Following an artist’s trajectory throughout their career can yield a plethora of results. Some fall off after one album, others continue to grow. The sophomore album is often an important one for establishing a lasting career. For singer-songwriter, producer, YouTuber, and previous Stay Up subject, Aries, the pressure was on to deliver after his well-received debut album WELCOME HOME netted him a successful tour across the country, a few months before the pandemic.
Aries’ sophomore effort succeeded, and BELIEVE IN ME WHO BELIEVES IN YOU, released to relative critical and commercial success, has set up him up for an even bigger tour with upgraded venues across the country. Aries stopped at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Md. on March 5, 2022, to mark his return to the DC area.
The venue was not quite sold out, but nearly full, signaling a significant increase in audience since his last stop in the area. First up, however was an artist whose star has been rising in their own lane, Brakence. The singer performed with a guitarist and his laptop, coming out to his breakout single “Dropout,” which much of the crowd gleefully sang along with. Brakence’s somewhat awkward and uncomfortable demeanor seemed to melt away through the set. His vocal acrobatics were impressive most of the time, often changing the established melody of a song to fit his vocal desires of the moment. The lengthy opening set had most of the audience engaged with the stage and the performer throughout.
Less than 30 minutes after the opening set completed, the screen at the back of the stage began to light up, and a voice rang out in the venue, welcoming everyone to Wunderworld, a fictional place and the namesake of the record label Aries created. A countdown from 10 commenced, after which the voice said, “open the moshpit,” transitioning into Aries’ first single from the newest album, “FOOL’S GOLD.” The crowd and Aries matched each other’s high energy, with the artist jumping around the stage singing and shifting vocal ranges, and the audience singing every melody for him.
Aries performed a smattering of old and new, with the audience knowing much of both albums, and even older songs before WELCOME HOME. At a point, Aries asked who had and had not been to an Aries show before and remarked how much he was growing. Aries is clearly satisfied by his artistic trajectory, as well he should be. Aries has risen from a niche music production YouTuber to a legitimate rising star in the industry. He’s carving out his own lane and doing just fine in it.