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Clairo brought bedroom pop to Minneapolis’ Fillmore

Clairo delivered a simplistic yet sentimental performance at the Fillmore on Friday night.
Image by Harry Madden
Clairo sings to her audience at The Fillmore Minneapolis on Friday, March 18.

A line trailed three blocks long outside of The Fillmore in downtown Minneapolis on Friday night.

That line was full of indie, Generation Z fans waiting anxiously to watch Clairo, the highly acclaimed, singer-songwriter artist perform her music that covers an array of emotional topics involving relationships, self-love, and more.

With Clairo’s “Sling” tour beginning back in February, Minneapolis fans have had more than enough time to build up excitement for the show.

The opening act was performed by angelic Arlo Parks, a London-based singer-songwriter. Parks’ music usually falls under the R&B/Soul umbrella, and she is mostly known for songs like “Black Dog” and “Eugene.”

Parks performed for about 45 minutes, with songs like “Green Eyes,” “george” and “Cola.” Her performances sounded almost identical to her recorded songs, displaying how much she has perfected her soft and whisper-filled voice. While slowly dancing to her music, Parks integrated the positive energy into the crowd that would continue for the rest of the night.

The concert began with “Bambi,” a somber, moody wandering melody that welcomed the musicians on stage. As soon as the band came walking out with Clairo trailing behind, the audience became ecstatic. With jeans, a blazer and a tank top, Clairo’s appearance embodied one of the biggest messages that came from her new album; her music and persona should be centered around her art and lyrics.

On her new album, Clairo put an emphasis on her lyrics and sound, rather than forcing a popular single into the album. This change in pace centers focus on the art, something that Clairo felt she had to do as an artist, although at times she still feels like it will be taken for granted: “I have moments where I wonder if it even matters what I write. I put in so much effort, but is it going to get to a point where I’m just overly sexualized again? You’re so desperate for someone to hear you out that you just let them do it,” Clairo told Rolling Stone.

Clairo went through most of her discography, with songs like “diary 001,” from her original EP and later on covered newer songs like “Amoeba” from her most recent album “Sling.”

During the performance, Clairo made sure to give credit where it was due. Between each song, Clairo talked to her fans and thanked them for the love they showed her. As her fans showered her with love through screams and paper signs, Clairo began to cry.

Many of Clairo’s songs like “Softly” and “Heaven” contain complex harmonies, so she was accompanied by multiple background singers whose voices complimented the peaceful melodies and sounds of the songs. Along with this, many of the songs on “Sling” use very particular instruments. On “Wade,” Clairo’s band members would switch between playing the clarinet, flute and piano, showcasing their versatility and talent.

The stage layout remained fairly simplistic throughout the show. The most notable aspect of the display was the rectangular screen that presented visuals of various handmade paintings that embodied the emotions of each song. For instance, during Clairo’s song “Sofia,” the screen displayed darker and crazier paintings that expressed the frustration of being shamed for exploring sexuality.

On top of her simplistic outfit, Clairo was carrying a electric guitar with her. For her songs like “Softly” and “Blouse,” Clairo would break out into guitar solos, driving her fans into a craze.

“I just had one of those moments where you realize there are hundreds of real people staring at you. Whew!” Clairo said, before moving on to her more mainstream songs like bubblegum “Pretty Girl” and alt-rock “Sofia.” As Clairo clearly began to feel nervous, the audience burst out into loud words of encouragement, showing outward appreciation for Clairo’s ability to keep it real with her fans.

Because of the popularity of the remaining songs, the rest of the concert consisted of what felt like the entire theater singing in unison to Clairo’s songs. After what almost turned into a mosh pit during the chorus of “Sofia,” alt-rock, bedroom pop bliss.

Correction: A prior version of this article misstated Clairo’s clothing, one of the songs performed at the concert, and the type of guitar she used. The errors have since been corrected.

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