Aly & AJ Bring Nostalgia and a Newly Mature Sound to the Wellmont Theater

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Published May 23, 2019
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The Montclarion
Sibling pop duo Aly & AJ performed at the Wellmont Theater to promote their new EP, "Sanctuary." Sharif Hasan | The Montclarion

Pop sibling duo Aly & AJ took the stage at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey, to promote their newest EP, “Sanctuary.” On May 14, fans filled up the theater to watch the sisters perform throwback songs and their newest hits.

The show began with an entertaining opening from the band Armors, which the audience visibly enjoyed. Their set gave the crowd a small glimpse of what to expect from the night ahead. When Armors finished their performance, the audience waited eagerly for Aly & AJ.

As the drummer and guitarists walked out, fans began to scream with excitement as Aly & AJ would be performing in mere seconds. Finally, the sisters stepped out on stage and were greeted with animated cheers as they started their show off with “Church” from their EP.

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Aly & AJ performed tracks off of their new EP and throwback songs that the crowd loved.
Sharif Hasan | The Montclarion

Aly & AJ thanked everyone for coming out out to their show before playing “Closer” and “Chemicals React,” older songs that almost everyone sang along to.

The Wellmont Theater is a smaller venue, so there was a more personal feeling to this concert. Whenever Aly & AJ danced ecstatically, the audience would react the same way.

This performance not only highlighted the sisters’ exceptional vocal skills, but it also showed how adept they are with different instruments. During the show, Aly played the keyboard while AJ switched between acoustic and electric guitar.

Rachael Pedersen, a senior English major at Montclair State University, attended the show because her friend is a fan of Aly & AJ.

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The sisters end their decade-long hiatus with “Sanctuary.”
Sharif Hasan | The Montclarion

“Even though I was only familiar with [Aly & AJ’s] old music, I really enjoyed everything they played,” Pedersen said. “They’re also super sweet. They stopped the show to sign a dude’s CD and interacted a lot with the audience. They both were playing instruments, which I wasn’t expecting, and both had a happy and chill presence.”

Since Aly & AJ were performing to promote their new EP, they played many of their new songs such as “Don’t Go Changing” and “Not Ready to Wake Up.” To Aly’s surprise, fans sang along to these newer songs.

“Some of you guys know the lyrics to the new songs,” Aly said emotionally. A member of the audience shouted back supportively, “because we listen to them!”

During their set, Aly & AJ made sure to perform some of their classic hits, such as “Like Whoa” and “Rush.” Fans cheered the loudest for these nostalgic songs and the siblings ended the night by thanking everyone.

The audience noticed that “Potential Breakup Song,” a fan-favorite, was missing from the set. Everyone began to chant for an encore, and the duo unsurprisingly returned on stage to play the hit single.

Danielle Jegou, a sophomore filmmaking major at Montclair State, had a wonderful time at the concert.

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Aly & AJ were excited to share their new music with their fans.
Sharif Hasan | The Montclarion

“[The concert] was great,” Jegou said. “Everything was great about it. ‘Potential Breakup Song’ was definitely the cake.”

Aly & AJ gave a nostalgic performance for fans of their music from 2005, for those who enjoy their newer songs and for the group who fits in the middle. They embraced their musical past and Disney Channel roots at the Wellmont Theater, while showing how they are developing their own mature and unique sound.

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