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Big Time Rush's Carlos PenaVega Recalls One Direction Opening Their Tour: 'That Was Really Hard for Us'

The British boy band joined the American pop group on 10 dates of their Better With U tour in 2012

<p> Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nickelodeon</p> From left: Liam Payne, Logan Henderson, Louis Tomlinson, James Maslow, Hary Styles, Carlos PenaVega, Zayn Malik, Kendall Schmidt and Niall Horan at the premiere of

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

From left: Liam Payne, Logan Henderson, Louis Tomlinson, James Maslow, Hary Styles, Carlos PenaVega, Zayn Malik, Kendall Schmidt and Niall Horan at the premiere of 'Big Time Movie' in New York City in March 2012

It may have been a boy band fan's dream come true that One Direction and Big Time Rush once teamed up for a tour, but it wasn't so easy for BTR at the time.

On an episode of the Unplanned podcast, Big Time Rush member Carlos PenaVega opened up about why it was "hard" for the American pop group to have 1D as their openers on their Better With U tour in 2012. The singer, 34, explained that although fans originally bought tickets in support of BTR, it felt as though they ended up being more excited to see the British band.

"After our show, fans were outside the theater chanting for One Direction," PenaVega said.

"That was really hard for us," he revealed.

Related: Everything the Members of One Direction Have Said About Their Time in the Band

The singer/actor explained that between the time the "Boyfriend" band's North American tour was announced in fall 2011 to when the group featuring Niall HoranZayn Malik, Liam PayneHarry Styles and Louis Tomlinson was added to the bill, their popularity simply took off.

"Our tour was sold out before they got on. So, they were there to see us," PenaVega recalled. "But it was like The Beatles. It was like a freak of nature. They wanted these five, cute British boys."

The former Nickelodeon star said that the "What Makes You Beautiful" group tried to return the favor, but he and his bandmates Logan Henderson, James Maslow and Kendall Schmidt decided against it.

PenaVega shared, "They offered for us to open for them in the U.K. and our egos got in the way. We were like, 'No. Never.'"

"Probably should have done it," he added. "I mean we were kids. I was like 22. It's hard to control your ego at that age."

<p>JM Enternational/Redferns</p> From left: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne of One Direction in London in February 2012

JM Enternational/Redferns

From left: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne of One Direction in London in February 2012

Related: Zayn Malik Recalls Saving Harry Styles from 'Really Dangerous' Pyrotechnic Mishap at One Direction Concert

Big Time Rush's Better With U Tour was their first national tour across the U.S. and Canada. It followed the release of their second studio album, 2011's Elevate. The string of live dates ran throughout February and March 2012 and featured support from One Direction on select dates, in addition to artists like JoJo and others throughout the tour.

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The concerts marked the "Kiss You" band's first shows in the U.S., as they had previously only played live across the U.K. and Ireland. Shortly after the Better With U Tour, 1D brought their own headlining Up All Night Tour, which was in support of their 2011 debut album of the same name, to North America.

<p>Sara Jaye/Getty Images for ABA</p> From left: Big Time Rush's Carlos PenaVega, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Kendall Schmidt in New York City at iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in December 2023

Sara Jaye/Getty Images for ABA

From left: Big Time Rush's Carlos PenaVega, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Kendall Schmidt in New York City at iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in December 2023

Related: Celebrate One Direction's 10-Year-Anniversary with Their Most Iconic Throwback Photos

While 1D eventually went through lineup changes when Malik, 31, departed the band in 2015 and they officially went on hiatus in 2016, Big Time Rush still remains active.

The "Windows Down" group did go on hiatus in 2014, but reunited in 2021 for select shows, and last year, they dropped their fourth studio album, Another Life. The project marked their first album in a decade, following 2013's 24/seven, and was also their first-ever independently released record.

BTR also set out on a tour throughout much of summer 2023 in support of their comeback .

When the foursome announced their most recent tour in February of last year, they opened up to PEOPLE about what it means to them to be back together again.

"We're not just looking for hits," shared Henderson, 34. "Obviously that's great, but we want to make good music that we are proud of and that's literally what we're striving for. That's why it's taken so long."

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