As I was waiting in the security line to get into the venue, I saw loads of people in pink, sparkly cowboy hats accompanied by all pink outfits. They got the memo on Chappell Roan’s Instagram that the wardrobe theme of the night in Portland, Oregon at the Wonder Ballroom was Pink Cowgirl, a reference to her song “Pink Pony Club.” She has different themes in all cities on her tour from slumber party to space themed.
Once I got into the venue, I was met with blasting music by various pop divas and a local drag queen lip-syncing on the stage to them. On tour, Chappell has hired three local drag queens from each city to be the opening acts of her ‘Midwest Princess Tour’ in lieu of touring along with a smaller musical artist. I personally love this concept, especially from a queer artist giving the queens opportunities like that to entertain in their own communities.
Chappell put on an energy filled show that felt a lot like going to a party and cheering on your own friend who is killing it at karaoke. Everyone was screaming along to every song and took the slower songs as chances to gain some energy back to do it all over again. Her album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is a mix of new songs and singles she has been releasing slowly over the past few years. For most of her career she has worked with Dan Nigro, who famously produced both of Olivia Rodrigo’s hit albums, and I really think Chappell will be the next big pop star. She has the talent and the showmanship reminiscent of a young Lady Gaga. I am glad that she is getting the recognition she deserves and is able to bring her queer AF songs to the masses. The next time she comes to Portland it will definitely be in a venue five times the size.