Why Don’t We @ Place Bell – April 8, 2019

Frenzy coupled with shrill shrieking is what reverberated off the walls of the Place Bell last night. That was due to the fact boy band Why Don’t We were playing there. 90% of the audience was young (8-15) females with a couple of parent escorts and the odd male. The screams came from that young female portion of the crowd were constant and ear shattering. So much so that I actually almost believed the five young men when they said a couple of times during their 75 minute set that this was the loudest crowd of the tour. I am aware that many artists say this on every night of their tours, but because of the elevated decibal level I can not imagine it being any louder. The sheer volume of it often drowned out the sound of the members’ voices.

They are a boy band which means they are young (range in age from 17 – 20), do simple choreography, each have a little different look to them, and have each their own little fan clubs. All five (Jack Avery, Corbyn Besson, Zach Herron, Jonah Marais, and Daniel Seavey) take their turns handling the lead vocal duties and each has a decent voice. Falsetto aplenty and even the occasional pseudo rap. Decent alone, but even better together creating nice harmonies. Nothing outstanding, just good. Good enough for simple mostly 3 minute pop songs that aim to bring the young girls out and make them swoon.

Fun was the name of the game here. While they kept the whole thing moving forward, there were a few instances in between songs where they chatted with the crowd allowing their goofy personalities to come out. What I really connected with (because I am most certainly not the age of their target audience) was how much fun they seem to have on stage. The five are not just going through the motions; they are having as much fun as their young female audience.

Probably due to the early start time (7 p.m., which had to be partially in deference to the young audience age) there were two opening acts. First up was Atlantan Brynne Elliott and next up was Eben. Though a one man show with nary an instrument on stage (kinda like Why Don’t We), Eben certainly got the crowd hyped up as he performed songs like “Lambo” and “Sideways”.

Nothing groundbreaking to report about Why Don’t We. They are traveling along the path forged by the like of the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and more recently, One Direction. Total bubblegum pop about parties, girls and broken hearts. No reinvention of the wheel took place. But that did not matter one iota in the hearts and minds of the thousands of young girls in attendance. They loved every moment. I was with two 13-year-olds and two 10-year-olds and when asked about the show they all uttered in unison, “It was great!!”

Setlist:

  1. Trust Fund Baby
  2. M.I.A.
  3. Choose
  4. Hard
  5. Friends
  6. In Too Deep
  7. Nobody Gotta Know
  8. I Depend on You
  9. Runner
  10. Why We Don’t Just
  11. Something Different
  12. Mash-Up: Taste/Finesse/Lucid Dreams/Middle Child/Better Now
  13. Taking You
  14. These Girls
  15. Hooked
  16. Talk
  17. 8 Letters
  18. Big Plans
  19. Cold in L.A.

Encore:

20. I Don’t Belong in This Club

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