Hot on the trail of their latest single, “Trust Fund Baby,” the five young lads of Why Don’t We are currently on their headlining The Invitation Tour. They’re traveling cross-country in the U.S. before embarking to Europe for a string of performances, which consists of sold-out shows scattered throughout. House of Blues Houston was one of those sold-out shows with fans lining up at the venue as early as 8 a.m. on a Thursday.
A new wave of pop boy bands is back on the rise since the era—and “hiatus”—of former international group One Direction with fresh faces such as Why Don’t We, In Real Life, PRETTYMUCH, BTS and more. It’s a blast from the past as music relives the days of 90’s boy bands with NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, among others. One by one, these modern boy bands have been popping up, seemingly out of nowhere with short roots stemming from 2016. With only a couple years under their belts, these young men are sprouting their influence and taking the world by force.
Why Don’t We fulfilled a 20-song headlining set with songs spanning across their discography, which covers just under two years of existence. It’s impressive that a group as young as this one has a consistent flow of content—three EP’s and various singles—adding to their music bank to ensure an abundance. Each of these songs invited a roar of cheers and screams from the audience followed by the shouting of lyrics throughout the entire performance—almost so loud that it was a challenge to hear the boys’ voices themselves.
The setup for the Why Don’t We show was a simple one: each of the five members, five light/visual panels and mini-ramps leading up to those panels, all illuminated by vibrant colorful stage lights. In essence, the performance was focused on the band, their music, their vocals and their unison dance moves. The performance at House of Blues managed to cross off components of the boyband checklist: vocals, harmonies, dancing, charming smiles, costume changes and effortlessly garnering screams from the crowd.
No live instruments were used—maybe save for the sound/loop launchpad and laptop used for “M.I.A.” mashed up with Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” What could elevate performances to new heights is incorporating instruments—even if it’s only an acoustic guitar to fully showcase their vocals and harmonies similar to the videos they post on Instagram. Hearing those harmonies that aren’t necessarily on the music tracks is a treat and should be given more spotlight—again it was hard to hear with screaming fans. Nevertheless, Why Don’t We’s music entices the ears with infectious beats, groovy bass sounds and catchy melodies and flow. Good luck resisting the temptation to sing along or dance with the band.
Don’t let the young faces of Why Don’t We fool you. Currently on the Atlantic Records roster, the five-piece have a hard-working business mindset for their careers with goals of growth and prospering on the brain. At one point during the show, the band graciously thanked the audience for coming to the show, helping it hit that sold-out threshold, which was then juxtaposed with a story about how last time they were in Houston only 30 people were there. It may appear that Why Don’t We have hit their peak at the big time, but at the rate they’re going, they’re only getting started with plenty of room to grow and make their mark.
Text and photos by Siri Svay
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Connection Magazine.