Clairo captivates crowd at Turner Hall show


Eva McNally

Artist Clairo performs at Turner Hall Ballroom. Both the performance itself and the visuals made it a memorable show.

On October 1, Clairo performed for the first time in Milwaukee–the third night of her 2019 North American Immunity Tour. She played an intimate show at Turner Hall Ballroom. The up-and-coming artist is widely known for her hit singles “Pretty Girl” and “Bags.” Immunity, her most recent album, featuring “Bags,” “Closer to You,” and “Sofia” was released in early August. She finished off the summer festival season and jumped right in to a headlining tour with her band.

The performance itself consisted of 19 songs total, comprised of a 16 song set plus a 3 song encore. Her performance included a mashup of her earlier songs “Get With U” and “2 Hold U,” a rendition of “Drown”, a song featuring Cuco, as well as a cover of Mura Masa’s “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again.”

Clairo played all 11 tracks from Immunity. She kicked off the show with the first track from the album: an emotional piano ballad entitled “Alewife.” While on stage, Clairo was accompanied by two bass players, one of whom played the synthesizer, and a drummer on stage. Clairo picked up and played her bass and electric guitar for a few select songs about halfway through the show, including “Sis,” “Bubble Gum,” “North,” and “Bags.” 

Clairo’s two singles “Bubble Gum” and “Sis” were only available on SoundCloud until recently. “Bubble Gum,” released in March of 2015, was deservingly recognized and made it on the setlist for this tour. They were released on Spotify in late February of 2019 after being on SoundCloud for several years prior. 

Clairo closed the first part of the show with “I Wouldn’t Ask You” which  consists of two conceptual parts: starting off slow with a piano accompaniment, then evolving into a more upbeat pace. She left the stage and then came back for the encore. She played one of her early songs “4EVER” as well as smash hit “Pretty Girl.” She saved “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” for the finale, which had the crowd jumping. 

Not only was the musical performance captivating, but the opening bands, the nature-inspired visuals, and the acoustic sound contributed to the bubbly atmosphere of this concert. The two opening bands, Hello Yello and beabadoobee, easily fired up the crowd. The bands were quite different, but both were very entertaining. 

The lights and visuals for the show were very simple, yet effective. There was a screen shaped like a semicircle towards the back of the stage that displayed many different visuals, mostly inspired by nature. There were flowers, waterfalls, empty roads, and simple patterns that flipped through the screen. During “Pretty Girl,” Clairo’s viral video of herself singing in her room played. Behind the screen, there were lights which gave it a glowing effect, similar to a sunrise or sunset. There were also colorful, bright lights that changed from soft pinks to light greens, and then to orange. Clairo did a wonderful job using visuals and her voice to put on a stellar show. Hopefully she will come back and visit Milwaukee in the future.