In It For The Thrill

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In the nearly 15 years since Aly & AJ released their first album, Into The Rush, fans have seen them evolve musically in a way that makes words such as “proud” seem unsuitable. 1,400 of those fans sold out their Chicago show on March 5 at the House of Blues.

In terms of seeing them evolve musically, they’ve gone from Disney movie soundtracks to 78violet to this latest era of artistic freedom. Their EP, Ten Years, was released in 2017 (a decade after their last album) and latest EP, Sanctuary, is out March 10. The songs from both EPs dominated the set list of their Sanctuary Tour and brought an element of excitement to their newest release.

A series of pulsating free-standing LED lights introduced the sisters and their band to the stage followed by AJ’s intoxicating opening line for “Church”: “I do bad things for the sake of good times”. Their glimmering dark blue power suits gave off the same mature vibe that is heard both in their newer songs and in their new takes on old songs. “Closure”, “Chemicals React”, “Like Whoa” and “Rush” were spread out through the set list, giving fans a wave of nostalgia in between their latest material.

In between songs, they spoke about their involvement with The Trevor Project, a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) people under 25. Booths were set up in the venue to offer resources and information about their organization and the steps they’re taking to ban conversion therapy.

With Aly behind the keyboard and AJ on guitar, their set was filled with an energy that radiated from their instruments and took over the crowd. When they weren’t playing, synchronized dance moves and sisterly interactions made for picture perfect moments. AJ even made her way out into the crowd to greet fans that were lucky enough to be up against the barricade.

The crowd also enjoyed their cover of Kacey Musgrave’s “Slow Burn” and Sanctuary single “Don’t Go Changing”. It’s a song that fans already knew the words to despite being released just a few weeks before the show. The title track off their next EP made its way to their encore along with their first top 20 single, “Potential Breakup Song”.

It may be a new era for Aly & AJ, but it’s clear from their live performance that their passion for music hasn’t dwindled. As their Sanctuary Tour continues through the U.S. and overseas, catching a glimpse of this new era is a must-see.