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The Aces @ Academy 2 review and gallery – one of the best nights of pop

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Alternative synth-pop group The Aces stormed their way into Manchester this week bringing an electrifying set to adoring crowds. The show was moved from Gorilla to Academy 2 due to the incredible demand, and saw the Utah band treat fans to an unforgettable evening. The European leg of their tour got things started with previous shows in Dublin, Birmingham and the infamous venue, KOKO in London.

The Utah band is made up of singer and guitarist Cristal Ramirez, guitarist Katie Henderson, bassist McKenna Petty, and drummer Alisa Ramirez (Cristal’s sister). Established in 2008, the longtime friends didn’t take long to come together as songwriters and musicians.

Special guest Belot entertained the audience with her pop-obsessed tunes. Belot entered the stage, without any hesitation, and began her performance with ‘Chaotic’. She stopped to thank the Manchester audience and got them pumped for the song that would follow, ‘Cool Whip’.

‘Kiss You’, ‘Bed’, and ‘Homeless Fun’ were among the highlights Belot performed. Growing up with hip hop, Belot has used inspiration from her favourite artists and created her latest hit, ‘V.I.P’. Being surrounded by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and The Beach Boys – her mothers fantastic taste in music, she began her music career at the age of 8 when she first picked up a guitar and started performing. This track served as the set’s finale, energising the Manchester audience in anticipation of The Aces’ show.

The venue quickly filled again following the brief interlude, which is fair considering these loyal fans had been waiting all day to watch their beloved alt-pop band. As the lights dimmed and The Aces took the stage, screams and cheers reverberated throughout the room. The Aces opened their performance with ‘Always Get This Way’ to a warm reception from the Manchester crowd.

The Aces have been able to tour around the globe with previous albums supported by Red Bull Records since 2017 thanks to their devoted audience. Fans of The Aces had the opportunity to enjoy one of the most spirited pop groups in the modern era, with albums like When My Heart Felt Volcanic, Under My Influence, and most recently, I’ve Loved You For So Long. They are a band that will be remembered as one of the best in history.

Fans enjoyed hearing classics including ‘Suburban Blues,’ ‘Volcanic Love,’ and ‘I’ve Loved You For So Long’, as front-women Cristal Ramirez kept the excitement strong all night long, running around the stage. Their hits ‘Daydream,’ ‘Waiting For You,’ and finally ‘Stuck,’ brought the evening to a triumphant close.

The Aces’ latest album I’ve Loved You For So Long! is now available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music.


The Aces at Academy 2 gallery by Ben Redshaw


Belot at Academy 2 gallery by Ben Redshaw

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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