by BellaJoli Gedeon
As a fan with dyed fuchsia hair eagerly reapplied their lipstick in the reflection of a restaurant window neighboring the Brighton Music Hall, there was an undeniable sense of excitement the crowd felt about Claud’s second-to-last show of their first headlining tour. The Super Monster Tour, which will resume in mid-May throughout the UK and Europe, has mainly featured songs from their debut album of the same name. Several pairs and groups of fans stood waiting on the sidewalk, engaging in lively conversations before being let in through the venue’s doors. Claud’s artistry proved it connected to a wide range of audiences that night, as younger and older fans rushed inside towards the stage with anticipation.
Since releasing their hit singles “If I Were You” and “Wish You Were Gay” in 2019, the non-binary singer-songwriter heavily contributed to the release of Shelly, their band project, with fellow indie musician and longtime friend Clairo, as well as up-and-coming artists and companions, Josh Mehling and Noa Frances Getzug. Claud also experienced more milestones in their music career by supporting Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers on tour and signing onto Phoebe Bridgers’ label Saddest Factory Records last year.
After the floor lights dimmed and the stage lights brightened, opener KALI brought liveliness to the stage. The crowd instantly roared for the 17-year-old newcomer from Los Angeles, as they performed upbeat songs from their debut EP CIRCLES. As they played “Back to the Start” and “I Just Wanna,” a huge fan in the front row proudly held a sign requesting the performer to add them on Snapchat. Though KALI said they didn’t have the app, they happily agreed to take a group selfie with them and the rest of the crowd after finishing their set. Without a doubt, KALI and their audience enjoyed each other’s company before Claud made an appearance on stage.
KALI looks up towards the crowd. Photo: BellaJoli Gedeon.
With a backdrop of Claud’s signature blue and green theme, they raced to the center of the stage and danced left-and-right shoulder bops to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”. Dressed in a blue Rugrats T-shirt over a white-and-green checkered long sleeve and black pants, they started out their set with “Overnight” and “Gold,” singing and strumming on their neon green guitar. Although the vocal tones of these songs were higher pitched in the album recordings, Claud sang with a deeper tone, adding a more personal touch to their performance.
After playing an older single, “Easy,” as well as “Cuff Your Jeans” and “Pepsi” from their latest LP, Claud introduced one of their most unapologetic songs. They asked the audience, “Have you ever been mad?” After fans confirmed with hollers and screams, Claud initiated a following question, “Like really mad?” Then, they bluntly revealed, “This song is about being called a bitch.” As they proceeded to sing “That’s Mr. Bitch To You” featuring Melanie Faye in the recording, they held their middle finger high in the air while jumping up and down. Later, Claud raised a rubber frog with a pride cape for everyone to see. After agreeing with their band that its name was Donut, they announced “Donut’s gay,” which pleased the entire, largely LGBTQ+ crowd.
In between some songs of their set, Claud spent the night having a good time while interacting with their fans. Since a curious fan asked what their drummer’s hat said, they looked back to verify that it was Budweiser. Then, they comically commented, “Not sponsored. Not sponsored!” before continuing onto an unreleased song. They announced, “This is a new song. It’s called ‘Go Home,’ but stay here.” Although it was an unfamiliar song to some fans, it didn’t fail to make them dance along while Claud performed.
Claud performs a song with their band. Photo: BellaJoli Gedeon.
Despite Claud mentioning that they didn’t have funny stories that night, they happened to joke around about a mistaken understanding with a fan and a broken keyboard from visiting a haunted venue in Arizona while on tour. They jokingly commented, “Good thing I didn’t get another keyboard.” Then, they introduced a tearjerker called “Tommy,” their latest single. Their performance, with its painfully relatable lyrics, emotionally moved the crowd.
While they performed “Guard Down,” they ad-libbed, “Nothing like a Boston summer,” instead of the usual lyric referencing New York. After their fans sang along to one of their more hopeful songs, KALI hopped back on stage to join Claud for a popular favorite, “Wish You Were Gay.” They announced, “Okay. We’re going to play one more song, then walk off really awkwardly.” However, Claud didn’t just play “Soft Spot” at Brighton Music Hall. They rocked it with their go-to dance moves, especially their powerful bounce and hair shake which took the crowd’s breath away.