Chappell Roan puts on shimmering performance at Austin tour stop

Trisha Dasgupta, Senior Life&Arts Reporter

Disco balls littered the shimmering stage at Parish while restless concert-goers dressed in sparkling costumes and neon cowboy hats eagerly awaited the performance of indie pop artist Chappell Roan. 

As hot pink spotlights slowly started to engulf the stage, the crowd started to chant, “Chappell, Chappell,” in hopes of summoning the pop star. Moments later, the singer appeared, invoking excited cheers from the sold-out crowd at Roan’s latest stop on her Naked in North America Tour.

Dressed in bright red lace and glitter, Roan opened the show with her 2022 single “Naked in Manhattan.” When Roan held out her mic to the enthusiastic crowd, Parish lit up, with hundreds of voices yelling back the lyrics with fervor. 

Standing in front of silver streamers and sparkly paper hearts, Roan brought a dreamy presence to the venue, captivating the audience with powerful vocals. With a knack for sarcastic lyricism and biting imagery, Roan’s lively dance moves brought her songs to life. The artist’s illustrious crimson curls bobbed up and down with the crowd, who jumped and swayed to the singer’s cheeky songs about messy relationships. 

Between bright disco-pop tunes, the singer took a moment to thank her openers, local drag queens May Magdalene, Mars and Ryan. Inspired by drag queens and queer culture, Roan announced that a portion of every ticket sale would support local charities that aim to make  gender-affirming medical care more accessible to the Black trans community.

“By being here tonight, you’re supporting your local queer community,” Roan said. The up-and-coming musician sings about her dating experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, including in a stripped-down performance of “My Kink is Karma.” The artist’s connection to her fans shone throughout the entire night, such as when the bustling crowd broke out in a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday,” celebrating Roan, who turned 25 on Feb. 19.

Then, Roan turned the club into a high school football game, teaching the crowd the cheer-inspired chant in her track “Hot to Go.” As Roan sang the poppy single, fans made letters with their arms, adding a spirited element to the performance. The red stage lights soon turned to cool blues and greens as Roan began her now-viral tune, “Casual.” 

Roan’s sardonic tunes about fruitless yearning and complicated exes struck a chord with her audience, who passionately sang along to every lyric all night long: an impressive feat for an artist yet to release her debut album.