The crowd of young teens gazes at the stage, waiting for any sign of motion—any indication that they’re coming. Every flicker of light, sound from afar or roadie at the wrong place at the wrong time sends the crowd into utter hysterics. Parents line the walls, watching their beloved daughters trample over each other trying to get as close to the stage as possible (despite being the last people to show up to the venue). The lights dim, the curtains lift and… two Australian boys start blasting Justin Bieber and throwing beach balls into the audience. No instruments, no DJ, no singing—just America’s top 40s blasting through the speakers. Confused? So was I when I chaperoned my 15-year-old cousin to a Janoskians show at The House of Blues last night.
I grew up listening to the likes of NKOTB, N’SYNC and BSB. Really, the Wanted and One Direction can stop their bickering because they can’t hold a candle to ’90s Boy Bands (except maybe No Authority). That’s why when I attended the Janoskians (just another name of silly kids in another nation skip) show, I was intrigued because they very adamantly claim they’re “not a boy band!”
But, if they’re not a boy band, then who are these boys that have thousands of 15-year-old girls screaming, frenzying and freaking—and parents (and cool, older cousins like myself) scratching their heads? Well, the Janoskians are actually an Australian group whose comedic YouTube videos got them a claim to fame, a three continent tour and an MTV Australia web series.
In a nutshell, these kids are crazy pranksters with no shame—think MTV’s Jackass from Down Under. Their schemes include obnoxious train rides, wasabi filled ice cream cones and a fake public urination stunt which they filmed here in Chicago. While they take some things a little too far (in my opinion), they’re pretty funny (enough to fit the Funny Friday bill) and creative to boot.
My initial confusion during last night’s “concert” changed to intrigue as I observed how the group interacted with the crowd. While they only sang two songs and two parodies during their hour long set, they kept the crowd going the entire show through, wait for it, social media. Fans chose two of the five Janoskians to compete in a game of rock-paper-scissors via Twitter mentions. The not-a-boy-band also initiated a group Keek—demanding the audience get out their smartphones and record a status update. It makes sense that a group that got their claim to fame via social media would incorporate it into their shows.
While the music-part was lacking, the Janoskians were entertaining. What more could I ask for at the end of the day? And, if nothing else, the Janoskians made chaperoning very easy: the ONLY males in the venue were on stage, and we were on the balcony… oh boy bands.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://wpmaster.sjadv.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/02/Cassandra-Bremer-Our-Space-Photo-e1402061863316.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]