The queer icon set the stage ablaze during her latest stop in Philadelphia, showcasing local talent by sharing the stage with Moon Baby and St. Panther.
In 2018, then 20 year old singer-songwriter King Princess released her debut song “1950” and left a forever imprint on the music industry. The queer love anthem ballooned in popularity, charting in multiple territories and certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. A year later, King Princess released her debut album Cheap Queen and rose to fame as a prominent young, queer musician. Her album took her to new heights, selling out venues nationwide and cementing her place in the music industry as someone who is undeniably, authentically themselves. Following the success of her debut, King Princess released her sophomore album Hold On Baby earlier this year. Following the release of the album, King Princess landed an opening slot on Florence + The Machine’s Summer/Fall 2022 arena tour, as well as King Princess own nationwide headlining tour of the same name.
The Hold On Baby tour touched down in the city of brotherly love on the rainy and cold evening of September 30th. Fans sought shelter from the rain inside the industrial walls of one of Philadelphia’s newest venues, The Fillmore. Opening the evening was fellow queer singer-songwriter, St Panther. The self proclaimed “nerdy-looking hip-hop artist” offered fans a relaxed and soulful start to the show, playing mostly laid back jams and occasionally picking up her guitar to strum a few chords. Her 30 minute performance allowed for the crowd to settle in and get comfortable for the evening ahead.
Part of King Princess’ live show traditions include creating space for a drag artist local to the city she is playing in to perform right before she takes the stage. Sometimes it’s a drag queen Harry Potter impersonator and other times it’s local Philadelphia drag queen Moon Baby. Moon Baby took to the stage and wasted no time performing a handful of original songs. Laying in the microphone in her flat hand, Moon Baby began to sing, screech and moan into the microphone. Belting notes across the stage, bending over backwards and riding the mic stand like a mechanical bull, Moon Baby gave fans an energetic and unforgettable performance that amped the crowd up for King Princess’ arrival.
Shortly after 9pm, King Princess and her band (all wearing matching ‘69’ t-shirts) took to the stage. Opening her set with “Little Brother”, the energy from King Princess was palpable. Playing 100% of the songs from Hold On Baby, with a few hits from Cheap Queen peppered in between, King Princess offered fans a more subdued – mature, even – experience than on previous tours. Hold On Baby is an album composed mostly of ballads like “Change The Locks”, “Dotted Lines” and “For My Friends” and the energy throughout the venue matched the tone of the songs. Swaying slowly back and forth, there was very little of the chaotic energy that I had come to expect from other King Princess shows and instead, it was a slower and more intimate feeling within the venue.
In the moments where the energy peaked and fans were singing along, dancing and having a genuine good time, songs like “Hit The Back”, “Pussy Is God” and “Cheap Queen” were the soundtrack. This being my third time seeing King Princess perform live, it definitely stood out to me. Not necessarily as one of her best performances, but rather as a transformative performance. Like herself, King Princess’ message, music and sound have all progressed and matured offering fans a new and different experience.
See the photos by Jess Williams of King Princess's show below.