Clairo Charms DC’s Union Stage

Last Thursday in DC, 19-year-old powerhouse Clairo played a sold-out show at Union Stage. From the moment she kicked off her set with “B.O.M.D.,” she had the audience, comprised mainly of high schoolers, enthralled. Although this was only the second night of her first major headlining tour, Clairo, with her effortless style and playful sense of humor, seemed completely at ease. In her own cut-up tour merch shirt and red satin baggy pants, she was clearly the coolest person in the room, and she knows it, too. At one point between songs, the crowd cheered as she said, “the last time I was in DC was for the Climate Change March.” Her fans idolize her, and luckily, she makes a pretty great role model.

Her music has been labeled lo-fi, bedroom dream pop, but after last night, it’s clear that it’s so much more than that. It’s stylish, edgy, and genre-defying. She has flare all her own but doesn’t take herself too seriously. When she sang her break-out hit, “Flaming Hot Cheetos,” a fan gave her a bag of the snacks that she danced with for the rest of the song. Later, another fan handed her mouse ears, which she donned for a bit. She completely owned the stage. Despite her small stature, her charisma and stage-presence is undeniable—and she seemed so genuinely happy to be performing.

Although she only has one short EP, Diary 001, she has a plethora of unreleased music on both Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I admittedly am mostly familiar with Diary 001, but her fans knew all the words to every song she played, even the deeper tracks. Each song sounded even better live than it does on record. Her vocals especially were silky and pristine, even as she danced around. She had the whole room dancing with her. Overall, I was blown away with her charming performance. Her entire US tour is sold out—and for good reason.

Clairo’s opener, Garren Sean, is also definitely worth checking out. He sang, played guitar, and made his beats simultaneously. He just released a new EP, Sundrip, which is available on all platforms now. Clairo and Sean continue their tour throughout the country until the end of August, and their sets are definitely not ones to miss.

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