Girlish hysteria struck in our area for a second time in six days Sunday night with Big Time Rush coming off the TV for a live Summer Break Tour show at First Niagara Pavilion.
As you can probably guess, the scream meter went louder for One Direction -- who were first-timers here -- but the Nickelodeon boys got their share of mad love as well.
Although they don't have a Harry Styles-level heartthrob, you could make the argument that BTR had the better show as well. This might be an old-fashioned notion, but if you're going to a boy-band show -- where, you know, the boys aren't really a "band" -- you might as well as have choreography, right?
LA's BTR has dance moves and a trampoline that they flipped around on from the get-go as they hollered the "woo-hoo's!" that went with the sample of Blur's "Song #2" on their own "Windows Down."
They hit the party store big time before the show, because there was a plentiful supply of balloons, streamers, confetti and fog.
Backed by a DJ, BIg Time Rush ran through a set of songs -- with simple titles and themes like "Get Up," "Run Wild" and "Na Na Na" -- that get absolutely no attention from Top 40 radio, as they sound a bit too much like little kiddie pop.
In the middle of the set, Kendall Schmidt, Logan Henderson, James Maslow and Carlos Pena Jr. swapped out the DJ for an acoustic guitarist and showed off their tight harmonies on "Crazy 4 U" and "Like Nobody's Around."
Through a show of screams, they determined that more people in the crowd watch Big Time Rush than Steelers games. OK, not a big surprise given that the Rushers are girls ranging from about 3 to student driver. One lucky fan named Mary was plucked from the crowd to sit between them and get kissed while they sang "Worldwide."
They got personal with more fans, slowly working their way to second level on "Boyfriend" and staying up there for the "We Are the World"-like anthem that drops "the world" for just "We Are." I'm not going to guess what, if any vocals, were piped in but they were solid and sometimes even soulful all night.
Back on the main stage, they climaxed the set with dance-pop tunes like "Time of Our Life" and "Confetti Falling." Once again, Big Time Rush lived up to its name for young girls and parents who could not have picked a cleaner, more candy-coated starter show.
They brought fellow Nick star Victoria Justice, who is still fresh enough to the scene to have not released a debut album yet. She's more natural as a comic actress than singer and performer, and she got winded quickly, but she was fine as an opener with up-tempo songs like "Freak the Freak Out," "Best Friend's Brother" and her cover of Iconopop's "I Love It."
She did her playful new single "Gold" with big gold balloons bouncing around the pavilion, and of course she couldn't go wrong with "Make It Shine," the theme song to her show "Victorious."
Sunny 16-year-old Olivia Somerlyn, in a white summer dress with the late-day sun beating down on her, came armed with a strong voice and did an energetic pop-rock set, also adding keyboards to her three-piece backing band.
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-263-2576. First Published July 15, 2013 4:30 AM