I Don't Want it All: Just Kim Petras

At just 27, dark pop icon Kim Petras has found her crowd: a fanbase that will not only wait for hours in 30 degree weather before doors open, but do so in minimal clothing. Screams, glitter, and tears took over the Fillmore Silver Spring on November 20 for what was only her second headlining tour and first full length album, “Clarity.” Busting down the barricades was her pose of dedicated fans, many of whom were back for more after her performance earlier this year in June. The low temperatures were no concern for fans following the informal dress code: neon spandex shorts, fishnet tops, stilettos, and leather harnesses. Anything and everything drag.

Before she emerged from below the stage with “Clarity,” the opening DJ naturally called out to the audience, “Who’s up for poppers?” prompting a rowdy response in a comedic but telling moment of how inclusivity and pride are integral to Petras’ shows. As a trans woman making history by breaking into an overwhelmingly cis-gender music scene, Kim did not hesitate to use her platform (literally and figuratively, ie. her knee-high platform boots) and bring attention to the struggles she faces and inequalities still plaguing the industry. 

In-between sets, the words she shared on embracing her journey brought the audience closer with every song. We all got a little emotional when she winded down to cover The Killers’ “Human” in merch with her own face on it (respect) as every hard working pop star should once in a while. Petras has come a long way and, rightfully, she’s not letting anyone forget that.

The confidence Kim brought to the stage was matched with a strong opening act stringing all of her innovative hits together. Taking over the stage with “1, 2, 3 dayz up,” “Got My Number” and “I Don’t Want it All,” (which she confessed was written for all the rich men who have broken her heart) she delivered an immersive LA nightclub experience we came expecting. Each number's dreamy, electronic melodies were complemented by her bright, unmistakable voice. Everyone left the show dancing out the door and into the street, dreaming of wearing 5 inch platforms to class and dumping their boyfriends with electronic music pulsing in the background. 

If her explosive hits and provocative performances weren’t enough on their own, intermissions kept anticipation high for the audience waiting to marvel at Petras’ next look. There were not one, not two, but five costume changes throughout the set. Five. That's right. My personal favorite, Icy Tits, complete with a crystal covered dress, a new pair of knee-high platform boots, and her blonde, eight-foot long braid ready to be whipped back and forth, came towards the end to complete a dramatic performance of “Icy,” a moody track from the “Clarity” album.

Take a song from “Clarity,” niche Halloween album “TURN OFF THE LIGHT,” or one of her early singles, and everyone knows all. the. words. Petras has no problem taking a breather, angling her mic towards the crowd, and letting them finish a line or two. Mounted on a rotating platform for everyone’s favorite spooky-meets-sexy Halloween track, “Death by Sex” left us craving Halloween every night. “My team thought I was crazy when I told them I was writing a Halloween album,” she explained, “I responded: you just don’t know the gays.”

Just in time to catch the last metro, Petras closed with “Heart to Break” and “Sweet Spot” after the audience’s chants lured her back on stage. The final upbeat anthems sent everyone home feeling good about the night, singing and dancing on the train platform, already thinking about the next tour.