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Concert review: King Princess fights for her claim to the throne in Los Angeles show

Surrounded by purple and pink lighting, King Princess sings with her guitar in hand. The pop rock singer performed at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Thursday. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

"The Hold On Baby Tour”

King Princess

The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Oct. 27

By Alexis Jones

Oct. 28, 2022 4:49 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 30 at 8:12 p.m.

King Princess reminded audiences who wears the crown.

The artist headlined The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Thursday for “The Hold On Baby Tour,” pegged to her sophomore album of the same name. While she acknowledged that her music is considered pop, King Princess proudly proclaimed her concert was a rock show. She delivered on this statement with complementary instrument-playing, captivating colorful lights and breathtakingly soulful vocals. However, King Princess had to rightfully call out the crowd multiple times for not matching her energy.

Before King Princess went on, vivid violet hues washed the stage in front of a split backdrop featuring the artist’s profile from two different perspectives. The crowd whistled intently for the artist to take the stage when the house lights lowered, and seemed overjoyed when King Princess finally ran onto the stage with her guitar in hand. But based on their immobility, this was not the case when she opened with the mid-tempo “Little Bother” despite her commanding presence. It was possible audiences were just trying to hear her over her band, whose volume often obscured her sound.

[Related: Concert review: Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s sonic, visual variety engages fans in long set]

Arguably though, what kept audiences engaged during the song was the purple, pink and white lights, smartly timed to pause on the verse and flash vibrantly on the chorus for effective dynamism. The levels only slightly picked up after King Princess told her audience to keep the energy up in the similarly paced “Cursed,” as they nodded their heads when she started shredding her guitar. The musician maintained audience engagement for “Upper West Side,” during which the audience instinctively knew to sing the first line of the hook while King Princess rocked out with her bandmates.

After swinging her guitar off, she rallied the crowd in a singalong call and response for a well-thought-out transition into “Too Bad,” saucily skipping along the stage throughout the song. However, it wasn’t until King Princess sang the more upbeat and jazzier “Hit the Back” after a comical segue about the song’s online response that it felt as though the crowd had finally caught up with the fact that this show was a party – evident from her sensual body rolls and her red solo cup.

Ironically, Right after King Princess declared she wanted to party, she sang “Crowbar,” calling it “a sad lesbian song.” To complement the track’s intimacy, she sat downstage to serenade audience members in the front row. She then jumped onto the platform for a jaunty piano instrumental break, but still had to yell at the crowd to cheer louder and questioned why people were not throwing items at her onstage this tour.

For “Change the Locks,” the vocalist’s crystal-clear croons crisply cut through, illuminated by an angelic white light fanned out from the back of the stage bottom. In addition to whipping a rainbow flag around, she delighted fans when she delivered a thrilling high note amid explosive light beams that her fellow guitarist and bassist wailed on their respective instruments.

Fans hit their groove along with King Princess when she delved back into the more bluesy “Prophet” for a stirring change in sound. While the light display was mesmerizing throughout the whole show, it was during this song as King Princess jammed at the piano with her guitarist that the strobe lights flashed so fast that they were aggressively rough in terms of photosensitivity. Similarly, “Pussy Is God” featured purple lights that shone so bright that it was difficult to keep one’s eyes open to enjoy her performance.

The singer redeemed herself in the technical arena during fan favorite “Talia,” which consisted of an unexpected but much-appreciated burst of confetti the second time she sang the chorus. But after taking a dip in tempo with a string of slower tracks, King Princess brought back the electricity in the atmosphere with effervescent lights timed on the beat. However, it was the single spotlight on the artist during “Winter is Hopeful” that elicited the most cheers from the crowd.

[Related: Concert review: Rina Sawayama brings big energy, dynamic performance on Dynasty tour]

Before singing her breakout hit “1950,” King Princess kindly asked her audience to put their phones down and sing along so they all could enjoy the moment. Most were receptive to her request despite the popularity of filming musicians during the entirety of their concerts, and the audience applauded the longest they had the whole night when the song ended.

The artist concluded her set with “Ohio,” which turned into a chaotic rock and roll concert halfway through, with the band heavily wailing on their instruments and King Princess throwing her mic stand to the ground. The reverberation alone would not stop long after she and the band left the stage. But five minutes later, King Princess finally came back for three more songs, sending everyone out with one last shot from the confetti cannon.

With that, King Princess promised fans she would return, proving her reign as a musical royal.

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Alexis Jones | Arts editor
Jones is the 2022-2023 Arts editor. She was previously an Arts staff writer from 2021-2022. She is a fourth-year psychology student from Las Vegas.
Jones is the 2022-2023 Arts editor. She was previously an Arts staff writer from 2021-2022. She is a fourth-year psychology student from Las Vegas.
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