Drunk, Sober, High: Aaron Carter Takes Over Levels
Boy band-era sensation Aaron Carter made his highly anticipated second appearance in State College last night. The platinum-selling artist broke onto the scene in 2000 with Aaron’s Party (Come Get It). Now 13 years later, he still performs in nightclubs and college bars around the country.
We sent three writers in different states of inebriation to Levels Nightclub to see the one and only Aaron Carter. These are their stories.
I really have no interest in Aaron Carter, but when I heard about the opportunity for this post, I jumped at the chance. Why? Because there is no excuse for not being drunk at an Aaron Carter concert.
I began my journey by drinking before 7:30 p.m. with a good friend, and ended my drinking with Aaron Carter’s opening act. Yes, my biggest claim to fame thus far in life is buying a shot for Aaron Carter’s opening act. I could sit here and pretend it didn’t happen, or I could just revel in its glory. I think I’ll just do that.
Let’s first clarify by saying that I didn’t really care about seeing him. But it was hard not to appreciate the atmosphere that only hundreds of college students listening to Aaron Carter live can create. The irony was certainly not lost on us all.
I couldn’t help but think about Lizzie McGuire for awhile last night. Hilary Duff is married to a professional hockey player and has a kid. Aaron Carter is playing for drunk college kids at a nightclub. One can argue the merits of either of those life pursuits, but I was certainly glad to be there.
Aaron Carter was all that a drunk biatch could ask for; easy to access, $2 Kamikazes, and no actual security. It is really no wonder that he beat Shaq.
I’m also about 95 percent sure that I waited close to 30 minutes with “crazy” fans to see if he would come out of the back entrance of Levels. He didn’t.
I love Aaron Carter. I wanted to go see him at Levels because why not — it’s Aaron Carter at Levels! I knew that I would be bringing along two other writers, so I figured that I’d record a timeline so we could all recall the night after their inevitable comedown. Here’s the run-down of what actually happened:
8:55 – Sober gets text message from High. “Hey, we’re here.”
9:00 – Sober got a Nittanyville spot. YES!
9:05 – Sober strolls up and meets Drunk and High in line outside of Sharkies. Sober realized she forgot her ID and has to run back to her home to get it.
9:12 – Drunk walks into McDonald’s for a bathroom break.
9:15 – Sober returns with ID
9:19 – Two girls ten feet behind us start chanting AARON CARTER (Clap. Clap. Clap clap clap.) NO.
9:25 – Sober and High wonder where Drunk is.
9:26 – Sober walks into McDonald’s to find Drunk flirting with two boys while waiting for her order of fries and chicken nuggets. Sober says hi to drunk and saunters out. Sober gets a water and follows Drunk back to the line.
9:30 – Drunk works her way back through the line (away from the entrance) to make friends.
9:40 – Five minute talk about Beyonce begins thanks to Drunk’s photos from the Ms. Carter concert.
9:46 – Back in line and everyone gets stamped.
9:50 – Drunk and Sober try to get ice cream in, but aren’t allowed. Drunk gets upset.
9:55- Drunk, Sober, and High all get in. There’s a sexy guy playing guitar and standing on stage. Sober tries to be mysterious girl in the corner giving the sexy guy flirty looks….He never looked Sober’s way.
10:15 – Sexy guy stops singing and DJ caters to the 90’s loving crowd.
10:16 – Sober goes crazy dancing. Drunk and High just bob.
10:20 – Girls in front of us start to go at it. #girlfight
10:57 – Aaron Carter finally shows up to his own concert…Nearly two hours late.
10:58 – I WANT CANDY!!!!
11:04 – Aaron starts singing his lesser known songs, and then I realize, this really isn’t that fun being sober. I’m bored.
11:10 – Aaron Carter singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing just sounds wretched.
11:15 – Aaron Cater admits to cheating on his girlfriend, waiting for eight years to get back together with her, but now she is married to a hockey player and has a son.
11:17 – “You don’t get the cake before the steak baby.” #ShitAaronsays
11:41 – Aaron announces that his new song, Where Do We Begin, will be his last song.
11:42 – Everyone starts leaving.
The year was 2000. I was nine years old and in the fourth grade when Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) was unleashed upon the American public. And just like every other nine year old, I listened to pretty much whatever the hell was popular on the radio at the time. Every 90’s kid looks back on that time with some sense of endearing fascination – the world was full of endless possibilities. But never in the world did I think that 13 years later at the age of 22 I would be sitting here smoking a bowl and getting ready to see Aaron Carter at a nightclub in State College.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have high hopes for the night. For one, I haven’t listened to Aaron Carter in more than ten years. And being stoned in a nightclub while watching a washed up child star try to relive the dream of performing for his now almost-completely-legally-adult audience wasn’t exactly the most appealing prospect in the world. But as a journalist dedicated to reporting the hard facts, I stood up and steeled myself for what was sure to be a long night.
Myself, drunk, sober, and a few other friends arrived at
Levels the line to Levels at around 8:45. By the time we even got to the line, I could tell I was already holding up better than drunk. Yeah, everyone says don’t get really high and go to the club, but you know what’s even worse – getting really drunk and standing in line to get into the club. The wait was a draining 45 minutes, and I was getting worried that I would start coming down before Aaron took the stage. But before I knew it, I was swept up in the flowing mass of people, given a wristband, and rushed into the club.
Once inside, I was immediately overwhelmed with booming bass and flashing lights. The dance floor was completely packed. Some guy was on stage playing guitar and singing. I think I heard “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King. At this point, I was just ready to see Aaron Carter and get this show over with.
Carter finally took the stage to open with “I Want Candy”. I was speechless – who opens with their most popular song? I looked around to see a dense crowd of young adults singing their hearts out and screaming like they were preteens with front-row tickets to One Direction. In that moment, I realized that I was witnessing something special. It may be 13 years after it was popular, and it may be in a college nightclub, but at some point everyone in this audience wanted to be here, living out the dreams of their younger selves. What I realized is that whether or not you choose to admit it — deep down, we are all Aaron Carter fans.
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About the Author
We dance in 275, Penn State!
We dance in 275, Penn State!
Underwood is bringing her “The Denim & Rhinestones” tour to Happy Valley next spring.
“Jana Marie Foundation harnesses the power of creative expression and dialogue to spark conversations, build connections, and promote mental well-being among young people and their communities.”