Friday the 13th is usually an unlucky day, but luck was on my side as it ended up being a great day with Why Don’t We at a sold-out MTelus. When I heard of this show last October, I was curious about these guys from the minute tickets went on sale at Corona Theatre to the impressive demand leading to a venue change.
The opening act was EBEN (Eben Franckewitz) of Los Angeles, California. EBEN is a singer who appeared on American Idol, an emerging artist that the fans were excited about based on the crowd’s reaction. So many screaming girls (my poor ears). They were certainly excited to see this young gentleman and I know why – he has charisma and certainly knows how to play to the crowd. He made the most of his short set playing a few songs including his new single “Lambo.”
With a quick fifteen minute change over, it was time for the headliner to hop on stage. Why Don’t We consist of teenage vocalist Jonah Marais Roth Frantzich from Stillwater, Minnesota; Corbyn Matthew Besson from Fairfax, Virginia; Daniel James Seavey from Portland, Oregon; Jack Robert Avery from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania; and Zachary Dean Herron from Dallas, Texas. Each had some YouTube success as solo artists, who decided to take their talents to showrooms across America. They met, befriended each other, were discovered, and decided, “why don’t we make this a thing” – just like that, possibly the next biggest American Boy Band since N’Sync were making headlines.
As the lights closed, the screams became more intense, deafening. Then flashes of each member in front of a white LED board revealed them one by one until all were lit in unison while the band did one of their many choreographed dances. All I can say is they hadn’t sung one note and the fans were already emotionally involved. The young crowd was screaming and crying in total jubilation to see their new favourite artist live on stage. I thought the crowd was loud but when they started “Air of The Night,” I couldn’t hear myself think. The harmonies, the solos, and the costume changes were abundant during their hour-long set. Going through their hit songs “These Girls,” “Invitation,” “Something Different,” “Taking You,” and “Nobody Gotta Know,” the guys looked like they are heading on the up and up. They are confident, their singing is flawless, and their moves might not be like Jagger’s; however, they’re slick and will only get better. I loved the balance of solo vocals versus harmonies, the songs are catchy and the sing-alongs were many. As the night closed, tears were wiped off, and the band left the stage. One of my favourite moments was seeing the band all in tuxedos, such a classic look, performing “Made For.”
The crowd wanted more and as the darkness filled the room, LED screens with TFB flashed, roars were heard down St-Catherine street and the band had one more for their new friends. “Trust Fund Baby” closed out the night.
This might be the first time you heard about WDW but believe me, it won’t be the last and with a few French words spoken during the night one thing is for sure – Montreal loved them.
Written and Photographed by Eric Brisson
*edited by Mike Milito