Aaron Carter Comes to Eugene's WOW Hall

Seeing Aaron Carter live in 2013 is kind of like an acid trip — but a bad one. Not the self-realization I-should-go-to-dentistry-school kind of trip, more like the I-am-witnessing-the-disintegration-of-a-human-being kind of experience. But hey, at least Aaron Carter was all smiles throughout the show.

Eugene marks Carter’s 129th show on his After Party Tour — a truly fitting tour name. Since February, Carter has been touring the United States and Canada and he tends to visit college towns. In the past week, he’s performed in venues near UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly and Oregon State. He knows his crowd and he knows how to handle them. An extra $50 earns you a backstage pass for a meet and greet.

Though I fall in the right age demographic of who would attend an Aaron Carter concert, I’m not the target gender. These shows are for the ladies and he sounds well prepared.

“The tour is just my way to getting back to my fans I haven’t seen in a long time,” Cartertold the Emerald earlier this week. “Since I turned 18 I’ve been taking all the steps that are necessary to get me back out on tour.”

I mean, c’mon. Since he was 18, and since his fans turned 18, this dude has been dogging to get out there and replace statutory with sex. And his fans are there to compliment. I saw two girls flash Carter while he was on stage.

Now I don’t mean to bash any person who makes out with Aaron Carter on his tour. I mean, if Jamie Lynn Spears came to Eugene looking haggard and desperate and she pointed to me to come backstage, yes I would most likely oblige. It’s just that the previous situation is a hypothetical, and it’s a reality that women our age are fussing about sleeping with Aaron Carter on his tour. There’s nothing wrong with making out with someone just for the novelty aspect, I just think it’s funny and should be discussed.

WOW Hall was packed but it wasn’t spilling out. Everyone could be trusted because no one was over 30 and estrogen was in a seller’s market. I couldn’t catch the opener, Portland’s The Ecstatics, but judging only by their press release photo and the fact they opened for Aaron Carter, Lorde better watch her throne.

Backed by just a black and white American flag, Aaron Carter appeared solo and commanded the stage, somehow managing to create enough hand movements and erratic jumps to last an entire performance. He wore mainly black including a baseball cap that looked as though it was strategically placed on his head, ready for a quick removal to help emphasize a lyric someone wrote for him 13 years ago about a love Aaron Carter probably never knew.

Besides the obvious choices, if you had to describe Aaron Carter in one word it would be “calculated” (ironic due to the fact he is currently broke). The man knows what he’s doing. He knows when to remove his shirt, causing WOW to erupt in “woos.” He teases the crowd and who could have guessed the reception.

I don’t have too much to say about the music except for the fact that my ears are still ringing so there must have been some.

He was very kind to the crowd and appeared genuinely touched that we all chose this over Drink Wheel at Agate Alley. “I love you guys so much,” he showered frequently in between songs, occasionally handing out roses. Two separate times, fans hoisted themselves up on stage to be graced by Aaron Carter’s presence, one bypassed the singer and went straight to snapping a once-in-a-lifetime selfie but I’m going to bet it came out blurry.

And now for the part when I sum up the show in some allegorical hyperbole. Half of the Aaron Carter’s lyrics were lip-synched. I don’t blame the dude, nothing sounds more creepy then hearing lyrics like “All the fine girls couldn’t turn it down/ All I gotta to do is get my parents out” through a deep, 26-year-old voice. But at the end of the day, lip-synching is fake and is just a ploy. The singer knows what they’re doing isn’t real and the listener nods along. Together the two create a fictional experience that is just for show. Aaron Carter performed his side of the concert agreement perfectly and it was easy to compare him to a freak on a stage at the circus. But this is the part when I say, while we’re laughing at him, he’s laughing back all the way to the bank. Yet, as of the day of the concert, the man filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Lip-synching is a temporary fix for a permanent wound. Aaron Carter is a has-been that never was.

But fuck, what do I know? He killed it in terms of entertainment. For 45 minutes, nothing was more exciting or riveting than watching Aaron Carter dance and sing to an audience of fans who were too old to witness his old brother’s group perform back in the golden age of boy bands, and are too young to confidently enjoy One Direction today. His show was a magic trick in which everyone knew what was going to happen next and how it was going to be executed — but hey, no one can do it like Aaron can.