PrettyMuch at the Anaheim House of Blues on October 22nd, 2018
Let me preface this piece by stating a few things: I am 25 years old, I graduated college several years ago, I’m a full time adult, and I still like the occasional boy band. In this particular case, it’s Simon Cowell’s most recently constructed group, PrettyMuch. Consisting of five boys with ages ranging between 19-21, PrettyMuch was formed in 2016 and signed to mega-label Columbia Records.
Now, I was fairly aware of what I was getting myself into. I grew up in the hayday of boy bands ie. ‘Nsync & Backstreet Boys. However, I never got the opportunity to see either group live and now that there’s a sudden reemergence of boy bands, I’m finally able to experience what teenage fandom is truly like first hand. Approaching the venue, eager fans were waiting in a sprawling line that snaked around Anaheim’s Gardenwalk plaza. Quickly I noticed a vast majority of the fans were teenage girls, as expected. Once inside, I grabbed a beer and noticed how bored the bartenders were; this was certainly not the busy night they were hoping for.
Girls staked out the railing lining the front of the stage in order to get as close as possible to their favorite pop heartthrobs. I heard groans of how hot it was and how the patrons behind them were pushing them, forcing them to become squished. It was at their age that I too learned how brutal the front of the crowd could be and that sacrifices needed to be made.
A large countdown clock appeared on the screen and girls began to squeal. The boys ran out on stage and began to execute their suave dance moves, thanks to their cheographer Ian Eastwood. Every girl desperately clamored to get even a single glance in their direction from one of the boys. Only a few songs into their set, I came to the conclusion that yes, I’m definitely too old for this. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that their music is genuinely good. Their singles like “Teacher”, “Summer On You”, and “No More” are infectious and the boys don’t need auto tune, unlike many popular pop singers nowadays. They even have features from internationally known artists like French Montana and Rich the Kid. Simon Cowell, once again, wins this round. I can’t deny their appeal to teenage girls, especially since they pull out all the typical stops to woo the fans like bringing a special girl on stage to serenade. This well crafted group doesn’t feel superficial. They connect with their fans and cause them to experience the crazy hysteria we’ve all had once or twice over a celebrity crush. Even though I’m immune to their heartthrob tactics, I still enjoy a well written pop song. PrettyMuch isn’t your average boy band and they're going to turn even the most doubtful listeners into fans.
Photos & Words by Summer Dos Santos