Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan• Naked in North America Tour• March 9, 2023• Soundwell

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Chappell Roan is a pop singer-songwriter based out of Los Angeles. She brought her Naked in North America Tour to Soundwell in downtown Salt Lake City on Mar 9, 2023.  Like all of the other dates on this tour, the show at Soundwell was sold out.  I found this to be extremely impressive for someone who hasn’t released a full album. Only one EP and a bunch of singles.  Sure enough, I walked into the venue and it was packed

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

As I made my way to the area where I would set up camp I noticed people of all ages at this show.  And I mean all ages.  I saw children who couldn’t have been older than seven or eight, and I saw adults who had to be in their mid-60s.  The majority of the audience seemed to be women in their teens and twenties.  More than the range of the demographic, the thing that stood out the most was all the people dressed in pajamas.  Being unfamiliar with all of Roan’s music, I figured that this had to be related to a song or lyric. 

I asked a couple of people and they also weren’t sure why there were so many in their PJs.  I then noticed that I was asking people who were in street clothes.  If they had known they might have been dressed up.  I finally asked someone dressed up. 

It turns out that Chappell Roan assigns cities a theme for their show.  For example, New York and Los Angeles had the “So You Wanna Be A Popstar” theme.  Seattle and Philadelphia had the “Goth Grunge & Glitter” theme.  Salt Lake City paired up with Nashville for the “Slumber Party Kissin’” Theme.  What a cool idea.  I definitely felt like I missed out.  For the record, I have a onesie that would have been perfect for the night.  Maybe next time. My favorite fan PJs had to be the woman with the 1980s full-length mom pajamas.

Chappell Roan walked on stage with her band donning pink silk pajamas and a pink robe.  The rest of her ban was in pajamas too.  I saw some of her crew in pajamas too.  The crowd went crazy as Roan opened with “Naked in Manhattan”, “Love Me Anyway” and, “Femininominon”.  The room was sweltering.  Fans were singing the songs word for word to each other.  Some even had their own choreographed moves to the songs. Roan seemed like a seasoned pro with her performance.  She seemed to know how to connect with her fans in every way.  

One of the highlights of the night was Chappell’s surprise cover of Alanis Morisette’s “You Outta Know”.  Fans young and old knew all the words.  It was so loud inside Soundwell as the 90s hit rang around the room.  Things did not slow down from there.  Roan then taught the audience some choreography to her song “Hot To Go”.  During the chorus of the song the crowd wold do this dance.  Everyone participated.  It was high energy high point of the night.  After the song, the audience were so pleased with themselves.  Deservedly so.  

The set seemed to fly by. It went quickly but never felt rushed.  When Chappell left the stage following “My Kink is My Karma” I was surprised it was already time for the encore. Roan returned in a pink cowboy hat and played clear crowd favorites, “California” and “Pink Pony Club”.  She told the audience that the “Pink Pony Club was in Salt Lake City tonight!”.  The crowd clearly loved that.  

I expect Chappell Roan’s career to continue to rise.  With a sold-out tour, and a batch of really catchy songs, I think good things are in store.  I have no doubt we’ll be seeing her next Utah stop at a larger venue.  Soundwell was bursting at the seams but was the perfect host for this night.  

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