There are few things more impressive than a sold out concert tour around the country, but one way to top that is by selling out an entire tour on the success of EPs. Both Young Rising Sons and Halsey have yet to release their debut albums, but together the upcoming music stars were able to pack 1,000+ capacity venues all around the United States on their American You(th) tour, joined by special guest Olivver The Kid.
Dedicated fans endured the bitter cold of Chicago on March 27th and started forming a line as early as the night before, camping out to have the opportunity to see their idols from the front row. Those superfans who made it to the venue before lunchtime were rewarded with pizza from Halsey and hot chocolate from Young Rising Sons, as the artists took the time to prove their gratitude for their fans’ immense enthusiasm.
When the doors finally opened, fans stormed the stage and sang along to The 1975 playing over the speakers until Olivver The Kid came out to open the show. Olivver played an energetic set that got the crowd moving and excited. “Lucy (Hurt People Hurt People)” had the crowd shouting the infectious chorus back at Olivver, and another highlight of his set was the song “Freak,” a track off his EP of the same name. During his set, Olivver promised to meet every fan at his merch table, and judging by the crowd around the table at various points of the night, it’s safe to say his set was well-liked.
Next up to the stage were New Jersey natives Young Rising Sons. With American flags draped over their mic stands and in their hands upon their first entrance onstage to embody the name “American You(th),” the band launched straight into “Red & Gold,” a song from their EP titled High. The band played each song from their EP as well as many unreleased songs that many members of the crowd seemed to be familiar with after hearing them performed during YRS’ opening gig for The 1975’s US winter tour. Young Rising Sons were joined by Halsey for the song “Fucked Up” which frontman Andy Tongren introduced as “a love song,” only adding to the room’s already through the roof excitement. A cover of Modern English’s “I Melt With You” was a clear crowd favorite, as not a single person on the floor was standing still. The band exited the stage following their cover, leaving Tongren alone with an acoustic guitar to perform “Simple Life,” which was one of the night’s more intimate moments. Tongren was shortly rejoined by bandmates Julian Dimagiba, Steve Patrick and Dylan Scott to perform their most popular song to date, “High” and the unreleased track “Flesh & Bone” to finish off their set. The band has only improved since coming off of The 1975 tour and with their debut album on the way, Young Rising Sons will surely continue to rise in the upcoming months.
Last to take the stage was Halsey. The 20 year old, blue haired singer erupted onstage in a mass of bright blue lights, performing a brand new song, “Castle.” Opening with an unreleased track can sometimes is a gamble, but Halsey took home the prize with this one. The crowd was attentive and interested as she moved into “Empty Gold,” a song from her EP, Room 93. Screams erupted when she introduced fan favorite, “New Americana,” a track that was released on Soundcloud but didn’t make it onto the EP. The song was re-mixed and Halsey has said that the reimagined version will be on her upcoming debut full length, Badlands. Halsey danced around the large stage, covering each and every spot, making sure to get up close and personal with the fans lucky enough to get a spot in the front. She got in their faces and touched their hands, making many of those fans’ days. Halsey played all five songs from her EP, including her radio hit “Ghost” which made for a great ending, as well as new, unreleased songs including fan favorite “Colors,” whose incredible lyrics hit the Internet, causing fans to know the words without having ever hearing the song.
This is Halsey’s first ever headlining tour (and only second tour ever) but without being told that fact, you’d never guess it. Hasley graced the stage with genuine star power, spot on vocals and enormous amounts of energy. This show only left me wanting one thing: to see Halsey in an arena setting – which is luckily possible as she joins Imagine Dragons on their massive American arena tour this summer.
The American You(th) tour brought together a mix of three very distinct and innovative artists with endless possibility. The night was full of great music, a lot of energy, and a sense of promise that being talented, unique and genuine toward those who support you still holds important in today’s music industry.