ALBANY – The egg has hatched and out came a beautiful concert from viral sensations, Mia Asano and Ally Crowley-Duncan (aka Ally The Piper) at the Hart Theatre.
The Egg Performing Arts Center was the launch pad for “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” tour. The ladies, alongside drummer Dominic Marraffa III and Dov Beck-Levine on guitar, were loud and proud, with solid songs heard in two performance sets and an encore performance of “Through The Fire and Flames” as a tribute to DragonForce.
After the Albany show, Mia x Ally brought their tour to New York City, Virgina, and North and South Carolina. Starting Nov. 2, the quartet will perform at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, FL. The next New York show for them will be at the Wescott Theater in Syracuse January 11.
From starting out as a member of the Capital District Youth Pipe Band to viral stardom, Crowley-Duncan is proud of where she began her career. She showed fans and residents where she originally began her career as a competitive bagpiper by having members of CDYPB, alongside director Maureen Connor, perform two routines alongside drummers and bagpipers at the end of intermission.
Pre-Show VIP Experience with Mia and Ally
Prior to the show start, fans who purchased VIP tickets were treated to a meet and greet with Asano and Crowley-Duncan. The ladies stood at a small circular table handing out stickers, VIP badges, signed a VIP only photograph and posed for selfies. Fans also took advantage of their time to purchase band merchandise as well.
TheSpot518 was the first arts and entertainment publication to interview Mia and Ally prior to their Albany show, and were the only publication on site to interview the ladies inside the Egg dressing room where they spoke about their tour and career.
The ladies were grateful and honored to be interviewed by photojournalist Amaris Ford and in fact, according to Asano, that was the first joint interview that both she and Crowley-Duncan had done together for a publication, she said.
Crowley-Duncan thanked me for taking the time to come to The Egg to see them perform and chat with them. My presence meant a lot to them, Ally said and for that, I’m blessed.
Performing at this venue was a full-circle moment for Crowley-Duncan. To go from being recognized by Metallica for Crowley Duncan’s performance of “Fade to Black” on Tik Tok, being interviewed on local television, and originally selling out their show at the Swyer Theatre only to have it moved to the bigger theater space has been welcoming.
“So many full-circle moments…And it’s like, yes you’re from here, it’s such a special thing to be able to have the whole band coming out and doing this, and for us to start doing this tour, it just feels nostalgic and meaningful.” Crowley-Duncan said. “It’s hatching!”
The idea for their “hatching tour” theme came about with Asano and Crowley-Duncan through a Zoom call with their manager, Phoebe (Fiona Bloom). With their first show being at The Egg and with several of their performed songs being “bird-themed” (“Free Bird”), it was the perfect fit, Asano recalled.
Asano’s Berklee College of Music classmates and friends, Marraffa III and Beck-Levine helped bring their originals and covers from their album, “Mia x Ally: The Viral Hits” to life on the Swyer Theatre stage. The men also assisted the ladies in song arrangements and helped carry the tour gear on and off the bus.
Mia x Ally: The Viral Hits was officially released on Oct. 27 and the album was heard in its entirety at the Albany and New York City shows where it was officially debuted.
“I like to perform with other musicians whenever possible.” Crowley-Duncan explained. “The difference having a live musician with you on stage, you can really feel it, so when we were discussing turning this into a touring show, it kind of was like not even something that we had to talk about, it’s like, let’s bring Dom and Dov with us. I love being able to collaborate live.”
The Live Show
Listening to an electric violin, bagpipes, drums, and an electric guitar being played in unison for the first time may at first seem to be an odd setup but with the talented expertise of the musicians, they turned those sounds and melodies and made it into a powerful rock show that works.
The band performed “Mia x Ally: The Viral Hits” in its entirety, with its first three songs in the first set, “Shipping Up To Boston” (Dropkick Murphys), “Fairy Tail”, and “Iridium” rocking and in tune in its booming start. Aside from their collaborations, the ladies each took the stage solo to perform songs that were dedicated to their instrument; Asano’s original “Lunar” (with Ally on whistle) and Crowley Duncan’s “Megalodon”.
Fans also got to hear a medley of songs that the ladies bonded and collaborated over through the power of Tik Tok, as well as popular theme songs from the Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars (“Duel of the Fates”), Game of Thrones, and the Halo video game franchise.
The second performance set was just as epic and powerful. With Mental Health Awareness Month coming to an end in October and with Nov. 19 being the one year anniversary of the passing of the Power Rangers actor, Jason David Frank, the band performed a two-song tribute to Frank with the playing of the Power Rangers theme song and “What Was I Made For?” (Billie Ellish from the Barbie film).
The soft, quiet, yet powerful performance of “What Was I Made For?” was profound. Asano on the violin, plus Crowley-Duncan’s flute playing and the backing piano melodies was carefully crafted and beautifully played to honor Frank and others whose lives were taken and impacted by suicide.
The sale proceeds of Asano’s cover of the Power Rangers theme song, as well as Crowley-Duncan’s tiny emotional support axe will benefit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention throughout November.
The remainder of the show remained upbeat and continued on its rock show hatching. Fans listened and enjoyed the re-covering of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, “Fade to Black” (Metallica), “Free Bird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie Daniels Band) in a whole new light under the electric violin and bagpipes and revolutionizing how these songs can be heard to fans and future listeners.
Mia x Ally are impressive and with their soaring talents will land them to new opportunities and special moments that the performers will cherish. And this is just the beginning. The egg has hatched and Mia x Ally are ready for takeoff to success.