What better experience for my first time at Radio City Music Hall then Clairo’s Sling Tour with Arlo Parks – a historic venue for two soon to be historic artists. It was a follow up to Clairo’s sophomore album, Sling, and Arlo Park’s astounding debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams.
Right on time, Arlo Parks and her band casually took the stage, embarking on an incredible 40 minute set. I can proudly say I was singing the loudest in my section as she performed incredible song after incredible song. From the crowd chanting “Caroline” to the passionately played “Hurt,” Arlo truly was very natural on the stage, becoming more and more comfortable as her set went on. The songs were interspersed with soft spoken messages to all those in attendance, providing context for songs such as “Black Dog” and encouraging anyone who is struggling with mental health to seek out help. She ended with my personal favorite song of hers, “Hope,” a perfect ending to an amazing performance.
Clairo knows how to put on a show. It’s not an elaborate set design, or strategies to get the crowd involved, rather just a constant display of her talent. Every song saw her switch instruments, from a sit down piano to various guitars to just singing. The stage had a living room-esque design, contributing to what was a very comfortable and warm setting. She performed much of Sling while definitely making sure to show love to her older tracks – “Bags” got the almost 6,000 person crowd roaring – and even did an unreleased track, which she said she, “Worked on with someone else in the room.” Dominic Fike, Frank Ocean, and LAUNDRY DAY were all in attendance.
Her closer, “Sofia,” was one of the most incredible moments I’ve ever witnessed at a concert. As she sang, “Sofia, know that you and I / Shouldn’t feel like a crime,” she unveiled a rainbow flag she had been hiding on stage, the crowd erupting louder than ever before. As the song ended and she said goodbye she was emotional as she walked off the stage, and I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride for her.
Radio City was one of the earlier stops on the tour, so you’ll definitely want to be checking if Clairo and Arlo Parks are coming to your city.