Oh my mogul: An evening with your newest music obsession, the Aces

The Aces (Alisa Ramirez, Katie Henderson, Cristal Ramirez, McKenna Petty) take their final bows at a sold-out Lincoln Hall show.

Jacqueline Sumida

The Aces (Alisa Ramirez, Katie Henderson, Cristal Ramirez, McKenna Petty) take their final bows at a sold-out Lincoln Hall show.

When The Aces, four girls from rural Utah with a killer pop-rock sound, announced their first ever U.S. tour– I screamed. I immediately got VIP tickets, rounded up friends, watched the date get moved, watch those friends say they couldn’t go and then ended up having one of the best times of my life with another close friend. So here I was, driving down Lake Shore Drive on my way to not only see The Aces live but meet them too.

We got there at around 4:30, waiting outside the venue to be let in for the VIP meet and greet. Later, we got lined up and let inside to wait for literally the most beautiful women in all of Utah. Well, us and the other 50 teenage girls in the exact same jean jackets, band t-shirts and aesthetic outfits.

This was the most chill meet and greet I’ve ever seen.

The girlies come out to hellos and smiles all around. We sat down for a Q&A filled with inside jokes, questions about starting bands in other hometowns and of course, the Jonas Brothers. All four of them were completely down to earth, talking to their fans like they were best friends and giving the warmest hugs, shout out to bassist McKenna Petty for the most loving hug ever.

After that hangout session, all that’s left to do is let the general admission people in and wait for the opening act, fellow Utah musician Rachel Brockbank, also known as Tishmal. Even when she came on a half hour late, Tishmal did not disappoint. She’s one of the most beautiful humans in this world.

She worked the stage like the best of them, although she gravitated towards the right more often than not. Her voice has an amazing straight tone quality, hitting every single note with little effort. The music was straight electronica, a strong beat and major elements of distortion underneath the hummingbird-like tone of Brockbank, keeping Lincoln Hall hooked on her every word.

The audience embraced her wholeheartedly, yelling about how pretty she was and how good she sounded. My personal favorite was before the track “Heavy,” she said that Chicago liked to dance and that she was going to groove with us, prompting a shout of “oh my God, this is gonna be so hot” from a girl in the crowd. Everyone, including Tishmal herself, started laughing until she regained composure and transported the crowd into the deep track.

After she plays her entire EP, a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and two new singles– the real wait begins. Roadies move the keyboards offstage while the guitars of lead singer Cristal Ramirez and lead guitarist Katie Henderson are tuned up and ready to go. 20 minutes later, The Aces strut on stage to a deep bass from the pre-recorded keyboards.

Cristal Ramirez croons “Put It on the Line” to a dead silent room, all entranced by her raspy vocals and surprised about how well she could sing after catching a cold last week, forcing the band to cancel their Boston show. There’s a fierceness and tenacity when Cristal performs like she’s ready to go off and explode at any minute. It gives the room a red hot glare.

She works the stage like nobody’s business, dragging her mic stand across the stage in a zebra stripped suit. Even when she stumbles coming down from her sister Alisa’s drum stand, she laughs and immediately gets back into character. The crowd loves it, hanging on her every word and motion like she could start crowd surfing at any moment.

Their set included both their 2018 debut album “When My Heart Felt Volcanic” in its entirety, but also all of their 2017 debut EP “I Don’t Like Being Honest,” topping the setlist at 16 songs. Yet, the band went through all of their songs like they were doing a marathon. Their first water break came after seven songs in a row, not stopping, just going straight from the ending of one song to the beginning riff of another.

But the fans knew every single word. Song after song, no one wasn’t singing or jumping around with the Utah girl gang. They orchestrated claps during the chorus of “Fake Nice,” sang along to the guitar riff of “Baby Who,” created almost mosh pits during stand out singles “Volcanic Love” and “Stuck” and standing absolutely still during the emotional rollercoaster that is “Hurricane.”

It was the second best crowd I’ve ever been in.

After the end of “Stuck,” they took their bows to Sicko Mode and immediately went out to the crowd for hugs, drumstick tosses and hand holding. Petty went straight for my side of the stage, smiling the most lighthearted and precious smile, looking out at her adoring fans with kind, yet grateful eyes. Every hand she held, she held a little bit tighter like she didn’t want to let the evening go.

I left Lincoln Hall in a pop-rock daze that didn’t fade as my friend and I drove down an empty Lake Shore Drive into the cool Chicago night, windows down and with the music up. The Aces are one of the most energetic and enchanting bands I’ve ever seen and I would definitely buy tickets for their next tour. Hopefully, my moguls get to work on their next album so I can see them sooner.

With the Waiting For You tour ending on Mar. 16, the girls will most likely head to the studio to start work on album number two. Honestly, I’m ready for anything these girls throw my way, and I know that it’ll get “Stuck” in my head very soon.

 Click Here: (Check out a photo gallery with more pictures from the sold-out show.)