Kim Petras Turns Chicago’s Riviera Theatre Into The Hottest Night Club
On November 26, the entirety of Boystown (i promise i'm not overexaggerating) made their way to Chicago’s Riviera Theatre for Kim Petras’s Clarity Tour. Since 2018, UIC Radio has had the privilege of tracking the German pop star's career. From her being an opening act on Troye Sivan's Bloom Tour to her Broken Tour at Lincoln Hall (with a capacity of only 500 people) and now to her selling out a 2,500 capacity venue, it has been such a party to watch her thrive and grow.
Was I At A Concert Or Was In The Club? Or Both?
Opening for Petras was the Chicago native DJ, Alex Chapman. With a mix that sounded like a Friday night at Roscoe’s, Petras could not have picked a better opener to set the vibe for the night.
As he encouraged all of the “f*ggots and thots” to “sing this sh*t,” Chapman got the entire crowd raving to the most beloved hits from pop girls like Britney Spears, Slayyyter, and Charli XCX.
Seeing the venue transform into a giant gay club was glorious. The rush of euphoria when getting to party to Aly & AJ’s Potential Breakup Song and BLACKPINK’s Kill This Love is unmatchable.
I cannot thank Chapman enough for putting together a DJ mix like that. Imagine how tired we are of going to shows and having to endure a preshow mix of Travis Scott and Drake on repeat. Over it!
Other highlights of Chapman’s set included his remix of Blueface’s Thotiana mixed with Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles, and also his “hoe” version of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Oh, You Really Can't Do Better
Stepping onto the platform riser on stage, already sounding more confident than she did a year before, Petras started off the show on a strong note singing, “clarity, I got clarity / I’m the bitch with the sauce, apparently.”
As the singer strutted around on the stage in a black dress that ruffled up at the end revealing gleaming white lace, she cheerfully sang her bubblegum-esque anthems while scattering around a few “woo-ahs!” that the crowd excitedly repeated back to her.
In her Paris Hilton meets quirky girl attitude, Petras kept the energy up throughout the night while making the audience laugh with her stage banter and throwing small purses and a t-shirt she wore into the crowd, encouraging fans to fight over it.
Towards the halfway point of the show, Petras performed Unlock It and Click, two Charli XCX songs she has features on. If you read my review on miss X-C-X It’s Charli Baby’s show last month (if not click here to read it now) you know about that tight-knit community the new pop girls have created. Given XCX’s and Petra’s fanbase go hand-in-hand, this was definitely a treat for the crowd. During that moment, the stage lit up in pride flag colors, a nod to Petras being an openly transgender woman and to her and XCX’s mostly LGBTQ fanbase.
The absolute highest point of the night was when Petras transitioned to the spooky part of the show, performing nine tracks from her techno-pop Halloween album, Turn Off The Light. Serving sexy goth realness with a dominatrix style ponytail and a skintight leather bodysuit with matching thigh boots and gloves, Petras gave a delicious and unforgettable performance.
Seductively spinning around on a revolving platform while flaunting her high-pitched vocals, Petras delivered lines like, “I’m straight psychotic, this is gonna be a hell of a night” and “Give you the face, serve you the body, skinniest waist, you’re gonna love it / oh, death by sex
yeah, sex, sex, sex.”
During the ravier moments of this part of the show, the stage lighting (switching between red lights for some songs and green and purple for the rest) mixed with the techno beats and began to make you feel as if you were rolling in the club. The crowd went completely manic.
Other critics have critiqued Petras for this part performance claiming it lacked cohesiveness and did not fit in with the overall sugary aesthetic of the Clarity Tour. Other critics critiqued her for not having enough over-the-top choreography.
Petras did what she needed to do to give her fans a night they would never forget. I have attended multiple different shows of different genres at the Riviera Theatre. Not once have I ever seen every single person, including every single person in the balcony section, up on their feet dancing for the entire show until the Clarity Tour. Clearly, Petras was doing something right.
People are so quick to tear down pop girls for absolutely no reason. Not every artist has to have deeper obscure meanings hidden in their songs for it to be considered good music. Not every live performance needs to contain a thousand different elements for it be considered a good show.
I suppose something as simple as enjoying a fun pop performance is not something everyone is capable of— and I feel so sorry for those who are too pretentious to do so.
Overall, The Clarity Tour felt entirely on-brand for Petras while also showing a more confident side of the artist. I personally recommend others go check out what she has to offer.
Clarity Tour: 8/10
Clarity Tour Setlist:
1.) Clarity 13.) Knives
2.) Meet The Parents 14.) Death By Sex
3.) Got My Number 15.) Close Your Eyes
4.) Blow It All 16.) Everybody Dies
5.) I Don’t Want It At All 17.) Human (The Killers cover)
6.) Hillside Boys 18.) Icy
7.) Unlock It / Click 19.) Do Me
8.) Purgatory 20.) Can’t Do Better
9.) There Will Be Blood 21.) Heart To Break
10.) Wrong Turn 22.) 1,2,3 dayz up
11.) demons 23.) Sweet Spot
My name is Tara and I put out articles for UIC Radio on whatever day I can. I am a media communication and professional writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I host a pop music show, PopTara, on UIC Radio every Wednesday from 8:30pm-10:30pm. If you want to keep up with my manic life you can follow me here:
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