Alt-pop quarter The Aces brought their aptly named Under My Influence tour to August Hall in San Francisco last month for a positively intoxicating performance.
The group, hailing from Provo, Utah, has had years to perfect their onstage chemistry. Sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez have been performing since childhood, with McKenna Petty and Katie Henderson joining soon after. Their years-long friendship is evident onstage, where each member projects such genuine, infectious joy.
With slicked-back hair and a leather jacket straight out of The Outsiders, lead singer Cristal Ramirez was positively beaming as she joined the stage, before launching into the show. The Aces spoke little during their set, taking short breaks to express their gratitude to the audience but mainly preferring to allow their music to do the talking. The audience certainly didn’t mind the limited talking breaks. The entire floor shook with hundreds of fans singing in sync with the band during favorites like “Volcanic Love” and “Kelly”.
The band has evolved impressively since their tour supporting 5 Seconds of Summer thrust them into a wider spotlight in 2018. Where debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic is breezy and light, The Aces’ have grown into their confidence with gritter, more biting sound, while maintaining the sonic lushness that has defined them. This was particularly evidenced by the band’s pre-show media, a dramatic, biting compilation of quotes about the struggles of performing as an all-women group.
“Don’t Freak” and “Stuck” were two of the night’s standouts. As one of the band’s singles, “Don’t Freak” has gained particular popularity with fans. Rolled out during Mental Health Awareness Month, the song details the difficulties of struggling with mental health as the narrator aptly wills herself to not freak. The final encore of the night was “Stuck,” one of the band’s most irresistible and dance-able numbers. The audience responded in kind, enthusiastically singing and dancing along with the band.
The band’s positively electric energy left fans–us especially–hoping that it won’t be another two years before we can see The Aces on tour again.