Aries and brakence put on a set to remember at Metro

By Jared Callaway, Photojournalist

Fans moshed in the packed Wrigleyville venue while listening to the complex and experimental songs of brakence and the soft vocals and beats of Aries.

Aries, the lead artist on the Believe In Me World Tour, brought guitar-infused hip-hop to his two Chicago shows at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. on Feb 19 and 20.

Brakence, an emerging hyperpop artist, opened each night for Aries and effortlessly blended hip-hop, pop and electronic music. He rocked out on stage under flashing red and orange lights as his fans sang along to every word.

Brakence’s set consisted of songs from his album “punk2,” where many songs are often based on melancholy feelings of past relationships. The set included the artist’s hit song “dropout,” which was remixed with the singer blackbear.

“Dropout” focuses on brakence’s journey of dropping out of college at The Ohio State University to pursue a career in music. He performed his new songs “cbd” and “argyle” as well. At the end of the show, brakence slowed down his set and closed it off with a cover of the Oasis song “Wonderwall,” giving a unique and energetic opening for Aries.

Aries’ set started off with a countdown on a bright screen; what followed were instructions to “open up the pit” to the packed crowd.

Hailing from Orange County, California, Aries played many songs from his 2021 album, “BELIEVE IN ME, WHO BELIEVES IN YOU.” He also played “Santa Monica,” a 2019 release with a piano intro, relaxed rhythm and a prominent guitar accenting the track. The song features Aries reflecting on a fleeting relationship in his hometown.

The artist’s recent album touched largely upon themes of relationships. In songs such as “ETA,” Aries dials the production back to address a love gone too soon.

Later in the set, Aries mentioned that there was a competition of which city could have the largest mosh pit to his hit song “ONE PUNCH.” In an interview with Ones to Watch, Aries said he wrote the song from the perspective of a warrior who saved a princess.

The “Believe in me World Tour” will continue through the fall. Future dates for the tour are on Aries’ website.