Article by Josie Stahler
Who can effortlessly combine experimental beats with pop melodies that retain the aesthetics of equal parts gore and Parisian nightlife? Kim Petras, that’s who. The icon herself played Aragon Ballroom for the Chicago stop of her Feed the Beast Tour.
Opening for Petras was Alex Chapman, a DJ and Chicago native. Chapman got the party started with a DJ set ranging from pop to punk. Girls groups like The Pussycat Dolls and The Spice Girls got mixed in with modern day icons including Caroline Polachek and Ice Spice. Chapman also played an original collaboration with Petras called, “horsey”, a catchy tune that could easily become a club anthem. Only Chicago natives can understand how well Alex Chapman captured the hot sweaty atmosphere of a Boystown club on a Saturday night.
Soon enough it was time for Kim Petras to take the stage. Audience members waited in eager anticipation, donning their most fabulous outfits. As the curtains drew back and the lights came down, the audience buzzed. Petras emerged from an iron maiden as fog rolled out across the stage, a glamorous extraterrestrial landed on Earth. She opened with, “Feed the Beast” and was accompanied by backup dancers. This opening was just the beginning of what would be a fantastic five act performance.
Petras seamlessly transitioned from her recent hits to playing her 2022 breakout album, Slut Pop, in its entirety. The album is an unabashed collection of experimental seductive anthems ranging from “XXX” to “Throat Goat”. Petras fittingly pulled out a whip and swung it around the stage, commanding her audience to the highest degree.
After Slut Pop, Kim moved on to play music from her various eras, including the cutesy 2017 track “Hillside Boys” and the darker electronica beats from her 2020 album TURN OFF THE LIGHT. These tracks were accompanied by projections of abstract art and Petras dressed as a masculine mythical creature, making it a visual performance to remember.
The encore delivered the French inspired, “Problématique” and the serotonin-filled classic, “Heart to Break”. It was the perfect showcase of musical growth for Petras as she played older tracks for her original fans and new pop hits. By the end the audience was begging for more, or making plans to take on the rest of the night in true Petras fashion.
The Aragon has housed numerous acts, but what stuck out was the production that went into Kim’s hour and forty minute set. From massive set pieces to multiple costume changes, the show was a feat of imagination and mixture of aesthetics. It perfectly captures how Petras is able to constantly walk the line between experimental ravey hyperpop and clubby pop princess. The Feed the Beast Tour continues in the U.S. until late November and will pick up February in Europe.
Follow Kim Petras on Instagram and check out her Spotify below!