WRITTEN BY ALEX WEST.
On a line up of all men, Taylor Grey embodied everything that the predominately young female fans of Why Don’t We needed and deserved to see. Mohegan Sun Arena was packed with fans eager to see the boy-band they had come for, but before that, Taylor took the stage to open and she did so with talent, passion, and a clear desire to inspire.
It was endlessly important to see this sort of representation and Taylor took on the responsibility so well. “The fans are largely female so I get to meet a lot of cool young women every single day,” she said. Taylor noted: “It can definitely feel like a boys’ club sometimes.” While she said that the men she’s toured with have never been mean to her, just being a woman in an industry like this has some ups and downs.
For all her fans, Taylor wants them to leave the show with a message.
“I want them to feel
empowered… empowered to make a difference.”
It was obvious through her performance that her intention was to connect and make an impact. In fact, Taylor shared that the lyrics of “Back to Bite” were inspired by the #MeToo Movement. “I really do think this next generation is going to be the people who are going to do something, who are going to need to do something.”
During the set, Taylor had very clear musical talent, with strong and real vocals, but what was truly mesmerizing was watching her confidence and how she became more stable on stage as the set progressed. Mohegan Sun Arena holds about 10,000 people, which was drastically different than the tour just pervious the 8 Letter’s Tour, which had been with New Hope Club in smaller venues across the country. “This is like so out of my world and out of my element,” commenting on the size of the venue and the new experience Taylor reflected on the show.
out of her element
But for being out of her element, Taylor totally owned that space, taking a beautiful set of music she had crafted herself and sharing it with an audience that needed to hear it. It’s not exactly easy, though. Taylor is a student alongside her music, majoring in Neuroscience
at Stanford University. “I have to sacrifice the fun part of college,” she recalled. Her dedication and drive were so apparent while speaking with her. It’s clear that the work put into her academics and the the work put into her music coexist in a way that is going to guarantee her to go far. She’s the sort of role model that every young girl needs.
It was clear that Taylor was confident in being herself and she stressed this through her music, but also said it’s important to “[know] who you are before you let someone else dictate who you are”. Those words, so real and powerful, were the best reflection of the energy that dripped from the stage and filled the room at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Everything about Taylor Grey and her music was exactly what we need right now. She’s an artist that’s very aware of our social climate and the world and knows how to use her music to make a difference.
The best part? 8 Letters Tour isn’t quite over yet! Why Don’t We is taking Taylor Grey on tour across Australia as well, which means more nights on stage singing, uplifting, and inspiring. Check out her website and learn more about Taylor Grey here.
View our photos from the evening below. captured by ali fitzgerald.