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Marquette Wire

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Marquette Wire

Chappell Roan’s sold-out show at The Rave

Roan played a sold-out show at The Rave Oct. 4 and is quickly climbing the ladder in the music industry, hitting around 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. 
Photo by Jack Belmont
Roan played a sold-out show at The Rave Oct. 4.

Singer and songwriter Chappell Roan, a stage name for Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, is truly a Midwest princess, having grown up in the town of Willard, Missouri. Roan is currently on her “Midwest Princess” tour, promoting her first full-length album “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.” 

Roan played a sold-out show at The Rave Oct. 4 and is quickly climbing the ladder in the music industry, hitting around 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify

Roan’s style is very dance-pop adjacent, her songs and persona referencing themes in her life such as relationships and femininity. Her sound and lyrics are memorable because they stand for something greater and dig underneath the surface, with powerhouse vocals that left everyone singing and dancing along with her during the show.

Roan has a unique touch as an artist, she assigns every show a theme which gives the audience the chance to dress up as a collective. The theme for her Milwaukee show was rainbowso most people were dressed in bright colors, sequins and holographic tones. This is a thoughtful creative detail that allows her to connect with her fans on a level beyond music, while making the concert memorable in a unique way using fashion.

Some audience members sported pink cowgirl hats as a nod to one of Roan’s singles titled “Pink Pony Club,” where she wears one in her music video. The attention to detail from the crowd was unique, with almost every fan dressed on point according to the theme and going all-out with their outfit choices. 

Roan’s attention to detail regarding fashion and makeup really drew me to her with her elegant and playful style. Her makeup looks are uniquely glamorous and feminine, usually including big, brightly colorful and shimmery eyeshadow. During the show, she was seen wearing a patterned corset with matching shorts and knee-high boots.  

Chappell Roan performs with patterned corset with matching shorts. (Photo by Jack Belmont)

Roan credits a big part of her stylistic inspiration to the art of drag, as she talks about in an interview with The Rising Artists Blog. “I’m very inspired by drag in every aspect. I have drag artists open for me. I have three local drag performers for every city that I headline. I think that drag has really inspired the project with styling, makeup, performance and music videos.”

Instead of having a band or singer open for Roan, she had three local drag artists performing. Milwaukee based Drag Queens Princess Janelza, Supernova and Iconika Strange took turns storming the stage and performing popular songs, which was definitely a perfect way to get the crowd jumping on their feet while waiting for Roan. 

When Roan took the stage, you could immediately tell that her band has amazing chemistry. She performed one of her hit songs “Red Wine Supernova” pretty early on, which had fans screaming every single lyric. The song is about “falling in love with the thought of someone,” as the lyrics say, but my favorite line “She put her canine teeth in the side of my neck,” really ties the meaning of the song in for me. The metaphors used in this track add a unique storybook-like feel to the song overall. 

She also performed her song, “Super Graphic Ultra-Modern Girl,” which is all about loving yourself and not settling for less than you deserve in relationships. One of her lyrics says, “I’m through, with all these super mega bummer boys like you.” This track is inspiring, relatable and emits a feel-good emotion that reminds others to be true to themselves. 

Roan inspires listeners to remember how important the act of self-love really is, and this track is a perfect example of what she stands for as a person and an artist.

Later on, during the show, she paused for a second to say some words to the audience. “Since it’s so hot in here the next song will be…” and was immediately interrupted by fans screaming because everyone knew the next song would be “HOT TO GO!” Almost every fan was doing dance moves from Roan’s music video. It was really heartwarming seeing this kind of energy at a live show, where everyone knows the words.

It makes a concert experience so much more vibrant and intimate seeing a fanbase so dedicated to an artist and their music at a live show. The fact that almost everyone was dressed on theme and knew all of the words to her songs made the show feel much more personal. The show made me feel like I was a part of a collective group, it wasn’t just individuals gathering to see the same artist. It was almost family-like and being able to see that her fans were connected to one another and to Roan made the experience that much more special.

This story was written by Sofía Cortés. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Sofía Cortés
Sofía Cortés, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sofía Cortés is the assistant editor for Arts & Entertainment. She is a junior majoring in journalism and with a writing intensive minor. Sofia is from Puerto Rico and outside of the Wire she enjoys reading, writing poetry, drawing and listening to music

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