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Aaron's party

September 25, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Sporting new green-colored streaks in his once-blond colored hair, 16-year-old Aaron Carter performed to a nearly packed audience of screaming fans Friday night at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

The pop artist dazzled a largely female audience of about 1,000 teens and preteens.

"Aaron, Aaron," the crowd chanted amid screams as fans jumped up and down.

With four backup dancers in tow, Carter, wearing a green jacket, delivered a high energy performance sprinkled with flips and hip-hop rhythmic moves that brought the crowd to its feet.

The younger brother of Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys, Aaron said he hopes to move away from the mostly pop sound he's known for.

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"You can't sing bubble-gum music forever," he said in an interview before the show.

Friday night's performance perhaps was evidence of what he called a transition in his music.

The artist performed his new single, "Saturday Night," which had more of a soulful rhythm and blues sound.

"I will continue to sing pop, but with a more R&B flavor," he said.

Fans such as Keisha Walter, 8, and Megan Bauerline, 9, of Waynesboro, Pa., said it doesn't matter to them what the heartthrob sings.

"He's just cute," Keisha said.

Brittany Hunter, 15, of Pottsville, Pa., traveled three hours to see Aaron in concert for the sixth time. Brittany, along with her two sisters, a friend and her mother, wore white warm-up pants and T-shirts bearing Carter's name.

The girls giggled with excitement, saying they barely recognized Carter when he surprised them with a visit to say hello as they stood in line outside before the show.

"He dyed his hair and we didn't know who he was at first," said Kalina Wade, also of Pottsville.

Carter also said he plans to release his new single, "Saturday Night," in January, after which he plans to go on tour with singer Nikki Cleary, who opened for Carter Friday night.

Carter is in the upcoming film "Fat Albert," and recently completed two appearances in the television series "7th Heaven."

He said he'll be returning to the series next season.

Theatre Executive Director Pat Wolford said Carter's appearance was The Maryland Theatre's first show this year targeting a younger audience.

She said Friday night's show was a big success, which means the theater plans to offer future shows targeting teenage audiences.

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