Live Review: King Princess - Biltmore Caberet, Vancouver 20/07/2018


King Princess has been making her way around the US with her glittery party banner for the past month, playing intimate and sold out shows to hundreds of fans, who have taken no time in embracing the pop artist as one of their own. We caught her at her sold out, and very sweaty show in Vancouver, at the Biltmore Cabaret.

As soon as I found out that she was making a stop in Vancouver, I knew I had to be there to cover the show and I’m so glad that I was. It was one of the sweatiest and most fun shows I have been to in awhile. The sold out show packed 350 people into a small room with absolutely zero air conditioning or air flow, which wasn’t entirely pleasant... especially as many of us had shown up early to catch the unnamed support act who never appeared. Mikaela (King Princess) went on to mention that they hadn’t been able to make it into the country. Instead they had at the last minute, hired a local DJ to play what she had described as “queer disco gak”. The DJ, Tristan, absolutely nailed that request and had us all singing along to queer 80’s bangers, like Queen, George Michael, and Madonna despite our annoyance with waiting for so long.

After a long, sweaty, jam-filled wait, Mikaela and her lovely band made it on stage and took a few moments to take in the screams of welcome, love and excitement before she went straight into her EP’s title track, Make My Bed. Like the studio version of the song, it was just her vocals, piano, and the tiniest hint of ambient bass. It was a nice moment to begin the show with before getting into her more upbeat tracks.

It’s interesting seeing new viral artists with a very limited number of songs released tour, and analyzing how they build their setlist. I’ve seen artists mix in covers, unreleased songs or a bit of both. Mikaela took the route of filling the 9 song setlist with 5 of her unreleased tracks (Best Friend, Sunburn, House Burn Down, Homegirl, and Ohio). I imagine this could be quite daunting because you never know how an audience will take in hearing a bunch of new songs that they don’t know the lyrics to. However, she need not worry, because the new songs she included are just as catchy and lyrically strong as the ones on the EP, so I have full confidence in the album being a hit. And the album is coming, we have confirmation. 

Throughout the show, Mikaela would just chat with the crowd between songs, asking about the vibe in the city, and giving a shout out to the person who had kindly paid for her and her crew’s dinner. It felt as if she were just chatting to a room full of new friends. 

King Princess has made a place for herself in the music industry, with her openness about her sexuality, and generally relatable lyrics about being a teenager falling in and out of love. I cannot wait to her more music from her as she continues to develop and evolve as an artist.

Words and Photography by Kelli Anne Lane