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Show Review: Aly & AJ bring synth pop and nostalgia to Marquee Theatre

If you happened to grow up in the mid to early 2000s, you probably know sister singer-songwriter duo Aly and AJ. Fans, new and old, filled The Marquee Theatre, eager to immerse themselves in the synth-pop world that Aly and AJ bring on tour. 

The Touch Of The Beat tour also featured The Brummies, a band boasting a sound that could only be described as a mix of Glass Animals meets The Beatles, in all of the best ways. The Alabama-based band set the stage as they played an upbeat set consisting of hits like “Sunshine” and “After Midnight”, which had the crowd dancing.  The Brummies made their mark and really brought their “little ray of sunshine” to Tempe with their 60s rock ‘n roll vibe. 

Having been on a very long hiatus, fans had been patiently waiting for the Michalka sisters to return to the stage. The crowd erupted as Aly and AJ began their set with “Pretty Places”, a perfect song to start the show as it allowed the venue to gradually build in excitement. They followed with such synth-heavy songs as “Listen!!!” and “Take Me”. You could feel the audience bathing in nostalgia from just being in Aly and AJ’s presence. The crowd was mainly filled with millennials and even some families, as it was a chance to introduce a new generation to the girls’ talent. 

During a brief pause, Aly and AJ brought attention to a QR code at the front of the venue. This was a chance to sign a petition to support The Trevor Project and by doing so, the audience member would then enter into a drawing to have dinner with the duo after the show ended. Body image was also a topic that was touched on during the show, something the sisters have been very open and vocal about in recent interviews. Aly told the audience that if anyone was struggling with body image that they had Project HEAL counselors there to speak to and that they were not alone. 

Rounding out the show, the pair performed a cover of Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” and then closed with an uncensored version of “Potential Breakup Song”. Aly and AJ have shown that they are here to stay with a new, mature sound. Speaking for myself and the other excited fans in the room, my inner 2000s kid had lived out a dream come true with this show. These ladies sure can rock. 

Check out all the photos from the show!

Story and photos by Kayla Coleman for Atlas Artist Group