It may have been a Monday, but The Aces show at the Wonder Ballroom was the perfect way to kick off the week and the overdue autumnal season. Words by Bren Swogger and photos by Emma Davis.

Summer’s grip on Portland felt endless, the scorching 80-degree heat still hanging on even in early October. While warm weather is a welcomed change here, it seemed to have overstayed its welcome.

But as October’s final weeks arrived, autumn finally had its say, with a brisk night air welcoming Utah’s The Aces to the Wonder Ballroom.

As the band graced the stage, lead singer Cristal Ramirez exuded cozy and stylish swagger, dressed in a sweater, tie, and sunglasses. Their blend of California pop rock and 80s synth vibes was epitomized by Ramirez’s style and stage presence, a perfect complement to their upbeat, sun-soaked pop sound.

Yet, despite the band’s full-throttle performance, the lack of sunshine and warm air seemed to dampen the crowd’s energy initially. “You seem to be very shy, Portland,” Ramirez remarked. 

Thankfully, as The Aces powered through their set, the energy gradually soared throughout the venue, the back of the ballroom turning into a full-blown dance party by the end of the night.

Editor / Founder | + posts

Bren Swogger (they/them) is the creator and editor of Indie/Alt Magazine. Bren started Indie/Alt as a music blog during their sophomore year of high school, and after a long hiatus, relaunched it as an online entertainment magazine in 2021 for their capstone project at Pacific University. After 10 years in the music journalism industry, Bren has a long-standing passion for live music, but also loves to explore their passion for other artistic outlets. You can find Bren writing voraciously, adding to their never-ending stack of TBRs, and marathoning classic horror films.

Photographer | + posts

Emma Davis is a photographer for Indie/Alt Magazine and long-time best friend of editor/creator Bren Swogger. Emma and Bren have been collaborating within the music journalism industry for years, first with Vortex Music Magazine then with Indie/Alt. A graduate from University of Oregon, you can find her writing stories for the Happy Valley News, crying to Taylor Swift, or watching UNHhhh with her girlfriend.