Show Review + Photography: Clairo, Arlo Parks
Posted: by The Editor
I’m finding the juxtaposition between Clairo playing two sold out shows at House of Blues, an extremely centrally located venue in Boston (right next to Fenway Park, babyyyyy) and one of her best songs being named after an obnoxiously out of the way MBTA stop…somewhat funny. Mostly because I don’t think there’s not a distance Clairo’s fans would have traveled that would have kept them away from either night of her Boston double header. As I navigated the slippery sidewalks of Brookline Avenue around 6:30, thirty minutes ahead of the venue door time this past Sunday, the line already stretched over David Ortiz Bridge (this may not be the last geographic or annoying Boston/Massachusetts/New England reference during this writeup, and it very well may just turn into a game of “how many times can he reference this part of the country?”).
Despite the cold, the atmosphere in the room was warm and welcoming. Might have been from Clairo’s lamp-heavy stage setup, might have been from the packed audience eager to sway, sing along, and dance to the Massachusetts native’s pop ballads and opener Arlo Parks’ indie funk bangers. Parks opened the night energetically, stage full of flowers and songs full of charisma, leaning heavily on tracks from 2021’s ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams.’
Clairo’s walk onto the stage was met with a deafening collective scream from the youthful crowd – a sharp contrast to the much-changed, more subdued sound on her newest release, ‘Sling.’ The night would be a back and forth of tracks from her more pop-oriented debut, ‘Immunity,’ and ‘Sling’s’ lean towards more lounge-y, singer-songwriter vibes. The stage setup of oversized living room lamps and carpet gave the night an even more welcoming, cozy vibe, as the Carslile, MA-raised singer rolled through newer favorites like “Amoeba,” “Joanie,” “Bambi,” and “Reaper.” Clairo’s smile was a constant presence as she looked out on the crowd, hearing ever-often chants of “WE LOVE YOU” between songs. Despite the size of the room, the show was about as down to earth and mellow as if it had been held in a living room. Everything Clairo did translated at scale – nothing from her earlier songs was diminished by the new material and expanded band, and nothing about her new songs was overshadowed by the crowd’s familiarity and the scream-along nature of her ‘Immunity’ tracks. If there’s anything to be learned from a Clairo show in 2022, it’s that evolution as an artist can encompass all of your creative desires. From wardrobe, to stage presence, to her wearing of a favorite middle school Red Sox cap (THERE’S ANOTHER, WOOOO, BOSTON), to the a smile for the crowd punctuating each pause, her shows are just that: Clairo’s, and no one else’s.
Check out Adam’s photo gallery below.
By Adam Parshall @parshallythere