Aaron Carter's Party Never Stopped @ LA's The Mint

By Jessica Klausing

Aaron Carter performs “Fool’s Gold” at The Mint. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter performs “Fool’s Gold” at The Mint. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Admit it, you so wanted to join Aaron’s Party.

Aaron Carter was the “flyest kid on the block” in the early 2000s with his teen party anthem, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” He wooed teenage girls worldwide with “I Want Candy” and rapped about winning a basketball game against Shaquille O’ Neal in “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” Flash forward to 2019, Carter is back with new music and a more mature image. He proved at Los Angeles’ The Mint that Aaron’s Party never stopped!

Carter kicked off the set with “Fool’s Gold,” a hit from his most recent album release, LøVë. The track blends electronic dance music (EDM) styles with pop. This electronic opener had everyone singing the chorus, “Look at you falling/Do you even know what you’re falling for?/Cause I see you falling/You traded my heart for some fool’s gold.”

Aaron Carter photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter photo by Jessica Klausing.

“Bad 2 Good” and “Dearly Departed” dazzled fans with more slick, exuberant synths. Everyone was on their feet dancing the night away. Carter seemed to be having the time of his life as well. The blond singer was all smiles as he stepped away from his keyboard to bust a few smooth dance moves. Just as things were starting to heat up, a few minor screeching speaker issues threatened to delay the fun.

“Bro, I promise I’ll buy you new speakers if they blow,” Carter assured the venue’s sound guy from onstage.

Thankfully, no speakers blew out and the night went on as scheduled. Carter continued to serenade more reflective heartbreak anthems off his LøVë album. On “Seattle TideZ,” Carter compares a troubled relationship to the Seattle weather with, “This love can’t keep me waiting/This love is far from faded/I see this jaded situation through these sheets of rain and you always keep me waiting.”

Aaron Carter prepares for the next song. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter prepares for the next song. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

“Champion” was the most emotional song of the night. The song was written to honor Carter’s father, who passed away from a heart attack in 2017. His father’s last voice mail was played before the song.

Not wanting to end on a sad note, Carter promised a song to take us all back. Of course, the venue went ballistic with frantic chants for “Aaron’s Party!”

“No, not yet. But it’s coming! Don’t worry!” Carter assured the room.

“This is a song that was written 60 years ago and it goes a little something like this,” Carter said as he launched right into “I Want Candy,” his other hit from the 2000s. Needless to say, the fans were not disappointed with this particular song choice!

Aaron rocks out to “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron rocks out to “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Nothing compared to the hype from “Aaron’s Party (Come Get it)” though. Fans literally screamed out the lyrics word for word, almost overpowering Carter’s vocals at times. Carter had a few tricks up his sleeve as he remixed his traditional pop track to incorporate a trap beat.

The night ended with Carter lending his honey sweet vocals on “Sooner or Later.” Fans hollered for an encore, which he was more than happy to oblige. He returned onstage for another remix of “Fool’s Gold” ending the night on a dance party high.

If you come to an Aaron Carter concert expecting to hear his old childhood hits, then you’ll be sourly disappointed. You may get a nostalgic throwback or two but Aaron has made it clear in interviews that he wants to move on with his music career. His new music is comprised of eclectic trap EDM remixes with honest lyrics reflecting past failed relationships and loss. Aaron Carter may have matured but his newer catchy tunes can still pack a dance floor!

Fool’s Gold
Bad 2 Good
Dearly Departed
Almost There
Don’t Say Goodbye
Same Way
Seattle TideZ
Let Me Let You Go
I Want Candy (remix)
Hard to LøVë
What Did You Want to Say?
Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)
Sooner Or Later

Fool’s Gold

CONCERT REVIEW: Umphrey's McGee Blows Minds @ LA's Wiltern

Written by Jessica Klausing

Umphrey's McGee photo by Paul Citone.

Umphrey's McGee photo by Paul Citone.

Umphrey’s McGee entranced the Los Angeles’ Wiltern theater for two, high energy-packed sets.

Amidst the hypnotic psychedelic light show and LED visuals, Umphrey’s McGee seamlessly weaves progressive rock, jazz, disco, funk, metal, and electronic genres into a cohesive dance mix. Each band member has a keen musical ear and an uncanny talent to communicate with each other on stage.

If you’re not familiar with these technically adept musicians then you might be a bit overwhelmed. At any given minute, the band may take a blues ballad and feverishly drive it into a tripped out psychedelic groove. Their classic hits are consistently being re-worked into a whole new sound.

The die-hard UM fans or “Umphreaks” will proudly express how each show is a completely different mind-blowing experience. Umphrey’s is known for their extended complex instrumental jams and abruptly switching songs mid way only to be re-visited later on in the set.  

Organ Freeman photo by Paul Citone.

Organ Freeman photo by Paul Citone.

The opener, Organ Freeman heated up the night with some organ centered instrumental jams. Rob Humphreys (drums), Trevor Steer (organ, key bass), and Erik Carlson (guitar) manage to intricate a funky aesthetic into their peppy soulful grooves. The trio had everyone up and swaying to the beat.

Umphrey’s came out next and launched right into the rock heavy hitter, “Dark Brush,” followed by the funkier “Bad Friday.” The first set comprised mostly of progressive rock melodies with Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals) and Jake Cinninger (guitar, vocals) alternating vocals between hard shredding electric riffs and bluesy stripped down rhythms.

Jefferson Waful (Umphrey's McGee Lighting Designer). Photo by Paul Citone.

Jefferson Waful (Umphrey's McGee Lighting Designer). Photo by Paul Citone.

After a twenty minute intermission, Umphrey’s returned with a more electronic trance fused second set, forcing everyone back up on their feet for “Wappy Sprayberry.” “The Floor” followed with Kris Myers (drums, vocals) and Andy Farag (percussion) flawlessly interweaving powerful percussions within the dreamy arrangements.

Without warning, Ryan Stasik (bass) rips us back in to the rock n’ roll endeavor “JaJunk.” Before closing out the set, Umphrey’s treated fans to a transcendental rendition of the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” The performance left many excited whispers exchanged throughout the venue.

From left to right: Ryan Stasik (bass), Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals), and Jake Cinninger (guitar, vocals). Photo by Paul Citone.

From left to right: Ryan Stasik (bass), Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals), and Jake Cinninger (guitar, vocals). Photo by Paul Citone.

Umphrey’s McGee continues to astound with their precise technically crafted musicianship, their vast variety in sound over their discography and their ability to create sophisticated and fun-loving tracks to just dance to and enjoy. If you’re looking for a band that challenges the multi genre scope, Umphrey’s McGee is well worth the listen!


Set I:

Dark Brush

Bad Friday


Example 1

Rocker Part 2



 Set II:

Wappy Sprayberry

The Floor

Booth Love


Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)

Maybe Someday



The Silent Type