Friday, February 24, 2012

Big Time Rush foursome's bid for stardom mirrors their TV series theme

Logan Henderson, left, Kendall Schmidt, Carlos Pena and James Maslow of “Big Time Rush.”

Nickelodeon's popular series "Big Time Rush," about four buddies from Minnesota who chuck their hockey sticks for musical superstardom, is a bit like life imitating art.
Its stars — Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson — are on hiatus from the series, pleasantly warbling and expertly busting moves on their first concert tour "Better With U," which will hit the Fox Theatre on Saturday. Opening act is the group One Direction.
The tour is in support of Big Time Rush's sophomore album, "Elevate," which was released in November.
The band evolved from the TV series, now in its second season. The show's debut drew more than 6 million viewers, making it the most watched live-action series premiere in Nickelodeon's history, and now it boasts more than 4 million viewers weekly.
Like the series, the musical incarnation is enjoying success, as well. To date, Big Time Rush, the band, has sold more than 3 million combined digital tracks.
Band members Schmidt and Pena Jr. say they are committed to making Big Time Rush a music main staple.
"We are super happy to be a part of this," says Schmidt, 21. "We are dedicated to this as far as it goes."
Both admit that doing a tour is a ton of work but say it is more than worth it and they are grateful for the opportunity.
"You get tired, but we are dedicated to making this as big as it can be," Schmidt says. "I miss my friends and family, but this is my career, and this is what it takes. We are not going to let it slip away."
Pena says the solid viewership and fans clamoring for their music, is because of the guys keeping it real.
"Fans connect with us because we are not trying to be something that we are not," says Pena, 22. "We are four guys in a band who started from nothing, and our fans have been there every step of the way."
Parents schlepping their progeny to Saturday's show can rest assured that Big Time Rush has them in mind and will play some tunes they will appreciate.
"We always have to make sure the parents have a good time," Pena says. "I feel the parents can relate to us, too. We're putting on a great pop show. This is not a little kid thing; this is a family affair."
Those unable to attend Saturday's show can head out to the Mall of Monroe, in Frenchtown Township, and meet Big Time Rush's James Maslow, who will be signing autographs.

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