Hannah Gadd reviews The Aces in Birmingham, applauding their stage presence and infectious energy
Indie-pop quartet, The Aces, made their second stop on the UK leg of their ‘I’ve Loved You For So Long Tour’ at The Mill in Birmingham. The tour follows the release of their latest album ‘I’ve Loved You For So Long’ which came out in June this year. As a huge fan of The Aces I was beyond excited to see the band live again and hear these new tracks live.
The support act was London-based pop artist Belot who delivered a fantastic set and shared humorous anecdotes between songs which kept the audience engaged. The crowd were definitely on the younger side, possibly new fans who saw them support The Vamps on their arena tour last year. As we were waiting for the band to come on, songs by Arctic Monkeys, Paramore and SZA were played, building excitement in the room. It was just a short while before The Aces took to the stage and were met with cheers and applause as they played the familiar sounds of ‘Always Get This Way’.
The band were impressed by the crowd’s energy which they reciprocated on stage as they went into the infectiously catchy ‘Don’t Freak’. Lead singer, Cristal Ramirez’s dynamic vocals have never been better, punchy and bright as she effortlessly commanded the stage, dancing through the set list and interacting with fans. The Mill was alive with infectious fun as the band played beloved songs ‘Girls Make Me Wanna Die’ and ‘My Phone is Trying to Kill Me’. As a long-term fan of The Aces I was excited to hear some of their older songs so ‘Stay’ and ‘Volcanic Love’ were definitely highlights of the night.
“We didn’t get to tour this here…”, Cristal commented about their 2020 album ‘Under My Influence’, the tour of which was cancelled due to the pandemic, “…so would you like to hear a couple songs?”. The cheer from the crowd was immense, finally getting to hear just some of the songs we have been listening to over the past three years, including my personal favourite ‘I Can Break Your Heart Too’. The pace of the show was electric, The Aces treated us to insanely addictive melodies and strong riffs, each member demonstrating cosmic talent and passion. Bassist McKenna Petty’s stage presence was captivating, she sang along with fans and floated around the stage, occasionally jamming with Katie Henderson who was flawless on guitar whilst Alisa Ramirez drummed with her body and soul, never once faltering.
The set list consisted mostly of tracks from the latest album with fan favourites sprinkled in the mix and the crowd was kept alive all night. ‘Person’ took fans onto a recess through a slower, grungier display which spotlighted Cristal’s raw, crisp vocals. Between songs the band expressed their gratitude towards the fans and thanked everyone for listening to their music and taking the time to see them perform. After a powerful performance of one of their most popular songs ‘Daydream’, the band exited the stage. The Mill exploded into cheers and chants, eagerly anticipating the encore. The night ended with two songs from their debut album, ‘Waiting For You’ and their iconic closing track ‘Stuck’.
Their nineteen-song set was executed wonderfully, The Aces know how to elevate their music in a live space and I hope they return to the UK some time in the near future.
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