Attending an Aces show is always a pleasure. I first saw them live in 2018 as an opener and have followed their journey ever since. This past Wednesday at Fine Line was my third time seeing them live, and it was the most vulnerable and beautiful I’d seen yet.
Carol Ades opened the show for us. She performed with her girlfriend, who was on the guitar. It was extraordinary to watch both of the people who wrote and created these songs be able to perform them in front of a crowd. Her music was a beautiful and simple pop that talked about what it’s like growing up as a queer woman, the challenges one might face, and the beautiful experiences you have because of it. Carol Ades’s presence on stage felt like a beam of sunshine peeking through a dark room. You couldn’t help but feel happy or, at the very least, comforted.
If I’m being honest, The Aces set started off feeling distant. It felt like they weren’t enjoying being up on stage. It was never a strong feeling and didn’t get in their way of putting on a great show or from me enjoying it. A little over halfway through, Cristal, the lead singer, opened up about how she was struggling with her anxiety that night and felt she needed to be vulnerable and honest with everyone. Once that was out in the open, the energy in the room completely changed, and you could feel the love and support.
It is always so refreshing seeing a group of queer women owning their sexuality and existing in a way most authentic to them with an audience. Hearing love songs performed and written by women about women is precious and, unfortunately, still not a normal enough concept. The Aces have always done an excellent job at using their platform to uplift the voices of those who may not be used to being heard. Bands like The Aces are trailblazers and I can’t wait to see what they do next.