Elliot Friar ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
Phone screens lit up Boston’s Wilbur Theatre as tweets, snapchats, vines, and Instagram photos were posted and sent in intense anticipation for the night ahead. Fans snapped selfies to show off their hats embossed with the word “BO$$” and added videos full of screams to their snapchat stories in the minutes leading up to the opening acts. The energy among the crowd was palpable, and you could almost feel the vibration of young hearts quickening as the lights went down.
Finally, a full of life Mahogany LOX ran on stage in a high-low dress and cat ears, ready to start the show. LOX (or Mahogany?) a DJ, actor, singer, and social media sweetheart, wasted no time in blasting beats and remixes to get the crowd dancing. She gracefully danced across the stage mouthing the words to the songs she played, occasionally yelling into the microphone to amp fans up for the following acts. By the end of her short set, fans we electrified with energy and ready for the next performer. In the words of Shakira, Jasmine V’s hips truly didn’t lie as they effortlessly moved and swiveled in a flawless fashion to the beat. While dancing was the centerpiece of her performance to original songs, she showed off impressive vocals while belting the hook to Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” in a cappella form before exiting the stage.
For the final opener, there was a change in pace that was not only welcomed, but needed. The singer-songwriter and self described indie-pop style music of Jacob Whitesides acted as a musical cleansing before the headlining act. Whitesides’ soft but prominent vocals and acoustic guitar playing allowed concert goers to take in the moment. The high point of Whitesides set was his performance of “Ohio,” a catchy and meaningful song that fans raised their phone camera flashes to, instead of lighters, in true millennial fashion. The seventeen year old internet celebrity turned music star also performed an acoustic cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love,” something that undoubtedly made the crowd fall drunk in love with the up and coming singer.
Then, it was time. A voice asked over the speakers, “mirror, mirror, on the wall… who’s the loudest of them all?” And with that, an enormous white curtain dropped revealing five silhouettes, queuing screams that definitely answered that question. The silhouettes fiercely whipped their hair and turned around as the five faces of Fifth Harmony became illuminated.
The girls first performed “Reflection,” a feminist anthem focusing on the importance of a positive perspective on your own beauty as opposed to the male gaze. With that, the dominant theme of the night, including empowerment, sexual expression, and female dominance, was ushered in. Whether it was telling boys that they already know they are “Worth It” or that they can’t be their “Suga Mama,” the girls delivered perfect vocals, fierce faces, and irresistible dancing that slayed the stage.
Slowing down and sitting on stools to perform ballads “Who Are You” and “We Know,” the girls lived up to their band name by performing perfect harmonies. This perfect harmonization continued when they performed a stunning cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church.” There was no dominant member or outshining of bandmates, but instead a musical teamwork that blew the audience away.
The girls soon returned to performing their signature pop anthems, including “Like Mariah” and “Everlasting,” quickly getting the audience dancing again. Then, the girls ended with a vengeance against our patriarchal society and its twisted standards. “Bo$$,” the debut single from their Reflection album, was the last song they performed. What is more feminist than five young women freely expressing their sexuality while exclaiming they’re the “BO$$?” Nothing. If there were more room in the theatre, I’m sure everyone would have been bowing down on the ground.
Then, the encore performance. While the girls were off stage, their voices came over the speakers asking the crowd to imagine they were looking into a mirror at their, well, reflection of course. They asked, “what is your reflection saying to you? Now, I want you to talk to your reflection. Look into your eyes and tell yourself…” you are brave, honest, and beautiful. It all seems a bit cheesy, but for some young, perhaps insecure girls who have been told what they should be by society since birth, this could be a life-altering moment. The crowd was then told to tell someone nearby that they are brave, honest, and beautiful. Normally, this might seem like an awkward moment and thing to do. But, instead, over a thousand young people turned to their peers and showed support for each other. Sirens rang out signaling the high level of power and the start of the girls last number which was appropriately “Brave Honest Beautiful.” The girls gave it all they had as they danced with fans who were brought on stage, ending The Reflection Tour show in Boston with one last roar of empowerment, self-love, and love for others.
Check out Emertainment‘s interview with Jacob Whitesides here.