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By Ahriel Nari

The stars aligned on the night of Friday, September 21st when April + VISTA took over Union Stage along with their friends Ciscero and Sugg Savage. Very rarely do fans get to witness three acts, each dubbed “DMV’s Next Up”, performing at one time. Music lovers must have recognized this once in a lifetime event because the show sold out.

Up first was Sugg Savage. Her aesthetic is attention-grabbing. Sugg sports special effect contact lenses that make her look like she has super powers. While her eyes can be intimidating, yet intriguing, her bubbly personality automatically draws you in. In between electrifying performances of her tracks including “Let’z” and “Fill in the Blank”, she sprinkled in fun facts about herself. “[Do] y’all remember when I used to really love dogs? Well, my dog has been replaced,” Sugg said alluding to her son. This show was significant in that it was her first performance since she gave birth. As she danced around while rapping, you couldn’t help but to be in awe. Here Sugg Savage was, in peak womanhood, dominating her return to the stage.

People were still high off the vibes that Sugg Savage gave out when Ciscero came out. Ciscero has undeniable stage presence. The energy he brings is contagious. Rocking his signature beanie, he immediately got the crowd hype with an epic rendition of his latest single “Function”. Attendees were treated to unreleased music from his upcoming project Devil’s Pie. Ciscero left the audience wanting for nothing, except the release of the new EP.

Then, it was finally time for April + VISTA to perform. The crowd roared as April and Matt walked on stage. When they were setting up their equipment, the intensity in each of their eyes reflected the sharp focus they both had. Obviously, they take their art seriously. With Foots of FootsXColes supporting them on drums, April + VISTA began their set with “Little Things”, the first song on their latest album You Are Here. As the song crescendoed, it felt as if you were about to go on a whimsical adventure. April + VISTA were perfectly in tune with the vibe of the audience as they performed several tracks from the album, including “How To Get By”, “Resilience”, and “Hot Coffee Freestyle”. The intimacy of the venue added an extra layer of emotion to the musical experience and really gave life to You Are Here. The highlight of the show was April + VISTA’s performance of “Own2”, a fan-favorite. The audience emphatically sang along with April, word for word. They concluded their set with a jam session, allowing room to flex their musical chops. Foots led the crank on drums. Matt showcased his astounding ability to effortlessly funk bass guitar riffs while April created beautifully haunting melodies on her violin. It was in this moment, as I was standing in their intersection of genres, that I realized that April + VISTA are the real deal.

 “This album is for anyone who is on a journey – whether it’s spiritually, career-wise, or anything. This one’s for you,” Matt declared at the end of the show. The house lights came on and every single person present had a smile on their face.