Aly & AJ Headline The Ryman Auditorium
By: Neal Burnette-Irwin
The duo performed 24 of their songs, ranging from their past work like “Division” and “On the Ride”, as well as two of their re-recorded hits “Like Whoa (A&A Version)” and the explicit version of “Potential Break Up Song”. The latter has 50 million streams on Spotify and counting with the original recording having almost 145 million streams. “Potential Break Up Song” had a revival on Tik Tok as a viral audio, which the sisters’ used in their own video to wish their mother a happy birthday in 2020. The Tik Tok now has over 17.7 million views on the social media app.
Their mother, Carrie Michalka, was at the concert and spoke about why this show was particularly sentimental, “This is my dad’s hometown. He was raised in Tennessee. Half of my family is southern. The kids were raised on country and gospel music,” she continued, “This is something that I have always shared with the girls. We are all equals at the foot of the cross.”
Aly and AJ’s country and gospel roots are obvious in their new album “With Love From” as well as the aesthetics for the album’s accompanying 2023 tour with cathedral style lighting throughout the show which is especially a highlight during the stripped d
own rendition of their hit song “Church” from their album “We Don’t Stop”. The Ryman Auditorium's history as a church and country music household were a perfect fit for the sisters’ performances.
The musicians took a moment near the end of the show to speak about gun violence. The sisters and their band survived a mass shooting and emotionally recalled how their tour bus was shot multiple times outside a Sacramento venue in 2022 that left 6 dead and 12 injured. Since the tragedy, Aly & AJ have partnered with Northwell Health on their Just Ask Pledge. The pledge is to ask if there is an unlocked gun in your own household or one you are visiting to spark a conversation about securing firearms and avoiding gun violence.
The musicians, on a lighthearted note, took time to mention that it was AJ Michalka’s birthday on the night of the Nashville concert. The crowd, and AJ herself, sang happy birthday to her to celebrate the memorable evening.
Miya Folick is performing as the tour’s special guest during the March and April dates. The duo also brought out singer Joy Oladokun for “Way of Nature Way of Grace”.
Aly and AJ’s new album “With Love From” is available on all streaming platforms. Dates and tickets to their upcoming shows can be found at alyandaj.co