Claud presents ‘Soft Spot’ for live music at the Great American Music Hall

Primarily known for their songs “Soft Spot” and “Wish You Were Gay”, Claud’s discography, although not extensive, encapsulates the broad emotional spectrum experienced by young gay men. After becoming the first artist to sign to Phoebe Bridgers’ label, Saddest Factory Records, in 2020, Claude embarked on his first headlining tour since the release of his debut album. Super Monster in February 2021. Celebrating the release of the record almost a year later, Claud delivered a performance with the expertise of a seasoned professional with a well-rehearsed set, but with the sincerity and joy of a touring artist on her debut album, as they exuded giddy throughout the show.

The Great American Music Hall is a rather intimate venue, and Claud’s magnetic energy and clear passion shines through, inspiring every attendee to stand tall. Their musical sense was also particularly noteworthy, as their guitar skills fitted in perfectly with their group. The sense of camaraderie between the performers helped run a successful show, even at the start of the tour.

Claud’s songs range from struggles with their identity to past romantic lovers to reflections on their past adventures. They tackled every topic with ease and delivered a lyricism that was both subtly brilliant and immensely relatable. Beyond the music, Claud’s laid-back charm helped make the show particularly memorable. Their goofy, kind, and silly banter between songs freshened up the show, whether it was self-deprecating jokes about being 4’11” or their sweet but tongue-in-cheek intros for the songs. “This song is about soda,” Claude blithely remarked, anticipating “Pepsi.”

Another running gag suggested they might perform a surprise cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License.” The prank resulted in a fun apology as they admitted they didn’t know the song well enough to perform it. While interacting with the crowd, Claud showed pure enjoyment, practically pranking the spectators for the majority of their set.

Claud’s music revolves around true storytelling, so it’s no surprise that their performance similarly shone, enriched by Claud’s sincerity and silliness. While the studio version sounds like it sounds hyperpop, “Wish You Were Gay” found new piano accompaniment that reduced the song to its most bare and tender sound. This change elevates “Wish You Were Gay” as one of the standouts of the ensemble and a perfect penultimate track.

In a final send-off, Claud played one of their unreleased songs, “Go Home.” The track was particularly fun and energetic, heralding a bright future for the artist. The balance between Claud’s soulful love songs with their own unique and playful touches is like that of the lid slamming in “Pepsi.” It sets Claud’s sad bops apart from others in the genre, their artistic creativity making them truly excel.

While their aesthetic can be described as cool, their show at the Great American Music Hall should be described as nothing less than warm. With bright blue and green tones, their pleasant demeanor and energetic way of putting on a show was radiant.

Contact Caitlin Keller at [email protected]. Tweet it on @caitlinkeller20.

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