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Piggy's an Artist: Peter McPoland’s Piggy Tour

2023 gave me numerous “concert of the year” moments, but November 16th, 2023 was, indeed, my Concert of the Year. For many, that may not be true, but Peter McPoland has been one of my top artists for some time. Two of his songs deservedly snuck into my top 5 most played songs of 2022, and, after seeing him live that year, I needed to see him perform live again and photograph him. Needless to say, the "Piggy Tour" was a highly anticipated show for me and it successfully fulfilled my expectations.

The night started smooth at Irving Plaza, with the VIP line wrapping around the block, and the traditional GA line surpassing that. The venue was lively, full of die-hard fans and some “I know him from TikTok” fans who were all extremely kind and joyous — which, as a concert-goer, was refreshing to see recently. The show kicked off with Stephen Dawes’s eccentric performance. I was first introduced to Stephen this summer after seeing him open for Alexander 23 at the Hudson Yards Summer Concert Series. After seeing him in August, I became an immediate fan and I was excited when he was announced as the opener for Peter’s tour a few weeks later. It is rare that I am a genuine fan of both the headliner and the opener, so it felt that this concert was made for me.

Stephen’s set was everything I expected— it was fun, poppy, energetic, and electrifying.

After his set, I went to the balcony of the venue where I was able to speak to him and tell him how much I loved his set and how I discovered him over the summer. Stephen was so kind and gracious. I genuinely wish him all the best in his blossoming career and I cannot wait for him to blow up and headline shows soon.

Keep Up With Stephen Dawes: Instagram | X | Spotify

Finally, came the star of the night: Peter McPoland and his big pig that sat eerily onstage. Rocking a bedazzled boot after breaking earlier on tour when kicking a cymbal, Peter hopped all over the stage, catering to his doctor’s orders of not putting pressure on it nor jumping into the pit with fans. The concert kicked off (no pun intended) with a dynamic setlist that seamlessly blended Peter’s edgy signature style with fresh and innovative elements. His opening song “Mold” brought the crowd to their feet and off the ground. All the jumping that Peter could not partake in due to his foot injury was compensated by the crowd. Peter’s performance was full of unmatched energy— his injury made no impact on the energy of the performance. He gave it his all. After the first four songs, Peter took it back a few notches. Taking a pause, the first chords of his song “String Lights” hit the crowd and, as a fan, I prepared myself. This song, about growing up and being scared of change, was an anthem I played often last year during a major change in my life. For these three minutes, I put my camera down and focused on taking in the moment and the catharsis that comes with the song. I screamed “everything ends” at the top of my lungs, endlessly.

One of the highlights of the Piggy Tour was undoubtedly the eclectic range of genres that McPoland effortlessly incorporated into his performance. Some older hits from Peter’s first EP and prior such as “Dead Air”, “Eloise”, “Come Around”, and “Slow Down” acted as slower ballads in his set that meshed seamlessly with his high-energy songs like “Ceiling Fan”, “Tonight”, and “Find Me Out”. The diversity of his highly constructed setlist kept everyone engaged and excited for what was to come.

Peter’s vocals were nothing short of impressive, showcasing a versatility that allowed him to navigate through different musical landscapes with ease. Whether belting out the words “everything ends” in “String Lights” or screaming his lyrics during “Dog”, Peter’s vocal diversity is a true testament to his artistry.

Towards the end of the show, the audience received a surprise when the previously mentioned opener, Stephen Dawes, joins Peter onstage for a fan-mosh moment during “Turn Off the Noise”. Typically, at this point in the set Peter would jump into the pit and party with the crowd during the duration of the song. However, due to the aforementioned reason, Peter was unable and allowed Stephen to fill in. The floor felt like it was about to cave in from the constant jumping and energy; it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night.

Witnessing Peter’s performance growth over the past two years has been a privilege. He has grown in ways beyond measure. His stage presence has always been astounding, but his comfort, personality, and showmanship on stage have grown so noticeably and I have become increasingly excited for his continued growth and prosperity as an artist. The Piggy Tour was nothing short of stellar. I genuinely look forward to new releases from Peter and another headline tour in the near future.

Keep Up With Peter McPoland: Instagram | X | Facebook | Spotify

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