By James Duffy, deputy sports editor
A familiar voice to anyone in their late teens graced AfterHOURS stage last Thursday night.
“I’m gonna take you back to the 90s,” 1990s teen-pop sensation Aaron Carter shouted to an audience packed with Northeastern students who grew up with his songs like “I Want Candy” and “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”
Carter headlined “Throwback Thursday,” an event hosted by Northeastern’s Live Music Association (LMA).
“We focus on bringing live acts to AfterHOURS,” LMA live coordinator and fourth-year communications major Samuel Francis said. “That involves a group effort in getting the best acts we can.”
LMA tends to focus on indie-rock and indie-electronica artists. But when the opportunity to bring Carter to campus became plausible, Francis reached out to the singer’s agents.
“When fate brings Aaron Carter to your door, you don’t say no. This is Aaron’s party,” he said, paying homage to Carter’s hit 2000 album, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).”
When Carter sang “I Want Candy” the crowd shouted his lyrics right back at him.
“I can still sing ‘I Want Candy’ in the same key,” Carter said. “But I think my new music will supercede my old stuff.”
Although the event was meant to be a “Throwback Thursday,” Carter didn’t play many of his old songs, which might have been disappointing for those who were eager to dive into the sweet memories of their childhood. However, by Carter’s second song the crowd was singing the chorus along with him.
“All of this is stuff that I’ve been through,” Carter said. “I think this is the best way for my fans to understand who I am now.”
Carter nearly ran into issues during the show, when he pulled audience members on the stage in violation of afterHOURS rules.
After multiple offenses, NUPD nearly stepped in before Carter agreed to follow the rules.
Kristen Garcia, an event volunteer and first-year music industry graduate student was excited to see Carter play at Northeastern.
“He was a huge part of the 90s,” she said.
Another volunteer, undeclared freshman Clare Cullinan, is a self-proclaimed Aaron Carter super-fan.
“In 10th grade there was a lip sync competition at my high school,” she explained. “I dressed up like Aaron and sang ‘I Want Candy,’ so you could say I’m a big fan.”
Ryan Lucht, a senior music industry major and a DJ who goes by “Camino 84,” opened for Carter. Lucht grew up listening to Carter and knew this would be a unique experience for him.
“I’ve gotten to open up for a lot of musicians that I’m a fan of, but this is a special experience,” he said.
Carter’s upcoming album, “Fool’s Gold,” is a product of a decade of hard work. Carter describes himself as the executive producer, writer, label and number one investor of the project.
“This time, I get a chance to do it all on my own,” he said. “I’m putting out what’s really inside me.”
Carter finished his set with a new song called “Sooner or Later,” and a promise that he would be back to Northeastern – sooner or later.
Photo by Suma Hussein