… and Belgium: AJA in Antwerp – Box Office Release Tour Review

Last time …

Aja and Shilow left the stage to the excited cheers of the crowd and I stayed a little bit longer in the club before going home (ok, to the Hostel) and then get up very early and fly to London the next day. And right there, in a Spoons at Victoria Station, I did something which probably will go down as the most insane stunt I’ve ever pulled while I was very much sleep deprived and missing Aja – what could it be?

(Read on to find out what Sparkles has done this time!)

Well, we all know that comedown after an amazing show can be a little b- eh, a little bit overwhelming and makes us do stuff the ‘normal’ world considers downright insane. So it’s not overly surprising that I got a bit into my feelings (pun not intended) about missing AJA and decided to go on another adventure which involved driving across two country borders to see Aja and Shilow at their Antwerp gig. There’s two possible reactions to a decision like this: utter and complete joy and support (which came from my friends and partially from my mom) and complete disbelief (which I also got but chose to completely ignore because I was a unicorn on a mission).

So, I flew back to my country on Sunday afternoon, went to work on the Monday, napped for an hour and then got myself two cans of energy drink and coffee and started driving (240 km across Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium – I managed to listen to Box Office at least 5 times and got more and more excited).

When I finally arrived to Antwerp, I left my car at a car park and went to reunite with Amber and Lauren, two Scots who are hardcore Aja fans and went to every stop of the Box Office tour (and are also two of the nicest people I’ve ever met).

When we arrived at the venue, we couldn’t believe we were really there and would get to see AJA and Shilow perform again – it was all a mix of emotions: sleep deprivation, love, pride, joy and utter excitement (oh, and add a bit of Vodka-Fanta to the mix for those not driving) and you got three very excited individuals.

The Meet and Greet was one of my favorite interactions ever with an artist, because AJA just looked at me in complete disbelief and probably wondered if I had lost my mind (which didn’t get better when I told them that I had to drive back home that same night and go to work at 8 am the next day). Honestly, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat just because I am so incredibly proud and have so much love for AJA I can’t explain it (and here we go again, Sparkles being very emotional but what is new).

We also got to witness some incredible sweet scenes between AJA and their supporters during the Meet and Greet, which showed the genuine connection this artist has for their supporters and made us all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Aja gave me one of the most sincere hugs I’ve ever gotten and told me how much they loved me (that feeling is very much mutual) and then Amber, Lauren and I went to wait for the show to start. The fabulous Mutha Tucka from Klub Kids UK hosted the performance and also graced us with an amazing performance, reminding us to ‘always be who we are on the inside’.

Now, If you’ve looked at the photos, you’ll have noticed that AJA are not in (girl-)drag during the Meet and Greet (and they weren’t during their performance either). This decision, having come to pass partly as a result of Aja not feeling quite well due to their excessive traveling and performing for all their fans around the world, luckily was largely supported by fans. Granted, it sparked some outrage amongst those who still consider AJA a “RPDR Queen” and expected them to ‘death drop off the stage while doing a lip sync’.

Well, personally, I think nobody has the right to tell an artist what to do or how to dress, if you really care about their happiness, let them evolve and be themselves. Yes, you might have seen Aja first on S9 of that television reality show, but you’re in need of glasses if you don’t see that they have come into their own right as an artist and are clearly marching to the beat of their own drum – which should make your heart swell with pride and happiness for the individual in consideration! My heart was singing so loudly during their whole set, which consisted of so many of my favorite songs and made me congratulate on my decision to hop into my car more than once. I also managed to take some photos of the show, and every time I look at them, I can legit feel the love every single person in that venue had for AJA and Shilow, who in turn repaid us with their complete and sincere happiness, jumping around like there was no tomorrow and literally flying across the stage.

The show ended far too quickly, again and it was time for me to take the long way home – luckily, there weren’t many cars on the road, so I was back home in my own bed pretty quickly (now work on the next day, that was another story but as you can see, I survived and would do it again in a heartbeat). Hopefully, all the AJA fans across the UK and Europe will get the chance to witness AJA shine even brighter than they did on this tour soon, because it’s obvious that they are coming more and more into their own as a performer, artist and individual, inspiring and uplifting each and every one of their fans by just being themselves. Aja don’t need to jump off boxes, they have broken out of it and are paving their own way in this world – a thing we should all aspire to do!

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