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Clairo: Bedroom Pop Star Cuts Teeth in Detroit - St. Andrew's Hall 11/14/2019

On Thursday, November 14th I made the 40 minute drive from Ann Arbor to St. Andrew’s Concert Hall in Detroit to see Clairo on the US/CA leg of her Immunity Tour. What appeared to be mainly high school kids made up the majority of the crowd, with college-aged and early 20s such as myself filling in the difference. Arriving late, I had to ruffle some teenage feathers to get to the front. Luckily, I was able to win over the disgruntled local kids around me by taking copious pictures of them and,  per their asking, juxtaposed what my hometown in Southern California was like to Southeastern Michigan. 

 

Before Clairo’s set were two opening acts - Hello Yello and Beabadoobee. I had just added Hello Yello’s song “Feel That Again” to a playlist a week prior, so getting to experience the Oakland trio live felt special. With their debut EP out last March, I expect their popularity will grow as they continue to stretch their legs on tour and develop their sound as a group. Beabadoobee, fresh off the release of her most recent EP Space Cadet, went on next and proceeded to blow me out of the water. I first came across Beabadoobee in 2017 when she uploaded her song “Coffee” to YouTube and it subsequently went viral. Signed to Dirty Hit Records (label mates with The 1975), and with impressive live vocals and guitar playing, I’m excited to see what’s in store for this 19 year old Londoner. 

 

I knew the anticipation for Clairo to come on stage began to boil as the Carhart beanies in the crowd began to bob more aggressively. She started the set with her hit “4EVER”, which was a vibrant choice to start the show. She was joined on stage by a drummer, a keyboard player, and a bass guitarist. Throughout the set she switched between playing two guitars she had on stage. Overall, I was deeply impressed with her vocal performance. This concert had a much more mellow vibe than what I’m usually used to, but this is to be expected with an artist like Clairo who is known for her soft, daydreamy sounds and vocals. Clairo has received a lot of flack for being an “industry plant”, but whether or not you think that is true, it cannot be denied after seeing her live that she is an extremely talented vocalist and songwriter. That being said, it was clear that this was her first headlining tour. In terms of stage presence and confidence, I think Clairo has a lot of room to grow into her talent and ability to connect with people through her lyrics. At age 21, Clairo has already experienced notable success, and now I believe it’s a matter of her coming into her own as a performer to solidify her place in the indie alt pop space. 

 

In sum, I enjoyed this concert, and the opportunity to witness the audience connect with a rising artist that I respect as she played some of my favorites like “Bags” and “Softly” was something I won’t forget. Plus with two excellent opening acts, this was a night of solid live music. 

 

-- Christiana Cromer

 

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