Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan•September 27, 2023•The Depot

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Chappell Roan’s concert was a captivating experience. Showcasing her unique blend of soulful vocals and compelling songwriting. The Depot buzzed with anticipation as she took the stage. I spoke to a few fans in the front row.  They told me that the night was “Space” themed. People across the general admission floor were dressed as aliens, astronauts, and everything in between. These fans also told me that I was in for a great show.  Little did they know that I had seen Chappell Roan in concert.  I got to be there at her sold-out show the Soundwell just a few blocks from The Depot. 

It was exciting to see Roan sell out an even larger venue here in Salt Lake City. It’s clear that her fandom is growing.  The lights went out, the band took the stage and the show was electric from the first note.  It was evident that the audience was in for a treat. 

The setlist was a well-crafted mix of Chappell’s popular tracks and perhaps a few surprises.  Keeping the energy dynamic and the crowd engaged. My favorite surprise was a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.  I thought the arrangement was really cool.  Starting slowly with very subtle backing music and moving to a high-energy version similar to Lady Gaga’s.  The audience seemed thrilled with the cover and considering myself a “Little Monster”, it was a huge highlight for me. 

Chappell’s voice, rich with emotion, soared through the venue, delivering each lyric with a powerful authenticity that resonated with the audience. The seamless fusion of genres in her music, from pop to soul, created a sonic landscape that felt both familiar and refreshingly original.  A song like, “Hot To Go” had the crowd jumping and dancing.  Especially with the choreographed moves that went along with the chorus.  Then a song like, “California” brought a subdued but focused halt and poignancy to the show. The range of dynamics Chappell Roan brings to her shows is a huge strong point.

Roan’s stage presence was magnetic, drawing everyone into the emotive journey of her music. Beyond the music, Chappell Roan connected with the audience, sharing personal anecdotes and creating an intimate atmosphere. Chappell Roan is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. It was clear that The Depot was a safe space for this audience. Chappell Roan has provided a haven for a community that is often without a place to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. The interaction between artist and crowd added an extra layer of depth to the performance, making it more than just a concert but a shared experience.

The lighting and stage design complemented the mood of each song, enhancing the overall visual impact. Whether it was a poignant ballad or an upbeat anthem, the production elements worked harmoniously to amplify the emotional impact of Roan’s music.

As the concert reached its crescendo, there was a discernable sense of connection between the artist and her fans. The show ended perfectly with the very danceable “Pink Pony Club”. People were singing and dancing as if The Depot was a dance club. I don’t know how anyone had any energy left, but they were in full force dancing to their heart’s content. Chappell Roan left the stage, leaving behind an atmosphere filled with the echoes of her powerful performance—a testament to her artistry and ability to create an unforgettable live experience. 

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

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