Edited by Brianna Garza
On October 20th, 2023, Aidan Bissett stopped in Tampa, Florida during his tour following the release of his EP titled Supernova. The Crowbar quickly sold out when fans realized it would be a hometown show for Aidan, and hundreds of people lined up hours ahead of time in anticipation. Fans with VIP tickets had the pleasure of listening in on an acoustic soundcheck performance for the show, where the 'Tripping Over Air’ singer played two new songs, 'Ultraviolet’ and 'Out of My League’ with his guitarist Grant McManus. Aidan then opened the floor to questions, with the first one being about how it feels to perform in his hometown. He replied, “It feels really cool...my family’s home is close, so I got to sleep in my own bed...it simply just feels really good”. He also shared that he has even attended a show at the same venue, and he was excited to be on the other end of things this time. Throughout this Q&A, he revealed that if he were to be a musical guest on SNL, he’d love the host to be Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling. The next fan asked what his favorite song was to write, to which he replied "Probably ‘People Pleaser.' "That writing process was just super easy, I was in Nashville with my friend Chase, and we just went in with no restraints that day. We were just like, ‘Let’s just have fun and see what comes of it."
Following the VIP Q&A, Anna Shoemaker opens the show. Her graceful stage presence mixed with her humble and pleasant personality, the 'Not Coming Back’ singer was a delight to see on the stage. Considering this was a show with no barricades between the stage and the audience, Shoemaker kept the show intimate by maintaining eye contact with multiple fans, and giving the mic to a fan who knew the lyrics. She is a bubbly, but fierce, entity on stage with a unique indie pop-rock sound with lyrics that many teenagers and young adults can likely relate to.
Following Anna Shoemaker, Aidan Bissett starts his 19-track set with 'All That I’m Craving’. The set included every song in his current discography, except for ‘So High’ from his debut EP More Than Friends & Friends, and 'stuck on us,’ his collaboration with Claire Rosinkranz. After performing three songs, he addressed the crowd saying, "Man it’s good to be home. I’ve been to a show here as a fan, so it’s really cool that I’m able to play this venue”. As the show progresses, Bissett is constantly picking up and setting down his guitar. When he first started playing music, he has stated that vocals were not his strongest aspect. He started using only his guitar but began taking vocal lessons via Zoom when he was in high school. A band from school needed a frontman, and he took it as an opportunity to kickstart his dream of being a singer. He keeps his roots close though, by incorporating his own guitar skills into almost every song on his set. He maintains a strong, but intimate, stage presence throughout the show by constantly moving around, dancing with fans, answering audience questions between songs, and sharing details about different tracks.
When introducing 'A Song For Her,’ he states it was the hardest one to translate live when in rehearsals, as it’s his slowest song and he wanted to find the perfect way to perform it. As the song starts, he moves through the audience and stands directly in the middle. He performs it as almost a duet with the crowd, letting them take over the screams in between verses. This heartbreak track uses instruments and screams to reflect the chaotic emotions and thoughts that an individual copes with during a breakup. He perfectly captured the vulnerability of this song when playing it live, by making it feel as if he was simply singing along and relating with everyone, rather than performing it to them.
Following 'A Song For Her,’ he played 'How’s it Gonna End,’ which was a track inspired by a question he kept asking himself while creating Supernova. "At the start of it, I was having a lot of anxiety about the future with relationships, friendships, my career...I was just having anxiety about a lot of stuff that I didn’t know about. I wanted to write a project to capture that feeling, and that’s what Supernova came to be.” Bissett begins to introduce a surprise song by continuing his speech, saying “When I finished this EP, I felt like maybe there’s a connection with trying out new things and meeting new people, so I wrote this unreleased song named Planet about this connection, and I wanted to play it for you guys tonight.” A few lyrics from the alt-pop track have been teased on Bissett’s social media accounts lately, but fans have only heard the full version at his shows.
He finishes the show with his most popular song titled 'Tripping Over Air’ from his 2022 EP I’m Alright if You’re Ok. He thanks the crowd, and his band finishes strong on drums and guitar. As fans are heading out after the show, Bissett and Shoemaker hang out near their merch tables, to personally interact with fans and sign merch. With his family and friends in attendance, Aidan Bissett successfully made the stage at The Crowbar his home for the night, showcasing his notable talent despite the inevitable pressure of a sold-out show in his hometown. We’re excited to see what’s in store for Bissett, as he has been consistently climbing his way to the top of the charts after signing with Capitol Records.