This Amy Lee-esk pink haired girl walks out on stage and I just about walk away. I admit, I quickly judged this young woman, but only because she looked like middle school me had just raided a sale at Hot Topic. But then, before I could turn away, she starts spitting out rap lines and I immediately decide to stay. She radiates with energy and the second she opens her mouth, everyone in the crowd, part of whom knew the words and the rest of whom stood in bewilderment like myself, takes notice.
In an Iggy Azalea fashion, front woman Ariel’s quick tongue shocks and allures the crowd. In addition to her rapping, she also has some impressive pipes. She hits some notable high notes and when she really belts, her voice packs quite the punch. Ariel’s rock and roll attitude and overall demeanor bring a sexiness to Vans Warped Tour that has been missing. Some leading ladies hold back, seeming less confident because of it, but Ariel has all the confidence of a seasoned performer. Like a pop diva she eyes audience members with looks that could kill while commanding the crowd with unwavering poise. She has an impressive ability to keep people’s attention with her piercing presence.
In addition to their unique leading lady, Icon For Hire boasts a colorful cast of musicians. A Mohawk wearing guitarist Shawn Jump and shirtless manly drummer Adam Kronshagen back up the petite fiery front woman. During the set, she steps aside and allows Kronshagen to take the stage alone to show off an exciting drum solo. She stood side staged and enjoyed the drummer’s performance as much as the rest of us.
They perform an electrifying cover of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit song, “Can’t Hold Us,” and every member of the crowd loses their minds. Ariel absolutely kills it. With her rap game on point, so to speak, the crowd erupted with excitement. The other members pull out water guns and giant beach balls and the outdoor venue basically transforms into Spring Break 2013. So awesome. The rest of the set has great energy as well, but that song in particular gets people like me, who know none of their music, singing along and dancing with everyone else.
Do not miss Icon For Hire this summer. Even if Ariel’s style distracts you at first, she has such alluring stage presence. The whole set is really fun and colorful. Definitely a rager (so to speak).