Less than six months ago K.Flay performed one of the best sets at Riot Fest 2021, and on Saturday, Feb. 26, she returned to her home city of Chicago to treat fans to a proper headlining show at a packed Park West.
K.Flay came out swinging, figuratively and literally as she whipped are arms in the air, with a trio of party-starters – “Four Letter Words,” “Giver,” and “FML.” A pair of on-stage platforms elevated the artist for all to see, but fans in the front row had the added pleasure of being face-to-face with K.Flay as she frequently balanced over the edge of the stage to connect with the crowd. “Black Wave,” “Weirdo,” and “Blood in the Cut” also appeared on the evening’s setlist.
Before K.Flay annihilated the stage, UPSAHL shared a star-making set of her own. Her swagger-filled strides demanded that all eyes remain on her as her band provided the perfect beat for UPSAHL to strut her way through songs like “People I Don’t Like,” “Time of My Life,” and “Drugs,” which gave the audience a chance to become part of the show with a barrier breaking call-and-response.
Leading into a performance of the title track of her 2021 album, Lady Jesus, UPSAHL explained that the release was inspired by “a super shitty time” in her life that turned into a “super dope time” of her life. One of the sets most intimate moments came during “Arizona,” as UPSAHL stood alone strumming her guitar in a stark spotlight, singing about who she is and where she’s from.
The relative newcomer, corook, opened the show with a short set full of fun-sized pop songs that highlighted her humor and heart. In between performing songs like “bad friend” and “degree” – which are “available on the internet” – corook transformed the experience into a quasi stand-up set joking about her nerves, tuning her guitar, and dealing with college debt.
K.Flay, UPSAHL, and corook each approached the night with their own distinct vibes creating a celebration of music that refuses to be boxed-in or defined by genre.