The Aces Virtually Rock CAB’s Winterfest


The Aces virtually perform for Fordham Lincoln Center’s Winterfest, hosted by CAB. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Maggie Johanet, Contributing Writer

This year’s CAB Winterfest looked different from years past, as many events do because of COVID-19. On Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m., Fordham students tuned into a virtual concert live stream rather than filling the auditorium seats in Lincoln Center’s Pope Auditorium. The virtual show was put on by newcomers in the indie pop-rock scene, The Aces.

The Aces are composed of sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez and their friends McKenna Petty and Katie Henderson. Based in Provo, Utah, the young women were childhood friends who have been making music together since elementary school. 

Having an early start as a band is likely how they are accomplishing so much at such a young age—the oldest of them being only 24. The band now has two studio albums under their belt, recently releasing their second album, “Under My Influence,” on July 17, 2020. 

In true rock fashion, lead vocalist Cristal Ramirez got right to the point, quickly introducing the band,  shouting “Fordham University!” and immediately swaying and singing as her bandmates began to play. The setlist consisted of songs from their first and second studio albums, including their hits such as “Daydream,” “801” and “Volcanic Love.” After their performance, Cristal described “Volcanic Love” as a quintessential piece for The Aces.

Viewers were sure to feel the band’s palpable electricity, even if tuning in from thousands of miles away. If music speaks where words fail, consider The Aces extraordinarily talented two times over. Cristal Ramirez’s sultry yet smooth voice washes over the younger Alisa Ramirez’s upbeat, groovy cadence. Simultaneously, guitarist Katie Henderson creates entrancing melodies that perfectly complement the rhythms of the band’s driving force, bassist McKenna Petty. 

If the band’s music floats like a butterfly, then their lyrics sting like a bee. The Aces’ lyrics pack a powerful punch: covering subject matter only with genuine maturity and a strong sense of self that allows their songs to be both candid and relatable. Their lyrics explore the struggles of long-distance relationships, growing up queer in a non-accepting town and the general trials and tribulations of growing up and falling in love. 

After the mesmerizing performance, the band treated listeners to a Q&A. The Aces’ camaraderie and fantastic chemistry was apparent as they looked at each other rather than the camera, cracking jokes and making jabs at one another. The Aces answered questions insightfully and honestly. Questions ranged from their experience as a band comprised of mostly openly gay women trying to make it in the music industry to what their favorite show to play was or if they had advice for beginner musicians. They stated that they felt lucky to be in a day and age where there are not as many obstacles as before in the music industry for queer artists. They hope to be on the “Euphoria” soundtrack, which they lauded as top-tier music. In regards to improving musical abilities, consistency is key for The Aces. “Play every day,” Cristal Ramirez said in response to a question about how to improve one’s musical abilities. 

While I was disappointed that the COVID-19 pandemic ruled out an in-person concert, The Aces did anything but disappoint. Hopefully, as The Aces remarked, they can return to Fordham soon and perform another incredible performance live. Until then, be on the lookout for The Aces. If their future endeavors prove anything like their CAB Winterfest performance, they are sure to conquer the music industry.