Derek White / Getty Images / iHeartRadio – It’s The Only Life You Got
ig Time Rush plays at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in Atlanta on Dec. 16, 2021 – one of their first post-hiatus performances.
In the early 2010s, Big Time Rush had been among the most dominant boy bands. The group made up of Kendall Schmidt, Logan Henderson, James Maslow, and Carlos PenaVega was first formed in 2009 with a Nickelodeon TV show of the same name. The show followed fictional versions of each band member trying to make it big and drew comparisons to The Monkees.
“Big Time Rush” remained on the air for four seasons, wrapping up in 2013. After the end of the series, each member went their separate ways, but they always stayed in touch. Over the years they talked about possibly getting back together in the future once the time was right.
Ahead of the pandemic, discussions about ending Big Time Rush’s hiatus and reuniting started to take on more realistic qualities. That all changed with COVID-19, but they managed to reunite briefly over Zoom for a video for fans in 2020.
“We never stopped talking,” Schmidt told Pollstar. “We all saw each other all the time. Before it wasn’t really good timing for anyone, it wasn’t really something that anyone was thinking about too much. And then later on it was kind of like, ‘Now’s the time.’ Of course, that then got stretched because of COVID. But we just wanted to do it again. We all talked about how much fun it would be to be on stage together again.”
Two years later and the time for Big Time Rush to get back out on the road has finally come. The band announced that they would begin their first headlining tour in seven years this summer, with the 41-stop trek due to kick off at the Theater at MGM National Harbor in Washington, D.C., on June 23 before wrapping up in Concord, Calif., on Aug. 20 at the Concord Pavilion. Shortly after that, the band will head down to Mexico for shows in Guadalajara (Aug. 23), Mexico City (Aug. 24) and Monterrey (Aug. 26).
“I was curious to see what Big Time Rush had in it after all these years,” Henderson told Pollstar. “Could we really come back and do it the way we wanted to.”
Maslow added, “We talked a lot about being on stage, and we’ve all done some solo projects and touring. It’s been a lot of fun. But to be at the scale of BTR, being lucky to play arenas and all that, I mean, it’s just so exciting. And that was a huge part of us being like, yeah, we missed that. Let’s get back together and go and sing with our fans again.”
Now all in their 30s, a lot has changed for the band members in the years since they had last toured as Big Time Rush. Maslow released his solo debut album, How I Like It, in 2017, while Henderson’s solo debut, Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams – Pt. 1, arrived in 2018. Schmidt returned to his previous pop-rock duo, Heffron Drive, and PenaVega continued acting. The four members also matured and learned how to take better care of themselves and their health.
“We are much more focused on our health than before,” Schmidt said. “I mean, when you’re young you’re not necessarily worried about getting too much sleep. You’re not necessarily worried about that kind of stuff. So, I think it’s different now.”
As both their mental and physical health have become more of a priority for the members, Big Time Rush feels that these upcoming shows may become their best yet. The band feels better prepared than they had been before, and more excited than ever.
“I think we’re in better shape now than we were seven years ago,” Henderson said.
Gregg DeGuire / Film Magic – So You Gotta Live It Big Time
Big Time Rush at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2011 in Los Angeles.
Maslow added, “I’m stronger now, but I’m a little more nervous about pulling off the backflips each night, I’m not gonna lie.”
The upcoming tour dates will see Big Time Rush’s members keeping up with the aerobic performances they had been known for seven years ago, with PenaVega stating that he hoped they could even get a trampoline. However, the band isn’t sure whether that will get insured with all of them in their 30s.
The shows will see Big Time Rush performing both their old hits, such as “Boyfriend” and “Worldwide.” Additionally, they promise to share re-imagined versions of their old classics, songs from their first three albums that did not get played out on stage previously, and their new singles, including “Call It Like I See It” and “Not Giving You Up.” While the band did not give any indication on whether fans should begin expecting their fourth album, Schmidt did state that they have “a musical bun in the oven.”
“We also want to put more music out,” Schmidt said. “We have a lot of plans. On our shows in December, we also played ‘Not Giving You Up’ and that wasn’t even out yet. So I think now, because we can kind of do what we want to do. It’s like, well, let’s just play whatever we want to. It’s really up to us.”
The band was determined to only get back together so long as it was fun – an easy task for the four friends.
“I want us to have more fun than we did back in the day,” PenaVega said. “Like, we had fun back in the day, but I want us to finish the tour and just look back and go, ‘Yeah, that was amazing.’”
Henderson added, “Performing live is one of our favorite things to do. It’s one of the best things that we do. There is nothing like seeing one of our live shows and so it’s gonna be something to remember for sure.”
Back in their Nickelodeon days, Big Time Rush went through what the network called “Boy Band Bootcamp,” with the four members training for the stage. However, even in their early days Henderson, Maslow, PenaVega and Schmidt knew what they wanted out of the experience and wrote as much as they could.
“It really helped us put some of that stuff together,” Henderson said. “We were exposed and met some of the most talented musicians and artists that really helped mentor us and helped push us to become who we were. I think the best part of the Nickelodeon thing was the journey and what we were exposed to and who we came in contact with.”
Among their Nickelodeon collaborations included an episode of “Big Time Rush” with Snoop Dogg, who joined them for a remixed version of their hit single “Boyfriend,” and collaborations with the likes of Jordin Sparks, Iyaz, and more.
While a revival for “Big Time Rush” the TV show is not currently in the cards, the band has hinted that they would be interested in making a documentary of sorts.
“We are very thankful for all the opportunities that Nickelodeon and Sony gave us because nobody would be here today if it wasn’t for them,” PenaVega said. “Cause think about it. They could have picked anyone. I mean, there were thousands and thousands of kids who auditioned.”
The band is taking the torch and passing it along to their next chapter, promising that this is still just the beginning.