most of the crowd, the wait was well worth it. Carter entered with a thumping “I Want Candy.” The crowd ate it up as they moved even closer to the stage. The hundred or so people cheered most for “That’s How I Beat Shaq” and “Aaron’s Party,” singing along and not missing a word. Carter was all over the performing ground, tossing out T-shirts – onto which he had wiped his sweat – to the screaming girls (and guys). The crowd returned the favor with two bras, a belt and a wallet. 

When I was nine, I did not expect to see Aaron Carter twirling around one of my classmates’ bras while belting out one of his earlier hits. But that was the beauty of this performance. Sure, Aaron dished out his classics like the crowd wanted, but he also introduced new songs along with covers of “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines.” Strangely enough, it all worked as a cohesive show. Perhaps it is because we all went expecting the Aaron Carter we grew up watching on Nickelodeon. Instead, we got glimpses of our musical past mixed with our present interests and visions of what Aaron sees as his future. 

We expected Tuesday night to provide an opportunity to reminisce about our childhoods. Aaron delivered this wish, but perhaps in a different way than we had wanted, singing in a deeper voice and putting on more of a bad boy persona. 

Aaron Carter has changed, is changing and will change. We must, despite our wishes, change with him. 

Contact Matthew Neindorf at mniendor@nd.edu