It was a special night in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Not only was it the night that 5,000 Why Don't We Fans were eagerly waiting to see the band perform after securing tickets months ago, but it was Why Don't We member Jonah Marais' hometown show.
From the moment I walked into the venue and saw the line of fans wrapping around the building twice, I knew it was going to be a crazy night and I wasn't wrong. It isn't every show that fans are just as excited to see the opening acts perform as they are the main act.
When the first opener, Brynn Elliott took the stage, the screams began. Elliott's performance was amazing. The lyrics to her songs are so inspiring and her vocals are so raw and beautiful that they gave me chills. The two songs that really got the crowd going were "Internet You" and "Might Not Like Me." Overall, it was beyond clear she was excited to be up on stage performing as her infectious smile radiated into the crowd throughout her entire set.
Following Brynn Elliott was EBEN. Screams erupted once again as he took the stage and there were even some tears of happiness rolling down a few faces in the crowd. Prior to attending the show, I wasn't aware that EBEN has been a good friend of the band for years and a part of the Why Don't We fam, which makes sense why so many were just as excited to see him perform.
EBEN took the stage with so much energy and continued to have a strong stage presence throughout his whole set. A I would say the standout moment of his set was when he performed, "LAMBO." It was during that song that I felt he really brought it all and the crowd was beyond into it as they danced around and screamed back the lyrics.
Not too long after EBEN left the stage the moment all 5,000 fans had been waiting for finally came as Why Don't We appeared on stage to their sold-out crowd after a fun "storybook-like" intro. The five Why Don't We boys: Jonah Marais, Zach Herron, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery and Daniel Seavey took their places on stands in the back of the stage. I didn't believe that it could get any louder in the venue than it was for the two opening acts, but I sure was wrong. As the band began singing their 2018 single, "Trust Fund" screams of excitement erupted. "M.I.A" followed which is a bop from the band's 2017 EP, "Invitation."
During the third song of the night, "Choose" the boys made their way towards the front of the stage, causing the crowd to go even crazier. It was during this song that I discovered just how great of a stage presence these five boys have. It's one thing to get up on stage and sing your songs incredibly well, but it's another to get your fans engaged and these boys do it both.
About halfway through their set, WDW member, Jonah Marais reflected on his musical journey with his hometown crowd.
"This is just crazy. Our first show here was at The Garage in Burnsville which fit about 150 people. Tonight is kind of surreal for me because I'm from Stillwater and I have a lot of friends and family here tonight. It's a special night. Thank you so much for being here and look at what we've done together. It's pretty cool."
The band then took a photo with the crowd and played "Taking You" for their fans from day one. "These Girls" followed which was a total crowd pleaser and next came "Hooked" and "Talk" which were both full of smooth dance moves that had the fans going crazy.
After a quick break, the band reappeared on stage in their fourth outfit of the night and dove right into their hit song, "8 Letters" which had the crowd singing along from the first note. When the song came to a close, member Corbyn Besson gave the crowd a motivational speech on chasing your dreams and ended it by saying,
"We had this motto for 2019 and we started it with the first song we dropped this year. The motto is to make big plans."
If you couldn't guess, the band then played their 2019 single, "Big Plans." Everyone loves a clever segue. The band then closed the night with their other 2019 releases, "Cold In LA" and "I Don't Belong In This Club" which are both bops that had the crowd on their feet, hands in the air, screaming along to the lyrics and having the time of their life.
Overall, Why Don't We puts on an incredible show. Not only do they have catchy and fun songs, but they have such a strong stage presence that you physically cannot look away. It is obvious that all five boys love being up on stage performing and the relationship that they have with their fans is something special. It is like one big family.
1. "Trust Fund
6. "In Too Deep
7. "Nobody Gotta Know
8. "I Depend On You
10. "Why Don't We Just
11. "Something Different
12. Mashup: "Taste" / "Finess" / "Lucid Dreams" / "MIDDLE CHILD" // "Better Now"
13. "Taking You"
14. "These Girls"
17. "8 Letters"
18. "Big Plans"
19. "Cold In LA"
20. "I Don't Belong In This Club"