First off, it needs to be acknowledged that Why Don’t We managed to sell out a show on the same night as a Red Sox game against the New York Yankees. This is a massive feat as the House of Blues in Boston is right across from Fenway Park, Boston is first and foremost a sporting city, and the Yankees are a major Red Sox rival. Nevertheless, they did it!
Unfortunately for me, entering the venue was not as easy as it should have been. There was an error with my press pass resulting in me being unable to enter the House of Blues, and I was left waiting outside for thirty minutes frantically trying to contact those providing me with the press passes. Fortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened and I regularly show up to gigs an hour early to ensure that I never miss a performer. At the end of the day, while it was slightly exasperating waiting for things to be sorted out between Atlantic Records and the House of Blues staff, everything ended up working out and those involved were incredibly understanding and apologetic.
Entering the House of Blues, I was shocked to see that the audience was made up of strictly teenage girls. When I say strictly teenage girls, I mean that throughout the entire venue at a sold-out show I saw maybe thirty individuals above the age of twenty. Furthermore, all the individuals of adult age were parents of the teenagers. They spent the night on the side near the bar or in the back, sitting on the floor. They were there because their daughters had dragged them to see Zach Herron, Jonah Marais, Jack Avery, Daniel Seavey, and Corbyn Besson. This just goes to show you that not all heroes wear capes. I and the other photographers present in the pit could not stop discussing how we wished our parents had loved us enough to take us to a concert they themselves has little interest in seeing. This was also a bittersweet moment because at twenty years old, I realized as I looked out at the crowd that I was no longer a child.
In short, Why Don’t We has mastered the two most crucial things that allow musicians to make it big. They’ve developed a strong following and an incredibly specific target audience. This became evident before the opener, EBEN, walked on stage. Although no music was playing, the entire audience began singing the entirety of Why Don’t We’s single, “Trust Fund Baby”.
On the topic of the opener, man was he good. Most artists try to develop complex lighting patterns for their shows. EBEN kept it simple with plain white lights and strobes. This meant it was easy to capture amazing shots of him as he commanded the stage. It also meant the crowd was easily able to focus on him as an artist and his performance. He kept the crowd entertained, with killer dance moves and solid vocals. His song, “LAMBO”, was comical as it discussed not having money and wanting it. It was something pretty much any college kid could relate to. Additionally, after listening to the released version, I have to say his version performed live was much better than the recorded track. To sum up EBEN, he’s an electric performer who’s sure to improve his trade as he gains experience and practice.
After twenty minutes of waiting, Why Don’t We took the stage. I was incredibly glad to have brought my earplugs because the cheers from the crowd were deafening. I’ve been to countless concerts and never have I been so nervous about the preservation of my eardrums. Their entrance was very well planned with the lights flashing the outline of each member’s profile. However, once the show really started I felt as though the occasional strobe lights that flashed went overboard as they were at eye level with anyone in the front, aka the photographers and first few rows of fans. It was slightly distracting. However, their vocals and flow of their set were spectacular. There was a nice mixture of upbeat songs and ballads. From what I could tell, no one missed a note. Additionally, the costume changes were well planned. The audience of ladies couldn’t contain themselves when the five members walked on stage in suits. The only other criticism I had for Why Don’t We’s performance was the choreography.
It seemed over choreographed. Every second of every song seemed to have a beat. Don’t get me wrong! This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s far better than artists who stand and sing without doing much of anything. My only wish was that there had been more opportunities for organic movement. I took time to research the group before attending their concert to ensure that I understood their vibe. These guys are hilarious and full of energy. I felt as though the choreography caused things to fall a little flat during a few moments in songs. Choreography makes things tricky (especially when it’s group choreography) because it requires a lot of thought in order to complete the movements in sync. The excessive choreography resulted in moments where the boys appeared to be too focused on remembering the moves rather than feeling the music. Again, don’t take this to mean that they were insincere. From the songs where the movements were less complicated you could tell that they resonated with their music and the messages it was sending. It was witnessing those moments that made me wish that the choreography played a less important role in their set.
To conclude, Why Don’t We and EBEN provided fans with a lovely night of music. From the special night they created, it’s clear that they value their fans and care about giving them a night they’ll never forget. As far as artists go, I’m incredibly interested to watch Why Don’t We grow as a group and can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future.
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