“Take a deep breath, exhale and leave everything that is hurting you right here in this room,” Ashe encouraged her captivated audience at The Fillmore April 8.
In a show that felt like a tight hug from a best friend, the 28-year-old Bay Area local Ashlyn “Ashe” Wilson spoke directly to the soul of each crowd member. Onstage, Ashe was unapologetically vulnerable, allowing concertgoers to let down their guards and surrender to the authenticity of the Fault Line Tour.
Only her third show of her first-ever tour, Ashe is just at the beginning of her music career. However, her commanding stage presence carried decades of confidence, an image only momentarily shattered by periodic giggles of shock between verses in response to the deafening screams of the crowd.
“The fact that you’re singing along is crazy,” Ashe laughed to her hundreds of fans roaring the lyrics to the fiery opening song “Me Without You.” “I feel like my face hurts from smiling so much.”
Ashe proved her vocal genius time and time again through fierce yet elegant ballads, wailing beautifully in desperation with tracks such as “Save Myself.” She pleaded both with herself and the audience, as the lyrics found a new meaning somewhere between her lips and the ever-changing white and blue ambient lights that pulled her into an angelic atmosphere.
The young pop artist struck a flawless balance between groovy spunk and grappling with difficult emotional topics. For “Another Man’s Pants,” she threw on a cowboy hat and glasses to prance across the stage, while later in the night she intimately addressed the loss of young love in acoustic renditions of “Taylor” and “Always.”
This was a special night for Ashe. The first concert she ever saw was Bon Iver at The Fillmore in 2009, making this show what she called “easily the most full circle moment as an artist.” In celebration, she performed her unreleased single “Hope You’re Not Happy” recently teased on TikTok for the audience, a spiteful ode to an ex who she hopes can never move on.
She jumped skillfully between sassy pop hits and soulful tear-jerkers, telling an honest story of the human condition and coming-of-age while falling in and out of love. At times she was accompanied by a fiddle, piano and bass; at other moments, she simply paired an acoustic guitar with her sweet, melodic lyrics that felt as if they were ripped directly from the diary of a broken young girl trying to heal and grow. Together in The Fillmore, the audience, Ashe and her band became one, bonded by the ability to feel communal grief, loss, love and hope.
“The goal is we leave here better people than when we came in. A little bit lighter, a little bit happier,” Ashe declared to the crowd.
The explosive show wrapped with the track that put Ashe on the map: “Moral of the Story.” This song gained popularity on TikTok in 2020, but its rise on the charts contributed to later collaborations with Niall Horan and Finneas, propelling Ashe to greater stardom. Detailing the fragility of love and the brutal nature of divorce, “Moral of the Story” has become the anthem for Ashe’s cult following. As lights flashed red and bass vibrated the floor, The Fillmore’s walls were barely able to contain screams as the stage finally went dark for the last time.
That evening in San Francisco with her intrinsic charm and irrefutable talent, Ashe did what so many artists fail to understand how to do: She made every individual audience member feel seen, loved and welcomed exactly as they are.