On Thursday night, Chappell Roan brought her “The Midwest Princess Tour” to Montreal, selling out Théâtre Fairmount for an evening of queer pop glamour. As a tour tradition, the Missouri-born singer set a dress code based on her songs for each city, and for Montreal, it was “Guilty Pleasure: Angels vs. Devils.” Looking over the crowd as I waited for the show to start, all I could see were red horns and halos – Montreal most definitely did their homework before attending. The concert began with performances from three local drag queens: Jessie Précieuse, Bobépine, and Denim Emerson, who had the crowd roaring in laughter, dancing along, and passing tips to the stage.
After a brief intermission, Chappell appeared on stage wearing a set of feathered angel wings, draped in pearls over her white silk outfit and gogo boots. Her set opened with “Femininomenon,” “Red Wine SuperNova,” and “After Midnight” – I could feel the ground shaking beneath my feet as her fans danced and screamed along.
Switching to a more serious tone, she followed with the hauntingly sultry “Picture You” and “Casual,” an emotionally charged and wistful ballad. During “HOT TO GO!”, the crowd followed along as Chappell spelled out the title with her arms in a Macarena-esque dance.
In a speech introducing “Kaleidoscope,” a song about the first woman she was in love with, she explained her goal of enriching the queer community through her music. Her tour is partnered with “For The Gworls,” donating a dollar from each ticket to the charity, which provides funds for black transgender women for gender-affirming care and living costs. “Just by being here, you’re helping the queer community. So thank you for being here… The reason I do this isn’t just for me as much, or even for the music as much. The important thing is creating some kind of space or peace for people like me, who grew up in a town that wasn’t accepting of queer people. If I can create some kind of peace, just for a few hours a night, then all my dreams have come true… I hope to God it can create some kind of community for you guys… We should protect this feeling.”
Panning back to the early years of her career, Chappell then performed her 2018 track “Bitter,” describing herself at the time as an “emo Lorde wannabe”: a 180-degree shift from her glitzy disco aesthetic now. “I’m not her anymore, but I gotta honour her because that part of me was very formative of who I am today.”
Watching her performance, I couldn’t help but be reminded of fellow queer pop star Lady Gaga. Chappell, who must be inspired or aware of the similarities, confirmed this with an energetic pop-rock cover of “Bad Romance.” Stepping off the stage after “My Kink Is Karma,” she returned for an encore of fan favourites “California” and “Pink Pony Club.”
Throughout her concert, Chappell’s dedication to giving back to the queer community was clear not only in her words but also in her actions. By sharing the stage with local drag queens, collecting donations for black transgender women through her ticket sales, and speaking openly and candidly about her own experiences with her queer identity, “The Midwest Princess Tour” fulfills her goal of creating a peaceful space for her LGBTQ+ fans in Montreal. Her message of acceptance and community is delivered in a sparkly and delightfully campy performance, with a powerful vocal delivery reminiscent of acts such as Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga, as mentioned. Her references are clear; however, her persona is something fresh and exciting and one to keep an eye on as she continues “The Midwest Princess Tour” across North America.
- Red Wine SuperNova
- After Midnight
- Picture You
- Supergraphic Ultra Modern Girl
- HOT TO GO!
- Guilty Pleasure
- Bad Romance
- Naked In Manhattan
- My Kink Is Karma
- Pink Pony Club
Review & photos – Serena YangShare this :