The Aces @ The OVO Hydro 08/12/22 Live Review


The Aces are an alternative pop band comprised of sisters Alisa and Cristal Ramirez (drums and lead vocals/guitar), and their childhood friends Katie Henderson (lead guitar/vocals) and McKenna Petty (bass). Formed in Utah during their childhoods, the quartet produces personal yet relatable tracks with catchy hooks and funky rhythms which come alive on stage through their energetic performances.

The OVO Hydro is pretty full by the time they take the stage, with only a speckling of floor seats empty. The small standing area is full of energy and ready for a good time, and this is what the band provides.

Their set kicks off with their latest single Girls Make Me Wanna Die; the infectiously fun guitar riff ringing out around the arena before the thumping drum beat kicks in and the lyrics start. The buoyant song is full of youthful grit and energy as they sing about unrequited teenage love, the driving drumbeat and catchy guitars reminiscent of the early 00s anthems that were popular when The Aces first started making music.

Their next song is Volcanic Love, the opener to their debut album. This soft pop hit, with its 80s inspired guitar line and soaring vocals from lead singer Cristal, brings the dreamy feelings of summertime to a freezing cold Glasgow.

They follow this with two songs from their more personal sophomore album Under My Influence. The combination of the accented bass line and the drumbeats create a funkier sound in My Phone is Trying to Kill Me, laying down a track in which the lyrics take centre stage. The frustration at our reliance on our phones and social media and the toxicity that comes with this manifests in a cathartic chorus that the audience is encouraged to scream along to, hammered home as Cristal bangs her fists on the floor. The collective energetic presence of the band is huge and emanates out from the stage, with each song receiving a bigger response from the crowd than the last.

The feel-good feeling of Daydream provides a fun contrast. The bands builds into the track by introducing the members, each one layering over the other to create a groovy rhythm you can’t help but dance along to. The performance of this lively and extremely catchy song really showcases Katie Henderson, whose post-chorus guitar riffs and dreamy harmonies elevate Daydream.

Their debut single Stuck wraps up their performance, ending the short set in a poetic fashion. The rock beat of the drums, guitar riff, punchy chorus, and melodic bridge which exhibits the bands’ mesmerising vocals create a vibrant pop-rock hit. Their joy in performing with each other is clear to see as they bounce around on stage: only Alisa, who is confined by her drum set, is not jumping up and down. She instead closes out their performance with an impressive drum solo, ensuring the band and their music leave an impact on the audience.

Producing a dominant performance that radiated energy, The Aces put on a dynamic set which served as a perfect introduction to their music, drawing from different albums and sounds. For fans of the band, they did not disappoint: not only did their vibrancy and passion enhance their music and make the night unforgettable, they also performed with such authenticity it was hard not to feel connected to them. With the new year comes the promise of a new album and a UK headline tour, and I for one cannot wait.

Hannah Stewart

[Image Credit: http://www.last.fm]

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