Kim Petras at The Academy, Dublin, on Tuesday 4th February 2020
Pop up-and-comer Kim Petras takes to the Academy stage a few minutes early- to the horror of some in the crowd who were inadvertently running on gay time. Petras adheres to timekeeping, but that’s where the stereotypes end. She hails from the German city of Cologne but there is little evidence of a Kölsch accent in her expletive laden stage banter, instead her voice bears a noticeable LA inflection.
Decked out in a black tulle minidress, a Fame-era Gaga comes to mind. It’s a 14+ show but there’s nothing watered down, as she asks “who’s getting fucked up tonight?”. Those watching from the balcony have been ID’d and stamped so they imbibe on behalf of the ground floor teetotallers and underagers. Regardless, both floors are evenly matched in terms of anticipation.
This isnt Petras’ first time in the spotlight. At the tender age of 16 she became the youngest person to undergo gender confirmation surgery, way back when pop stardom was still a scattered dream. While she is proud to be trans, she wants this to be considered a footnote rather than a focal point. Now at the highest point of her career so far, tonight she goes above and beyond to secure the bag.
From sugary pop to spooky bops, the show is roughly divided into two halves. The first half is mostly filled with songs from her debut ‘Clarity’. Centering around pertinent topics like rich guys breaking her heart a là Hillside Boys, and craving a financially beneficial relationship (I Dont Want It At All), each song drips in luxury- a common trope in pop music- but Petras is in on the joke. From her swinging high pony to her teetering knee highs, she bears all the hallmarks of a modern day pop star, catapulting her straight to the gay stan hall of fame. Before launching into Unlock It, she openly expresses her gratitude to her fanbase. “Thank you for stanning me- I used to be a stan just like you. Speaking of stanning, in this house we stan Charli XCX.”
Her first time playing in Dublin, Petras moves on the stage as if it were her own, utilising every inch available in spite of the modest space. After a brief lull for her third outfit change, she stands triumphant, a vision in gold on a rotating platform, as There Will Be Blood signals a spine-tingling second half. “I know it’s not Halloween anymore but I don’t give a fuck. Where all my spooky bitches?”
The latter allowed for outings from her latest weird and wonderful release Turn Off The Lights, including Death By Sex, Wrong Turn and Icy. After the fifth and final outfit change she emerges in a wedding dress for fan favourite Heart To Break. It seems a more natural choice of ending but instead Petras takes us all the way to the Sweet Spot.
We have no choice but to stan.