Reneé Rapp at the Fillmore in Detroit, MI on October 14th, 2023.
Photos by Jordyn Ward
Red Wings fans and average Detroiters were shocked and confused to see the line of fans lined up for blocks around the Fillmore in Detroit for an artist who goes by the name of Reneé Rapp. This emerging artist from Huntersville, North Carolina has taken the world by storm on her first major headlining tour, which is sold out! Soon, the city of Detroit, Michigan would find out why fans began lining up at 7 AM to get a front-row view of a superstar in the making.
Towa Bird, a musician who gained a large fandom on TikTok for showcasing her enormous amount of musical talent and boldness as a queer woman in the industry took the stage to kick off the night. From the moment she made her way onto the stage, the energy in the theatre began to surge. Shredding the guitar was only one of the ways she captivated the
audience as this multi-hyphenated artist displayed an insane amount of vocal aptitude whilst obviously channeling the spirit of the guitar greats. Towa has been open about her admiration of the late legend Jimi Hendrix as she began to find her love for the art form. This love and dedication to the medium that is the Electric guitar is very evident in her playing. Her presence on the stage could easily be associated with the likeness of many 70s rock icons as her bellbottoms, muscle-revealing vest, platform boots and to top it off that iconic curly mop that is necessary to the iconization of any 70s guitar hero. You definitely have to check her growing discography and catch her live to witness the soon-to-be legend for yourself.
Next up on the marquee was Alexander 23, a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter/producer for some of the biggest stars of this decade such as Olivia rodrigo, Addison Rae, Jeremy Zucker, and Reneé Rapp. Not only is this multi-instrumentalist able to aid in the making of countless hits for others he also has an impressive discography of his own to
showcase. Fans erupted as Alexander jumped on the stage ready to put on a show like no other. His understanding of music was displayed as he showcased his Work. His performance and crowd engagement were nothing short of spectacular as he bantered with fans and charmed the audience. The way the Chicago-bred artist claimed the stage as his own in the way he danced around it interacting with all it had to offer to him was so fun to watch. This Gen-Z artist connected with the audience on a whole new level when he showed his care for them as a concertgoer got a little overwhelmed with the environment. He checked up on everyone to make sure they were good and well. Alexander finished his set off with class afterward jumping down from the stage to continue interacting with concertgoers while stagehands set up for the headlining act.
The feeling of anticipation building throughout the night culminated when the lights went dark, those first chords of the hit song 'Talk too much' rang throughout the theatre and a slideshow of Reneé's childhood to adulthood played on an LCD screen in the middle of the stage. And then the moment concertgoers were waiting for Reneé Rapp to come out onto her garden-like set. Fans erupted with screams. The energy and presence she carried to the stage were unlike any other and her years of stage acting and role as Regina George in the Tony award-nominated musical Mean Girls showed as she clearly knew how to own a stage. There was this constant reciprocation of energy from Her and the crowd that gave the show this super high energy and connected feeling. The show was so theatrical in the dramatization of the music. The entire show was split into four sets depicting the seasons possibly alluding to the line in the title track of her latest album snow angel in which she sings about how "the seasons change" in the grief of a past relationship.
The concert was a full experience ranging in emotional reactions from the highest points of joy to screaming the lyrics of '23' letting out the feelings of inadequacy in our 20s. Special moments occurred throughout the entire show as she brought back up Towa Bird and Alexander 23 for 'Tummy hurts' and 'i wish.' The musicianship of Reneé's bandmates really stood out to me the way they were able to make these really familiar songs to fans sound so new, powerful, and exciting. Reneé Rapp ended the show coming back out on stage for an encore performing in all-white attire the title track of her latest album and fan favorite 'Snow Angel.' This is not the tour you want to miss, and Reneé Rapp is surely not the artist you want to let slip away from your mind. Detroit was left with one thing for sure, the knowledge of how incredibly talented and amazing that girl from Huntersville, North Carolina is.