Teen pop queen wows subjects

  • Story and photo by LIE SHIA ONG / edge correspondent
  • Sunday, August 20, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

Spears mania sweeps crowd at Gorge concert

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Britney, Britney, Britney.

Traces of Britney Spears were everywhere Aug. 11, miles and miles from the vicinity of the Gorge, where she was scheduled to perform.

Cars driving down to the Gorge were decorated in honor of the pop princess, bearing pictures and signs like "Britney or Bust."

Radio station KBKS (106.1 FM) even had a Britney Bus that drove fans who won tickets to the show.

When the station allowed me to tag along, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at Britney mania.

Fans on the Britney Bus were excited to be there, and even more excited to get to the Gorge to see Spears live.

KBKS staff kept the passengers entertained by playing Britney trivia and holding a drawing in which one lucky winner won backstage passes to greet Spears.

Upon our arrival at the Gorge, a few hours before the concert, the lines of people waiting to get into the amphitheater was already starting to wrap around the parking lot.

Many families with young children sat atop their coolers trying to stay cool in the warm sun, while teens sporting halter tops and leather pants waited anxiously for the gates to open.

Again, traces of Spears were everywhere, as Britney lookalikes of all ages waited for the concert to begin.

Once the gates opened, the thousands began making their way in such a fashion that several people commented that the fans’ entrance reminded them of a cattle roundup.

While fans were still trying to make their way into the amphitheater and the concession lines were already long, the Britney Bus passengers schmoozed with KBKS on-air personalities, who were broadcasting live at a VIP barbecue featuring Longhorn barbecue chicken with all the fixings.

As evening approached, energy was in the air. Fans were ready for Britney to take the stage, but they had quite a wait ahead of them.

First to take the stage was Slam, who introduced himself as the emcee and Britney’s drummer. He energized the crowd by shouting, "Make some noise!"

The opening act was Mikaila, a Christina Aguilera-like performer who hit all the high notes with soul in her voice. She performed songs from her upcoming album: "So in Love With Two," "Perfect World" and "Straight to My Face."

Next to take the stage was youngster Aaron Carter. The 12-year-old performed "I Want Candy," "Tell Me What you Want" and "Come Get It," driving younger girls in the audience crazy as they shrieked in delight. Older teens and parents, however, rolled their eyes in amusement.

The last opening act came from Stockholm, Sweden. A-Teens is labeled as the new generation of Abba. The four teens pranced around the stage in tight moves singing "Gimme Gimme Gimme," "Take a Chance on Me," "Mamma Mia" and a song that got the crowd jumping, "Dancing Queen."

The stage was set for Spears. But she would not appear until almost an hour after A-Teens had performed. Fans chanted for her to take the stage.

They chanted. And chanted again. Finally Spears made her grand entrance.

Her dancers took the stage as she entered via a suspended globe lowered from above the stage. Her opener, "Crazy," off her first album "… Baby One More Time," drove the fans crazy. The Britney experience had begun.

The Britney Bus crowd was jumping, singing and dancing along with Spears. Even the KBKS personalities were energetic.

Spears continued her concert with the bouncing cuts off her sophomore album, "Oops! … I Did It Again," including "Stronger" and "What U See (Is What U Get)."

She then slowed things down a bit with her ballads "From The Bottom of My Broken Heart" and "Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know."

The show was high-energy. The singer’s trademark high-pitched screams and squeals were heard often.

‘N Sync even made an appearance via video, as it pumped up the crowd further by conducting a Meet Britney contest in which a fan was chosen to meet the singer on-stage.

As the stars in the sky continued to shine above the Gorge Amphitheatre, the Britney experience came to conclusion.

Fittingly, she ended with the title track from her latest album. Wearing a leather top and leather pants decorated with red and orange flames, the singer took the stage one last time.

Many fans were left with the oh-so-catchy lyrics of "Oops! … I Did It Again" replaying in their memories over and over on the three-hour drive home.

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