dumblonde Concert Review
Laura: When Danity Kane announced a comeback in 2013, my fangirl heart was about to burst. Making the Band 3 was my shit in high school. I watched every marathon. I boom katted with Laurie Ann Gibson, and I knew every word to “One Shot.” After the reunion fell apart, I was crushed. And then I heard about dumblonde, and I had a glimmer of hope. When I saw they were coming to Atlanta, and tickets were only $20, I knew I had to go. The only question was–would anyone actually want to be caught dead there with me?
Paige: Me! I would be caught dead there with her. I’ll go see pretty much any live show. I’d been a casual fan of Making the Band 3, so going to dumblonde was a no-brainer.
Venue: Vinyl at Center Stage Atlanta
Laura: I’d passed by Vinyl countless times because I work pretty close by. I dig the convenience of this venue because I can swing by and pick up tickets at the window to avoid paying online convenience fees. Upon walking up to the door on the night of dumblonde, there was no line outside, and we were worried we might be some of the only people at the show.
Paige: The thought absolutely terrified me. I like to blend into the crowd. I never want to be the crowd. Once we walked through the doors, my fear subsided as I noted the rather sizeable (for dumblonde and the venue) crowd. We got two beers on our way to find a spot, and the bartender was nice enough. Our view wasn’t great, but we wouldn’t have had an issue if we’d gotten there sooner. Who knew? Shannon and Aubrey have quite the following.
Laura: Our spot really wasn’t too bad. Although we were all the way to the side, we were only about two people from the stage. We were right near the merch booth, which was, sadly, a total joke. They just had piles upon piles of T-shirts, and no one was buying them. They were BEYOND cute, and I wanted one so bad! I found out they were $35 and suddenly realized why they weren’t selling. It’s one thing to sell $35 t-shirts if they have an extensive design and are for a really well-known artist; these just had the dumblonde logo across the front, and I mean, come on! Most of America doesn’t even know who dumblonde is. I was bummed.
Paige: I’ve come up with a new rule. If the T-shirt costs more than the concert, we ain’t buying.
Opening Act: DJ Mid-life Crisis (our name for him since his name was never announced)
Paige: Where do I begin with this dude? I might be isolating some of our readers here, but I really don’t get DJing. Anyway, I’m far more interested in him as a person than him as a DJ. I just want to sit him down and ask a bunch of questions. Where is your wife? Did you drive a minivan here? When did you realize DJing was your calling? How do you decide your set list? Are you in the PTA? Can I help you buy a newer laptop?
Laura: Yeah, the poor guy seemed pretty pitiful. His Macbook looked like it was from about ten years ago, and most of the songs he sampled had little to no effects on them. The venue might as well have just been playing a CD. He ended the set with a remix of Madonna’s “Into the Groove,” and I think I was the only one excited about hearing that.
Paige: Even the super enthusiastic couple in the front row could only muster up enough excitement to dance for the first five minutes of his set. BTDubbs, how long was that set? It felt like he was on stage for more time than the headliner.
Laura: He probably never introduced himself because he was too embarrassed.
Headliner: dumblonde (Aubrey O’Day and Shannon Bex)
Paige: During the opening act, there was a surly looking guy blocking both our views. He had the expression of someone who had been dragged to some rando concert by his girlfriend. We wished he would just move aside so shorter people who wanted to be there could see the show. Jokingly, I said, “Just wait. I bet he’s dumblonde’s biggest fan.” Not ten minutes later, as Aubrey and Shannon took the stage, the dude absolutely lost his fucking mind. He was singing and dancing and having the time of his life. I think he bought the tickets and made his girlfriend come. That’s what we get for judging a book by its cover.
Laura: When Aubrey and Shannon finally came out, it’s like the crowd transformed into different people. We had joked beforehand that probably no one even knew who they were, and boy, were we wrong. These people went nuts! There was jumping, dancing, flailing, and much singing along going on. I think we were two of the only people who didn’t know the lyrics.
Paige: Laura is spot-on in saying how enthusiastic this crowd was. Seriously. I have been to quite a few concerts in my day and have never been around such a joyous crowd. Even if I had hated dumblonde’s performance, I still would have loved the show. That’s the kind of contact high this crowd was putting off.
Laura: In watching the show, it was interesting to see the girls shine in different ways. Aubrey is the charisma. She took over most of the audience addresses between songs. Shannon can dance! She used to be an NBA dancer, and you can tell. Aubrey’s no slouch either. I’ve dreamed of being a rockstar my whole life, and I just really wanted to hop up on stage and be one of them. They became my new official inspiration both in career and in fitness. They were dancing like crazy and never sounded out of breath. It was incredible.
Paige: I loved everything about their set! Aubrey and Shannon were fantastic. Their choreography was fierce, they sounded good, their bodies were smokin’, and dayum do they know how to work a room.
Laura: The only songs I had heard prior to the show were “white lightning,” which they opened with, and “tender green life.” The absolute stand-out track for me was “you got me,” which I believe was the finale song, but don’t quote me on that. I have been listening to it incessantly for the past week and a half, and it makes me dance in my cubicle at work. SO CATCHY.
Paige: I, on the other hand, have no memory of any individual songs. I don’t mean that critically. I was just so transported. That night was a religious experience for me. Is that offensive to religion? Probably. I was shocked when they walked off stage, and it had already been an hour.
Laura: I was disappointed they didn’t do an encore, but I guess they just didn’t have the material for one. I was hoping they’d do some kind of homage to the Danity Kane days, but in reading some interviews afterward, they say they want to keep that chapter of their careers in the past and keep moving forward. I can respect that.
The best part of the show for me was the theatrics. Typically, in a smaller venue like Vinyl, the acts are pretty stationary. Well, not dumblonde. They put on a show. They had props and dancers, and they really interacted with the audience. They hugged people in the front row, they talked to us in between songs, and they even brought a fan onstage whose birthday it was. About two-thirds of the way through the set, they even crowd surfed. It was like one giant, super fun dance party.
Paige: After the show, I told Laura that I think we just had a very rare experience. We saw arena-quality performers, singing to about 100 people. That was $20 well spent.
Laura: When Paige and I left Vinyl and walked back to the car, we could not stop raving about the show. It was a total blast.
Until the next commercial break,
Laura and Paige