King Princess + Girlpool + Denim Pussy @ MTelus – 29th October 2019

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King Princess in Montreal

There are plenty of reasons why King Princess is one of my favourite artists to see in concert. Watching Mikaela Straus (more widely known as King Princess) perform her unreleased album to a sold-out show at Corona last May was an experience I’ll never forget. Despite no-one knowing what the hell she was playing, all of Corona Theatre was wrapped around her finger. This show was no different, but now everyone had heard her “Cheap Queen” album, released on the 25th of October, making everyone present all the more connected with the artist on stage. 

GirlPool 

An opening act is an important part of any concert. A well-chosen artist will properly set the mood. It’s also an excellent opportunity to discover new bands. Both of those reasons are why I did not miss GirlPool

Their performance was amazing. With Avery Tucker and Harmony Tividad sharing their vocal skills with everyone, singing their beautiful rock indie originals. GirlPool had a very good connection with the crowd. They were rewarded with loud cheers of praise when either singer would show off their amazing vocals. 

Near the end of their set, they performed a really sweet cover of “Shallow” from the movie “A Star is Born.” The energy in MTelus changed as Harmony showed off her striking vocals. Everyone was calm, overwhelmingly joyful, as they sang along and swayed to the incredible emotion that GirlPool was exposing during this cover. 

When I look back at the show, I realize that GirlPool was a very interesting pick to start off the show, especially when you consider the next set to follow. 

Denim Pussy 

After the grounding and cool set performed by Girlpool, someone needed to lift everyone’s spirits to a disgustingly high level. And who better to kick things off than Montreal based drag queen; Denim Pussy? 

Their next set was lively, colourful, and definitely brought the crowd’s attention to the stage. DP danced along to songs such as “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” and “Vroom Vroom,” both songs have two completely different moods but drove the crowd mad nonetheless, stirring up everyone’s adrenaline and getting the party to the tone needed for King Princess. 

King Princess 

Just before it was time for the main act of the night, Henry Metcalf, one of King Princess’s closest friends, takes the stage to hype us up for the upcoming set. He dances and dramatically demands the crowd for their cheers. He does a good job of being his friend’s hype man, that was proved right once Miss King herself took her place on stage, and the entire population of MTelus lost their damn minds. 

Appearing in front of her stage centrepiece, King Princess wasted no time in starting her set, starting off with “Isabel’s Moment” and “Tough on Myself” two tracks off her brand new record “Cheap Queen.” The room was hot with passion and only grew hotter with each passing song. Everyone danced and sang along to the lyrics to songs released only days ago. 

I believe I’ve mentioned it before, but I am amazed by the influence this woman has on a room filled with people. Her last show in Montreal blew me away. The raw emotion and desire displayed on stage drew everyone in the venue closer to her, even though no one had a clue what she was singing. 

Mikaela’s impact was different this time around though. And how couldn’t it be? Now, not only were we all ready to hear her painfully good vocals, we were ready to sing along with her as well. This time, we related to what she sang about, and it hurt a little more to hear these lyrics live after having pondered about them privately. 

The setlist was incredible. Jumping from complete bangers such as “Ain’t Together” and “Cheap Queen”, to playing her more emotional tracks, like “Watching My Phone” and “Homegirl.” Either mood would wash over the crowd, keeping King Princess in sync with Montreal. 

Of course, a few older songs were played, throwing everyone back to 2018, (or dare I say 1950.) It’s widely known that her EP “Making My Bed” is what brought all this glorious attention to King Princess. It proved to the world the talent she possesses in songwriting is amazingly sensitive and pulls emotion right out of her listeners. And as clear as it is that she’s grateful for the success “Making My Bed” has brought to her, she’s also ready to move onto a different perspective with this new record. I’m certainly not complaining. 

This concert was so much fun, it felt like the whole thing had just started when “Hit The Back” was played, wrapping up her set. As expected, Montreal wasn’t going to let her leave without a comeback. The screaming was almost unbearable. This city will never turn up a chance to show off their insane screaming. Sure enough, she made her way back, giving us a two-piece encore. 

I was thoroughly joyful once I walked outside of the venue. There are a lot of musical artists out there, and a lot of them are impressive. But artists like King Princess do not come around very often. For the majority of a tour to sell out before she had even released her debut album, proves how her talent keeps the world wrapped around her finger. Her skills are way more than impressive. She is captivating and overflowing with zeal, which will definitely help bring her right up to the top. 

Review – Jamie Siddall
Photos – Ramy Elhoufy

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