Aaron Carter’s Hillel performance leaves fans excited, nostalgic

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It’s 2015, and you have finally been extended an invitation to Aaron’s party. Yes, you read that right. The pop artist who rose to fame in the early 2000s is back on tour this time at Berkeley Hillel on Sunday. As a singer-songwriter who brings his unique style to the stage, Aaron Carter managed to deliver yet another unforgettable performance.

Swarming the perimeters of the venue with eyes enveloped on center stage, college students chanted Carter’s name, anxiously waiting for him to make an appearance. Taking us back to the 2000s with his familiar confidence and fresh suave, Carter took the stage with a smile and an immense amount of energy. The fan-girling was at an all-time high as Carter sang “He Don’t Know You Like Me” with great enthusiasm.

When Carter first started releasing songs, many of his now college-aged fans were just kids. Although Sunday’s crowd was much older than they were during the height of Carter’s fandom, the faces were familiar, as Berkeley’s audience found themselves falling in love with the pop star all over again.

“It was weird when I was a little kid, too, because my brother is in the Backstreet Boys and I had their older fans,” Aaron Carter said in an interview with the Daily Californian. “I had 12-year-olds and randomly 25-year-olds.”

Although he concentrated on delivering his best performance, Carter made sure his humor never left the building. He brought a fan out to dance with him on stage and even took a picture with the crowd for his Instagram account, spurring laughs in and out of the audience.

With social media acting as a more powerful force than in his earlier days, Carter manages to stay true to himself and figure out what music means to him. “I think people back in the day did music that was really good,” he said. “They wrote it, they sat down, they played the guitar, they played the instruments, they did all the parts themselves, and it is like we are making real music.”

His onstage energy sparked the audience’s zest for Carter’s creativity. With one hand holding the microphone, Carter managed to do a backflip and carry the moves he learned on Dancing With The Stars to the stage. Hungry for his music, the fans — feeling nostalgic and bittersweet — made it clear how much they missed him by jumping up and down and moving to the rhythm of the tunes.

He made the audience’s dreams come true by ending the concert with “I Want Candy,” a hit song that people still eagerly identify as one of the most popular songs from his second album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It). Swooning to the beat and mouthing the lyrics, the fans received a flashback of the younger Carter.

“Being who I am and what I have done is confusing sometimes but at the same time, music is very very important to me and I love it and it is a way for me to express myself,” Carter said when asked how he has grown as an artist and individual upon releasing his first album. “Lately in the last few years, I have been expressing myself when I am upset or sad about some things but I want to start living happily and putting that in my music.”

Staying true to himself, Carter’s passion and determination in the realms of his music prove that it is never too late to chase one’s dreams. Some of us have listened to every one of his songs on repeat, others have watched him make appearances on TV, and for many of us, we have seen him grow and develop into the artist he is today. The confidence and persistence he carries to the stage inspires us all while singlehandedly sending one message: Aaron Carter is back.

Contact Mana Anvar at [email protected].