Aly & AJ headline The Fillmore with support from Miya Folick

04.06.23 – Photos by Emma Redinger / Review by McKenna Klaphake

On Thursday, April 6th folk pop duo Aly & AJ performed at The Fillmore in Minneapolis and brought along Los Angeles based singer songwriter, Miya Folick, for their “With Love From” tour. The room was filled with gen z and millennial fans who grew up listening to the two Disney channel born singers. This was the first time that I had been to The Fillmore and I was pleasantly surprised with the venue. Giant chandeliers decorated the ceilings and neon artwork painted the walls behind the bars. This medium sized room was a perfect venue for a night of nostalgia. 

Miya Folick warmed up the audience with astonishing vocal prowess. The audience broke out in murmurs of appreciation after she played her first song. The synth and keyboard driven beats gave an 80’s feel to her songs. Folick proved that she is a multi-faceted performer with upbeat pop hits and acoustic slower ballads. Her lyrics are sentimental and relatable. She performed her song “Elton John” which is about her dad who passed away.

As her vocals echoed through the room, colorful lights danced through a faint fog floating in the air. The passion in her face and voice added to the feel of each song. The audience was on the rowdier side for a Thursday night, as many compliments and suggestive comments were thrown at the artist. Folick took it with ease and joked with the audience while flowing through her set list. She did an excellent job warming up the audience for Aly & AJ and gained more than a couple of new fans that night, myself included. 

My interest in Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka, known as Aly & AJ, like many in attendance on Thursday night, came from growing up listening to the duo as a kid. Since returning to the music scene as adults the duo has taken on a fresh sound with folk country influences. They performed a wide mix of songs from their decade long history of making music that included songs from their most recent album release, “With Love From.” Despite the album only being out for a couple of weeks, the audience expressed their love for the group and sang along to every song. Aly & AJ appreciated the audience knowing the lyrics to the new songs that they performed including, “After Hours”, “Talking in My Sleep”, and “Love You This Way.”

The sisters, adorned in matching blue jeans, white t-shirts, and neck scarves, walked on stage to the sound of an excited crowd chanting their names. The two singers were supported by a full band as well as playing a variety of instruments on their own. Aly, the older of the two, jumped between several instruments including keyboard, guitar, and tambourine. The years of musical expertise was clearly shown from both artists as they moved around the stage and interacted with members of the crowd. 

The highlight of the night was the handful of throwback songs that the two sang including “Potential Breakup Song”, “Rush”, “Like Woah”, and “Division.” The inner child in me was utterly rejoicing during these songs. But Aly & AJ didn’t just play their old songs; they added their newer folk influences into every track that they performed. Their songs have evolved with them and what used to be music for pre-teens and teenagers, their music has now taken on more adult themes like divorce and going out to party. Something that the 20 to 30 something’s can relate to now. 

Aly & AJ were collecting virtual pledges at the show to start the conversation around gun violence. This action was due to being personally affected by gun violence when their tour bus was caught in a crossfire during a deadly shooting in California in 2022. 

The folks in charge of the lighting really created an engaging show from the beginning until the end. The performers were illuminated from behind by a wall of lights that were styled to look like a speaker off of an old fashioned record player. The lights changed to fit the feel of each song as they flipped through disco lights glittering the audience, blue lights setting a sadder tone, and flashing pink and white lights that got the audience to let loose. Since a majority of Aly & AJ’s songs were on the slower side of the folk pop genre, the lighting was crucial to creating an engaging show. 

The duo finished with two encore performances of “Blue Dress” and “6 Months of Staring Into The Sun.” Aly & AJ proved that they truly aren’t going anywhere and fans of all ages can’t seem to get enough.

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