One of Boston’s own, Ashe, has just begun her first headlining tour. Ashe, born Ashlyn Willson is a singer-songwriter originally from California who attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 2015. This tour came after two years of Ashe opening for other artists (she opened for six different tours through these years). Passionate and driven, Ashe has never lost sight of what she loves: performing.
Ashe came back to Boston on Sept. 13th, 2019 and performed at Brighton Music Hall. This time, Ashe had her own openers, something she was very excited about. First, Gavin Haley set the mood with a happy smile and singing some of his own songs. The crowd appreciated his genuine aura and sung along to the catchy lyrics. Next, Charlie Burg, came on. The teenage girls in the crowd screamed at everything he said, swooning over the heart throb from Michigan. His songs were upbeat and had the style of fast paced pop love songs the same way a band like Nevershoutnever does.
When Ashe emerged onto the stage, she was in her typical attire, a blazer, button up, and barefoot. This is a perfect example of who Ashe is as a person: down to earth and silly. She held back tears and shared with the crowd how happy she was to be back in Boston, “this feels like coming home,” she said into the mic. The crowd cheered for her as she opened with an older song, “choirs”. Behind Ashe was a large painting (possibly on some sort of cardboard cutout) of teapots hanging from the ceiling. This goes right along with her newest album cover, Moral of the Story Chapter 2. Alongside her, she had her long-time drummer Tim Spier.
The crowd jumped up and down and belted every lyric that Ashe sang. At one point, she jokingly noted how she felt like she had to compete with the crowd to hit the longest note, something she was never used to before as an opener. The appreciation and love Ashe has for her fans is obvious. Her fans are her friends, her family, and “the real reason why I am here,” Ashe said while performing. Many times in between songs Ashe would exclaim her joy and excitement and how surreal this all felt to her; to be able to chase her dreams and be successful. She is very open about her work and her personal life, letting her fans know they’re not alone. Songs like “Shitty Places, Pretty Faces” and “Sometimes People Suck” touch upon topics in a very natural and sincere way. It’s as if you’re hearing these words of advice from your best friend. With that said, as she performed these hits, the crowd passionately sang along, hands waving in the air to every lyric.
It was a night filled with happiness and love. The crowd was able to watch Ashe as she takes her first step into stardom on her first headlining tour. It was a very proud and happy moment for everyone in the room. Many people like myself discovered Ashe from her opening for other artists, so to be able to see her have her own show is like watching a friend succeed in their dreams. This tour, in particular, meant a lot to Ashe, as she had gone through a divorce in her early twenties about a year and a half ago, something no one should have to go through. She poured her heart into her music, and she received endless support back from her fans. Listening to her album is like listening to her story, and as Ashe said best, “In the end it’s better for me, that’s the moral of the story”.
If you’re looking for new artists who are passionate and talented, give Ashe a try. If anything, at least you’ll know of another artist who began in Boston and hopefully that will give you some sort of inspiration.