Clairo Times Two: A Concert Review

If you are not familiar with who I am, let me make this clear: I am a frequent concertgoer. At the beginning of 2019, I made it my goal to spend more money on experiences and less on material items like clothes and shoes. This translated into spending my monthly paychecks almost exclusively on different concerts, festivals, and music-related endeavors.

However, despite all of the money I’ve dropped on concerts this past year, I’ve never been to two concerts in two days, much less paid to see the same artist perform the same set two days in a row. This past week, I had to make an exception to see my current favorite artist, Clairo.

Photo Credit: Daria Kobayashi Risch

Raised in nearby Carlisle, Mass., Claire Cotrill first rose to fame through the internet. After a homemade YouTube video of her singing along to her song “Pretty Girl,” went viral, Cotrill quickly blew up as a “bedroom pop” artist (a lot of her music was made at home using minimal mixing and producing tools). This style contributed to Clairo’s charm, but many critics were convinced she didn’t have the talent or depth to produce anything more than a few catchy hits. Clairo proved those haters wrong with the release of her debut album, Immunity.

Immunity is best described as subtle, intentional, and raw; with eleven songs that cater to a variety of music tastes, each track is different from the next. Small details like a background children’s choir and intricate drum patterns make the tracks unique. The lyrics are also very relatable and heartfelt, and the songs speak to themes such as loneliness, change, unrequited love, and feeling stuck in between.

Immunity was a huge part of my summer – the album has dominated my playlists since its release in August. When I first sat down and listened to it on my way to work, I was blown away by how a lot of the lyrics felt catered to my life. I’ve since found myself writing snippets of her songs in my journal, the lyrics directly expressing things I’ve been thinking or feeling. The relatability of this album is what makes it so great, and many of my friends and I have discussed what the different songs mean to us. I knew from the minute I heard it that I would have to see her in concert, so I instantly bought tickets to her show once they were released, eager to have something to look forward to.

Photo Credit: Apple Music

Flash forward three months, and Immunity is still on the top of my most-listened albums list. The album has only become more and more important to me. When I bought a ticket to her second show in Boston, I knew I had to go to both nights. I planned on skipping my afternoon classes (sorry, Mom) in order to secure a spot near the front. When the first night rolled around, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Time dragged as I waited for the doors to open; I listened to her album as I sat in line, still in shock that I was about to feel these songs I’d been listening to for so long.

The first opener, Hello Yello, delivered loud and exciting performances of a handful of rock songs. While I personally did not love their style, other members of the crowd bobbed their heads approvingly to the music. The second opener, beabadoobee, blew me away. I had never heard her music, but she crushed her set. Her big eyes and smile quickly won me over, and I wrote down a couple of her tracks in my notes to listen to later.

Photo Credit: NME

Clairo and her band quickly took the stage after beabadoobee. She greeted the crowd warmly, clearly excited to be playing in her hometown. As the concert began, I had a feeling the next hour or so was about to pass painfully fast. Everything about her set was beautiful: colorful graphics and videos were displayed on a semi-circle background behind the performers, adding a special color and energy to each song. Clairo’s voice was delicate and light; her ability to add vocal runs was insane, and I frequently caught myself staring in awe as she embellished her songs on the spot.

The range of Clairo’s style was also impressive. She transitioned swiftly from upbeat dance songs like “Sofia,” into more emotional performances of songs such as “Feel Something” or “I Wouldn’t Ask You.” Going into the concert, I knew I was going to cry at some point – it was only a matter of when. That time came when Clairo decided to play us a song she hadn’t released yet. The lyrics to this tune were awfully relatable and clearly meant so much to her. The emotion on her face and applicability of the song did me in, and my eyes welled up almost immediately. To my delight, she ended up playing every song on Immunity. This felt remarkable, and I was so happy to experience every song on the album that has meant so much to me.

Photo Credit: @fosnotlim

Both nights of seeing Clairo were beautiful, but the second night felt really special. This night was the last leg of Clairo’s North American tour, and she was ending it in a place where she had grown up. She announced that she had seen many of her favorite artists perform at Paradise, and now here she was, selling out the venue two nights in a row. Emotions were high as she performed her last song. All of her crew members came out on stage to celebrate the final performance, the crowd going crazy in the pit below. I felt lucky to be where I was, knowing that I was a part of something special.

Clairo’s music has meant so much to me recently. It is relatable and individualistic in so many ways. You can check her out here, or follow her on Instagram at @clairo.  

 

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