Concert Review: King Princess in St. Paul – February 4, 2020

King Princess performs “Tough on Myself”

All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography. All rights reserved.

Mikaela Straus’ momentum pushing into 2020 has been undeniable. Best known as King Princess, the budding LGBTQ+ icon punctuated 2019 with the release of her full-length debut Cheap Queen (produced by Mark Ronson of St. Vincent/Taylor Swift fame) and a herald performance on Saturday Night Live.

“It’s going to be a stinky bra night, I know you guys some dirty bitches!”

Tuesday night’s 90-minute Cheap Queen set at the Palace Theatre was proof King Princess was born to be on stage. Not only does the singer-songwriter have a knack for hooks and crushing lyrics, her growing stage presence and sense humor were quick to draw in the crowd. While she may only have one album and EP, King’s set masterly fluctuated the momentum between sad laments and energized pop rock anthems; with even the quietest moments filled the audience singing in unison.

“This is the tour for my album Cheap Queen,” said King Princess. “I think the album is fucking fabulous!” As did the audience. “Pussy is God” had the crowd hyped early. “Watching My Phone” exploded with a brooding swagger. “Tahlia” proved to be the party anthem of the evening with the entire audience chanting every last lyric. “You Destroyed My Heart” developed into building rocker. The vintage hit “1950” was at its best when King Princess broke into a feedback laden guitar solo. King and company closed out the main set with a stellar “Hit the Back.”

One of the best parts of the night was watching Straus jump between guitar, piano and simply performing; all while having complete command of the audience. Her four-piece supporting band, at this point, is a well oiled machine and they were clearly having fun on stage. While it has become common place, if there was one critique of the evening it was the use of backing tracks. There was so much talent on the stage, it didn’t seem necessary. With that being said, it is exciting to see and hear where King Princess’ talents will lead.

For the latest on King Princess, not only keep tabs on social media, but watch her fun/funny releases on Soundcloud. Stay up to date on concert dates, including upcoming shows with Harry Styles here.

Setlist:
Isabel’s Moment
Tough on Myself
Prophet
Useless Phrases/Cheap Queen
Ain’t Together
Do You Wanna See Me Crying?
Watching My Phone
Tahlia
Trust Nobody
Mellotron Intro/Homegirl
You Destroyed My Heart
Upper West Side
1950
Hit The Back

Encore:
If You Think It’s Love
Ohio

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