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Baby Queen Sells Out NYC's Bowery Ballroom

On November 27, 2023, Baby Queen brought her Quarter Life Crisis Tour to a sold out Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY.

Baby Queen is a South African pop artist based in London, England. At the age of 18, she moved to London to pursue a career in music and signed a recording contract with Polydor Records in 2020. Her work has been described as alt-pop and experiments with elements of dance-pop, indie rock, electronic music and a bit of 90's rock influences. She classifies her work as "anti-pop" in contrast to mainstream pop music. Her lyrics often touch on the hardships of modern life and mental health issues. New York was the second to last stop of her tour in support of her debut album, Quarter Life Crisis which was released on November 10th.

The fans got very excited as soon as the lights went down. One by one, members of her backing band took the stage and finally Baby Queen made her appearance. She started off with "Quarter Life Crisis" taken off her recently released album of the same name. Fans immediately screamed the lyrics back to her when she began singing. Before finishing the last chorus she introduced herself and welcomed New York City to the Quarter Life Crisis Tour to which the fans cheered to in response.

The fourth song she played was "You Shaped Hole" taken from her 2021 album The Yearbook. This song might also be familiar to you if you've played FIFA 22. Despite the song's fun and upbeat catchy sound, it's actually a really sad breakup song. For this song, Baby Queen had everyone sing the second part of the chorus back to her as loud as they could. Her dedicated fanbase is something to admire as they knew all the lyrics to every single song. Moving through the set she then brings out an acoustic guitar and sat down to talk about the next song which is called "a letter to myself at 17", the last track off Quarter Life Crisis.

In introducing the song, she explained how she was deeply depressed at 17 and struggled with things like her body image and sexuality and didn't fell as if she belonged anywhere, instilling a sense of guilt within her. She then assured the fans that whether they are struggling or not, they are fine just the way they are and urged them to do the things they want to do in life because its happening right now and that they shouldn't wait for it to get better, only just live in the moment. It was a very inspiring message and it is definitely important for anyone at that age feeling low.

Baby Queen then moved to the keyboard sitting in the back and began to talk about how at 18 years old, she moved from South Africa to London to pursue her career as a musician and be able to play more shows like New York City. The next song she played was "Obvious" which, according to her, almost didn't make it onto Quarter Life Crisis because of its serious tone. The song was written about her leaving home and everyone behind to move somewhere else. The song had a very desolate tone to it, in contrast to the fun and upbeat style she is known for. The crowd didn't sing along to this but everyone got their cellphone lights out which brought the mood out more. Looking around, I saw how deep in their feelings some of the fans were. This song definitely hit closer to home for some fans. Towards the end of the main set, she dived into "I can't get my sh*t together" the sixth single off Quarter Life Crisis. Fans immediately recognized the song from the synth intro and were singing along to the entire song. I was very impressed with Baby Queen's breath control during the chorus, her vocals are entrancing on this track.

Baby Queen and her band walked off the stage and the fans started chanting "BABY QUEEN! BABY QUEEN! BABY QUEEN!" After chanting her name a few more times she finally came back on stage to finish the night off with "Want Me" taken off her 2022 EP Medicine and "We Can Be Anything". Before she played the song, Baby Queen teased it to the crowd, asking them the question "New York, do you 'Want Me?'" and the fans new exactly what was coming next. "Want Me" was the most energetic song of the night, Baby Queen gave it all she had and the fans fed off that energy, jumping while singing along the entire time. The performance was so energetic and alive, it nearly turned into a pop punk show. I'm almost surprised a mosh pit didn't break out. After the song ended Baby Queen moved to the front to pick up an LGBTQ+ flag a fan gifted her and she wrapped it around herself out of respect for her inclusive audience.

Baby Queen thanked the fans for coming out and that it meant the world to her. She pointed out that when she plays a set she usually thinks about when it will end but didn't think about that once in New York City which exhilarated the fans a final time. She then wanted to remind the crowd that they could be anything they wanted to be and then kicked right into the final song off the night, "We Can Be Anything" taken from Quarter Life Crisis. About a third into the song, Baby Queen wanted the crowd to sing the third chorus with her. Even on the practice round the fans knew exactly which parts to sing back to her and they traded parts 4 times before Baby Queen finished the song off with a subtle guitar solo.

Baby Queen packed out NYC bar on a Monday night and despite Bowery being one of the bigger places she's played in New York before, it was still a very intimate and interactive experience. Baby Queen danced and moved around all night and was very interactive with the crowd, always getting close to the fans upfront and speaking to her very dedicated fanbase. I can definitely anticipate her playing the bigger spots next time she crosses through New York.

Stream/purchase Quarter Life Crisis here.


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