Live Performance Reviews
TOUR | FLETCHER Gets Comfortable With Fans
Have you ever gone to a show where you feel so comfortable and so well-surrounded that you just know whatever emotion is about to pass through you that night is okay? A show where you know you are in a zone safe enough to let these emotions out, good or bad, without fearing being judged?
Well, welcome to a FLETCHER show.
Now, I can count on my fingers the amount of openly queer artists who get radio play overseas, and on one hand the number of artists who actually get to tour internationally, so when one comes to town, you know I have to attend. 28-year-old pop singer-songwriter Cari Fletcher, most commonly known by her last name FLETCHER, is currently on her mostly sold-out tour across Europe, following a fully sold-out first run in North America earlier in the year. It is quite impressive knowing the singer has yet to release a full length record, so when she made a pit stop on Tuesday, May 3, at the Alhambra in Paris, France, I just HAD to be there.
From early on in the day, the overall vibe of the event is given. Old friends reunite, new friends are made, girls are making out everywhere I look, and the high school next door has speakers turned up playing some of the New Jersey native’s hits. The line goes around the block, for the 800 tickets for the show that was formerly set for March 23, 2020, have been sold out for over a year. It’s a notable upgrade from the first and last time Fletcher played in Paris back in September 2019 at a 150-capacity club.
The show kicks off at 8:00 PM with a 30-minute set by rising alt-pop singer UPSAHL. After hitting the road in the U.S. with K. Flay and Yungblud, Fletcher’s tour marks Taylor Upsahl’s first time playing in Europe… and something tells me it won’t be her last! Within the first minutes of her set, the 23-year-old gets the approval of all 800 attendees who then proceed to bop, jump, headbang, sing, and raise their middle fingers in the air along to some of the artist’s tracks from her 2021 debut album Lady Jesus.
Fletcher then takes the stage and opens her 18-song set with her latest releases: “girls girls girls” and “Cherry,” her acclaimed collaboration with fellow lesbian icon and singer Hayley Kiyoko.
During a quick formal introductory speech, Fletcher tests the hold and power she has over her crowd, telling her fans the only rule of the evening is for them to “f–k her energetically.” The answer comes roaring, with fans screaming and holding up signs asking the singer to make out or sleep with them.
Unlike her previous North American tour dates, there are no elements on stage that recall New York City, but the singer does go through a couple of songs from her heartbreaking you ruined new york city for me 2019 EP anyway. She effortlessly transitions to “f–k you for ruining new york city for me,” an unreleased song that she mashes up with a cover of Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever.” To her fans’ greatest pleasure, she plays through the entirety of her latest EP, THE S(EX) TAPES, including her RIAA gold-certified megahit “Undrunk” which lead to a massive increase in the singer’s following in the recent years.
Halfway through the EP, Fletcher stops the show to do something that has become very personal for her, and quite a habit to her fans: boobs signing. “We were counting the other day, and I must have sign hundreds of them already but I want to do more,” the singer laughs as fans in the first rows willingly lift their shirts up or pull them down to give the singer and her sharpie better access.
Ever so comfortable with her fans, Fletcher ends her main set by inviting some of them on stage with her to perform her most recent gold-certified hit “Bitter.” After jokingly telling the thirty lucky fans to “get off [her] stage” at the end of the song all the while telling them to “be careful” a hundred times in the span of three minutes, Fletcher briefly exits the stage only to return for an encore. A sea of camera flashes lights up the venue as Fletcher performs “For Cari,” an intimate yet-to-be-released acoustic song that she wrote during a particularly hard moment in her life.
In the same fashion, fans hold up colorful balloons as Fletcher wraps up her show with “Healing,” a song that has her acknowledge her downfalls but also reclaiming her victories. As she finally exits the stage for good, she makes sure to gather flags from the crowd before wrapping the French one around her shoulders and waving her fans goodbye… until next time.
So if you’re planning on attending a FLETCHER show, I guess there are a few things you should know:
1) Bring good shoes and prepare your throat. FLETCHER was born for the stage, and she radiates an energy that is quite communicative. You might wake up the next morning with a sore throat from singing so loud and a couple of bruises on your legs from getting on stage but honestly, it will be worth it.
2) It WILL be unhinged. There will be tequila shots being handed in the queue or drank on stage, people either making out or sobbing at every corner, exes being friends with their exes’ new partners, dozens of boobs being signed, some eventual crowd surfing, and even people’s hands being dragged over the artist’s body by the artist herself…
3) It will also be the SAFEST place you’ll ever be in. Seriously. FLETCHER treats her fans like family, and the intimate relationship is filled to the brim with so much love and trust and understanding that it can be heard, seen, and felt throughout the show.
If you’re in the UK, you can still catch FLETCHER on tour till May 15th. For those in the US impatiently waiting for the singer’s return, you’ll be able to catch her this summer at several music festivals, including Hangout, Bottlerock, Bonnaroo, or even Lollapalooza.
For more information and tickets, head to FindingFletcher.com