Houston Just Can’t Get Enough of Big Time Rush
Written by Keylee Paz on August 7, 2023
If you were sitting around watching the Nickelodeon channel between 2009 and 2013, you definitely know about Big Time Rush. The show’s premise involved four teenagers who moved to Los Angeles to start a boy band, backed by an incredible soundtrack. Consisting of musicians Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Carlos PenaVega, Big Time Rush became an actual popular boy band based from the show and went around the world to perform their songs from their self-titled debut album. In 2014, that band went on an indefinite hiatus after touring the band’s third album 24/7 as each member moved to pursue solo careers. They reunited in 2021 with single “Call It Like I See It” and announced their fourth album Another Life.
While the band recently toured across North America performing in theater spaces; they came back performing in much bigger spaces for fans all over. The last time BTR came to Houston was to perform at Smart Financial Centre in August of 2022. Almost a year later, the infamous boy band returned to Houston and played at the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion with openers JAX and MAX.
Starting off the night was performer JAX, who was joined by touring guitarist Nash Overstreet (from Hot Chelle Rae) and drummer Jess Bowen (from the Summer Set). She opened her set stating how hot Houston was, but she was ready to perform for the city. She opened her set with “90s Kids,” which was riddled with 90s references and served as a great opener to get the crowd hyped. She followed up with “Cinderella Snapped” and her well-known cover of “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus, where JAX stated that she sings in the perspective of Noel’s Perspective. She ended her energetic set with her viral hit “Victoria’s Secret” – JAX invited a young fan to the barricade to sing the bridge with her, and the fan absolutely killed it as she showed off her vocal chops.
Houston is definitely no stranger to MAX, another member from the Nickelodeon family. He last performed in Houston in the Fall of 2022 for a headlining show at the House of Blues Houston, and it’s a great step up to see that he is now opening for such a big act. As always, MAX ran out across the stage to sing his hit “Love Me Less,” followed by “Holla.” The third song was “Acid Dreams,” which included an incredible saxophone solo. The crowd went wild when MAX performed his viral song “Lights Down Low,” and ended his set with “Mug Shot.” MAX reassured that he would return to Houston very soon, and that he loves our city despite the heat.
The Houston crowd was ready for Big Time Rush to take the stage, as most fans had BTR memorabilia or were dressed in certain outfits from the show (such as James’ iconic Bandana Man and the band’s Tree Hats). The house lights dimmed, and the entire room was at their loudest. The band rose to the stage and embraced the cheers before singing the song their tour is named after “Can’t Get Enough.” They continued to play songs like “Elevate” and “Weekends,” before sitting down at the front of the stage to sing an acoustic set. The set included tracks like “All Over Again” and “Any Kind of Guy,” a cool selection that everyone absolutely adored.
One of the highlights of the night involved their performance of “Worldwide,” where the guys walk around the stage, looking for the perfect people to invite on stage. Everyone knew their cue as they put up their posters after “Nothing Even Matters,” which has some iteration of the phrase “WWG” (Worldwide Girl) on their signs. Each guy picked their companion, including a girl who had been following them on tour for a long period of time. Another highlight involved their medley of popular tracks from their earlier works, starting off with “Famous,” followed by “City is Ours,” “24/Seven,” “Shot in the Dark” and “Big Night.” The set ended with “Big Time Rush,” the song that started it all and served as their title track to all of the Big Time Rush episodes.
Big Time Rush returned on stage after Houston continued to chant their names. To everyone’s surprise, their encore song “Windows Down” began to play, but the members were nowhere in sight. James, Carlos and Logan were spotted in the upper sections and started walking through the seats, and everyone started rushing those sections. The band returned to the stage – now that the crowd was fully riled up, they played two of their other most popular songs “Boyfriend” and “‘Til I Forget About You.”
Their performance in Houston felt like Big Time Rush never went on hiatus. James Maslow stated throughout the show that he was grateful for all the fans that stuck around and have listened to their new album. “We struggled to find our sound after a while, but we realized we just needed to go back to our signature sound.” Another Life embodies just that – it shows that the band has matured in many ways, but still know how to keep their infamous sound intact. Their live performance is also one of the best in the game – their choreography remains unique, the band interacts with all fans (including those in the far back), and continue to show their love for all fans alike.
Big Time Rush is everyone’s childhood band with some of our favorite childhood songs, and they are doing an outstanding job at bringing nostalgia to fans while keeping them engaged with what is yet to come.