PRETTYMUCH – The Met – Philadelphia, PA – July 20, 2019
If you think the boy band era came to a close with One Direction’s 2015 split, you probably haven’t met PRETTYMUCH yet. This Teen Choice nominated band made up of Brandon Arreaga, Zion Kuwonu, Edwin Honoret, Nick Mara, and Austin Porter offers a unique, refreshing sound to pop music as well as rap. Similar to One Direction, Simon Cowell founded the group, but that is where their similarities lay. Currently, they are touring to promote their new album Phases.
On Saturday night, they brought their high energy along with thousands of fans to The Met for their 2019 FOMO tour. The crowd contained all ages, from young girls, to teens, to parents, all of them excitedly awaiting their favorite band. For a newer band (formed in 2016) PRETTYMUCH’s fan base is massive. Outside the Met, hundreds of fans waited in line.
In spite of the 100-degree weather Philly was facing, fans were bright-eyed and eager: taking Instagram photos, dancing without music, and singing their favorite PRETTYMUCH lyrics. They didn’t have to wait too much longer – and everyone was relieved to get to their air-conditioned seats. Even inside, the energy didn’t die down. From the balcony, I watched groups of teens dancing to the preshow music and excitedly checking the boys’ social media pages for any updates.
After some waiting, the night began with a performance from former Dance Moms star, Kenzie. At only 15, she is already touring with for PRETTYMUCH across the country. Most fans know how talented a dancer she is, but as of 2014, she has broken into music. She recently dropped her new single “Hot,” which trended worldwide. She strutted on stage to a screaming crowd surrounded by four background dancers and a whole lot of confidence.
She opened with her song “Nothing on Us,” and sang her heart out all while performing some amazing choreo that had the entire audience dancing along. Kenzie ended with an emotional performance of “Breathe,” and thanked everyone for coming out. As much as no one wanted Kenzie to leave, they equally wanted PRETTYMUCH to come out. Shouts begging for PRETTYMUCH to come up filled the entire time period between Kenzie and PRETTYMUCH.
A futuristic voiceover boomed across the venue and introduced each of the boys with a flash of their silhouette. Then smoke and bright yellow lights filled the stage, when the smoke cleared, the band was there. When they appeared the screams of fans were so loud that it made it difficult to even heard their opening song, “Lying.” All five of the boys seemed extremely comfortable on stage. They came out dancing with choreography just as high energy as Kenzie’s.
The stage was set up with scaffolding they jumped around on and color-changing lights. The only time they stayed still was when they all sat on stools to perform “Gone 2 Long.” The audience filled with waving phones lights to accompany the song. The group’s dynamic showed how close they all are: laughing, cracking jokes at each other, improvising dances. You would never know that they had been separate artists before they came together. At some point, Edwin lost his shirt (not that the fans were complaining). They ended their set with “Phases,” but the crowd was still cheering for more. They ran back out with a pre-planned encore and sang “Open Arms.”
PRETTYMUCH had unmatched energy and a lot of it. It is clear that the five of them are not only passionate and hardworking but love what they do. They own the stage as soon as they come out. PRETTYMUCH is not a traditional boy band by any means. Their audience may be on the younger side, but they don’t let that limit them creativity or censor themselves. Their sound is something you would expect a boy band to be able to pull off, but they do it flawlessly.
Many bands feel like they must form a persona, but when PRETTYMUCH gets on the stage, they are their true, authentic selves. They produce all their music and write songs for themselves, not anyone else. They’re only in the beginning stages of their careers, and I’m excited to see which direction they head as they gain a bigger following. But for three years in, their success has been astronomical.
Copyright ©2019 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 22, 2019.
Photos by Isa Barnett © 2019