American pop duo Aly & AJ have been building their name for a while. The duo got their start with Disney, later signing to Hollywood Records where they would continue to carry the Disney presence until their departure in 2010.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned this past month, it’s that Alyson and Amanda Michalka are no longer the girls of Cow Belles.
I was apprehensive when Aly & AJ began to pop up again. Because of my initial characterization, I wasn’t expecting much from the duo during their stop in Portland, OR. Having stood through the entire concert, mouth agape, I’m happy to report that I was so incredibly off-base. I’m calling it now: it’s time to stop sleeping on Aly & AJ.
This tour was not the product of two television actors playing with instruments on stage. Instead, it was the result of passion and talent that has been perfected and polished for years. Their harmonic parallel met the stage with elegance and flowed into your chest—standing still was not an option.
I took a minute to gaze across the room, finding that every single person was dancing (even the moms in the back). For those maintaining just a small sway, the California duo pulled a trick out of their bag. Long-loved singles like “Rush” and “Like Whoa” brought the whole crowd to motion.
The strobes may have been blinding, but these two made up for it with their genuine interaction with the crowd. In their encore, Aly & AJ sang “Sanctuary” as a thank you to their crowd and supporters. The night wound down with the mellow and pleasant “thank you, thank you / for your sanctu- sanctuary.” Other songs in their final bow included a cover of “Slow Burn” by Kasey Musgraves, “No One,” and “Potential Breakup Song.”
In an attempt to mirror the gratuitous nature of Aly & AJ, I’d like to thank them, too. Had I not attended this show, I may have never known what a beautiful world lies within their music. Their authentic presence and impassioned approach to music are beyond appreciated by this writer.
Photo courtesy of Kristina Dawn (@kristinaskool on Twitter).