Though StarShine was formed in July 2001, it wasn’t until January 29, 2002 that it went from the title newsletter to magazine. Editor-In-Chief, Sandy Lo went backstage at an Aaron Carter concert for the first time where she made connections with artists and industry insiders that still stand today. Here is the original article published in February 2002 with some photos.
Tuesday, January 29th I had the opportunity to check out Aaron Carter’s concert at the Pepsi Arena. What’s that? Think you’re too old to enjoy music from a 14-year-old pop singer? Well think again! Music is the basis of entertainment and that’s exactly what this tour brings.
Not only did I see the concert with a front row view, but I got to talk with the stars backstage. The tour welcomed me into their “family” with open arms. The backstage vibe was very playful with a basketball hoop, catering and goofing around during sound check.
As for the show itself, party is definitely the suitable word. With girls of all ages and even parents singing and cheering along, the energy was there. First to hit the stage was 15-year-old singing sensation, Lindsay Pagano. She came out belting out her hit song, “Everything U R”, which Lindsay calls the AOL anthem since it’s advertised on the commercial. Besides being sweet as can be, what else can you say about Lindsay? Well for starters, amazingly talented. She has a soulful voice and knows how to project it to a crowd. Lindsay’s set included five songs off her debut album, “Love & Faith & Inspiration”. If you’re looking for pop music with more spirit to it, then definitely pick it up in your local music store. “I really just want people to focus on my talent more than my age.” Lindsay says. A duet with Paul McCartney might have done the trick in helping people look past her age.
After Lindsay was finished, I stuck around while fans asked me tons of questions and wanted me to get them to meet one of their idols. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity but I know how a “fan” feels because I still am one. Understanding their position, I did manage to take a picture of one of their favorite Dream Street members who were next to hit the stage.
Dream Street is a boy group between the ages of 14-16 and has gained quite a following over the past year. Their latest hit, “Sugar Rush” has received loads of airplay on Disney and Nickelodeon. Their stage show was filled with funky dance numbers and loud costumes. The crowd ate the fab five up to pieces. When I talked to member Chris Trousdale after the show, I asked him how he feels about comparisons to groups like ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys. “I love when they compare us to ‘N Sync as long as it’s good because ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys are incredible.”
After about a twenty-minute break, the person everyone was waiting for showed up to his own party. Aaron Carter appeared onstage wearing a lavish fur coat, making him look like the abominable snowman with his slightly blue streaked hair sticking up in every which direction. The stage was set up in a winter wonderland with fake icicles, a slide and a fireman’s pole. Shades of whites and light blues were the color scheme for the stage.
Being a veteran Aaron Carter concertgoer, I have seen his show grow and one thing never changes: Aaron’s natural performing ability. He’s always comfortable in front of a crowd and a true professional. Aaron always makes contact with the fans by getting as close to them as possible. He’s interactive with the audience and asks them to make as much noise as possible. Even offstage Aaron always shows his fans some love. At a signing earlier that day, a fan began to walk away after she got her autograph when Aaron called out to her, “Don’t I get a hug?” The girl’s face turned to glee as she walked back over to Aaron and wrapped her arms around him. Aaron is always hamming it up for people. He’s extremely mature for his age, but knows how to be a kid too. His voice is getting stronger as each day goes by and his style is becoming more his own.
Aaron’s set list included hits, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)”, “That’s How I Beat Shaq”, “Not Too Young, Not Too Old” and his latest single, “I’m All About You” which was a part of the show where a lucky girl was brought onstage to be serenaded by Aaron. One part of the show came as a surprise. A piano was brought onstage and Aaron sat behind it, singing and playing “Imagine” by legendary Beatle, John Lennon. He didn’t miss a note and I was impressed as many parents were pleased.
Are you still unconvinced that young pop could never be inspirational? Well, if I know my peers well enough, the answer is yes, but there are millions who don’t agree with you, so deal with it!
Sandy Lo is an author, blogger, journalist, and digital strategist. Her personal story is inspiring. Sandy started StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.