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Aaron Carter Rocks Cafe 210 West

When I heard that 90’s-00’s teen pop icon Aaron Carter was going to be playing at Cafe 210, my initial instinct was, “how funny is it that Aaron Carter is going to 210 for a concert?” That thought was immediately followed by, “this is going to be hilarious, I need to go.”

I went, I saw the concert and it wasn’t hilarious. Instead it was freaking awesome.

An Aaron Carter concert is EXACTLY what you would expect it to be: a high female to male ratio, loud bass, a 25 year old singing pop songs from 12 years ago, people going wild and songs that you vividly remember singing on a car ride while you were in elementary school.

The concert started with, surprisingly, Jason O, lead singer of the popular State College band My Hero Zero. Jason was a last minute fill in, and performed without the rest of his band. In his set, Jason showcased his multi-instrumental skills playing the guitar, bass, and percussion parts for nearly every song, which he was able to loop throughout the song. He played five songs, including covers of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “Wonderwall” by Oasis (the latter being chosen by a member of the crowd).

Jason left the stage and made room for Carter’s tour mate, Alexis Babini, a New York-based solo act. Like Jason, Babini was a solo act, only using an acoustic guitar. Babini played several songs, including his most famous song, “Shut Up and Kiss Me” and a cover of “Let It Be” by The Beatles.

When Babini finished his set, Carter’s DJ came on the stage and pumped up the crowd with many popular songs, like “Clique” by Kanye West and “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G. Once he finished, it was time for Aaron Carter.

Now, here’s the thing about an Aaron Carter concert: you’re there for three or four songs. AC knows this. When he does his concert, he plays a few songs that you would probably know if you’re a massive Aaron Carter fan, but for the most part you’re being teased until you hear the familiar horn intro to “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”

When Aaron Carter took the stage, he and the two dancers that join him up on stage, hype up the crowd, get them moving and dancing and essentially act as hype men.

Then, after four or five songs (you may know one — his cover of “Iko Iko”), the theme song for the 1990’s Chicago Bulls begins to play, and Carter puts on a Shaquille O’Neal jersey. At that moment, you know only one thing is coming: “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”

The horns begin and the crowd goes BANANAS. All 250 people at Cafe knew every word, everyone sang, everyone danced, everyone had as much fun as you would expect a bunch of inebriated college students to have in this circumstance. And Aaron Carter was up on stage, playing the crowd like someone who has been doing this for basically their entire life.

After “That’s How I Beat Shaq,” Carter did his cover of “I Want Candy,” left the stage until he was called out for an encore and, just when you thought the crowd couldn’t get any more rowdy, busted out his biggest hit, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).”

I didn’t expect Aaron Carter to put on one of the most entertaining concerts I’ve seen in a long time, I expected a train wreck. Instead, I was thoroughly entertained for three hours, saw one of the biggest musical acts of my childhood and left thinking, “the next time Aaron Carter comes to Penn State, I need to be there.”

Long story short, the next time you have a chance to see Aaron Carter, go. I promise you’ll have as much fun as Aaron Carter did tonight:



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