Girls, girls and more girls in all shapes and sizes skipped down the street, jumped with joy and twirled around like princesses as they made their way to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert at the Times Union Center on Wednesday evening.
For a young girl, the chance to see Miley Cyrus on stage live and watch her Hannah Montana character sing and dance was like a dream come true.
“I love her more than anyone can say,” said 8-year-old Jessie Tedesco of Mechanicville, whose mother got tickets three hours before the show started.
Tedesco carried a pink purse and wore a white cap with silver sparkles and “Hannah Montana” written on it. “I wanted the CD so bad and got it for Christmas,” she said. “I always watch the show, she’s so pretty and cool.”
Pretty and cool. It’s a hot combination that has made Miley Cyrus, who just turned 15, an overnight sensation among “tweens” — children between middle childhood and adolescence. Her fans, mostly young girls, packed into the Times Union Center on Wednesday, screaming in pitch and volume that only screaming young girls can reach.
Police closed four blocks of South Pearl Street before the 7 p.m. concert and thousands of adolescent girls and their parents gathered on the street, creating a pink wave. (There was a handful of boys, but they were few and far between.)
A huge pink Miley Cyrus bus with the words “Mileyworld.com” was parked on South Pearl Street early Wednesday and before the concert, and life-sized cutouts of Miley Cyrus were being given away. A red carpet was rolled out on the sidewalk and mothers and fathers snapped pictures of their daughters with digital cameras and cellphones.
Enormous stretch limousines pulled up as if it were the Golden Globes ceremony, and each time one arrived, more screams erupted from the tween crowd.
One entrepreneur played a harmonica on the sidewalk, making up songs about Hannah Montana, and he invited the parents to add some money to his already-flush hat.
Cyrus’ television character, Hannah Montana, is a superstar to her fans, and her concert at the Times Union Center sold out in minutes when tickets went on sale in September.
In the smash hit Disney Channel series, Cyrus plays Miley Stewart, a country girl who turns into pop star Hannah Montana and tries to keep her celebrity life a secret from her classmates.
Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, best known for his country hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” co-stars with her on the show.
Miley’s “Best of Both Worlds Tour” is one of the hottest tickets of the year with all 55 shows selling out in minutes. Tickets across the country have been selling for thousands of dollars on eBay.
Parents went through hoops to get tickets for the Albany show, and some lucked out only at the last minute. Jessie’s mother, Mandy Pastore of Mechanicville, got tickets through a friend of a friend and found out she would get them late Wednesday, just hours before the show. She paid $100 for each ticket.
Julet Henry, a fourth-grader at Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School, adores Hannah Montana and has been watching the show from the start. Her mother, Tracy, had been trying to get tickets since they went on sale in September.
She went online Wednesday and, to her surprise, found additional tickets on sale. She bought two at $55 per ticket.
Jessie Plue, 7, who lives in Castleton-on-Hudson, said that she loves Hannah Montana because Hannah has her own television show and sings all her own songs and dances.
Sasha Cusamano, 9, and her mother Kim traveled to the sold-out concert in Albany from New Jersey. “She sings so good and dances so good for the crowd,” said Sasha, who wore a new Hannah Montana T-shirt.
They stayed with Glenda and Kylie Salerno in Castleton. Kylie said that Hannah Montana really knows how to dance and sing and she was thrilled to be going to the concert.
There may be something more to Cyrus’ mass appeal — the children love her, but parents like her too and say she serves as a good role model for their children, something they say is becoming increasingly rare these days in Hollywood with celebrities like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
Kim Cusamano said performers have a responsibility to be good role models when they are so popular with children and she said Miley Cyrus and her Hannah Montana character have been able to do that.
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