Chappell Roan Brings The “Pink Pony Club” to Oklahoma City

     Chappell Roan played a Feb. 26 show at The Jones Assembly as part of her current “The Midwest Princess Tour.”  Roan, who is currently working on her second album and opening for Olivia Rodrigo on the “GUTS World Tour,” always sets themes for her live shows based on Roan’s lyrics or music videos, and for this tour stop, Roan’s breakout hit “Pink Pony Club” lent the theme of pink cowgirl to the packed show.

     Each show on “The Midwest Princess Tour” employs drag queens from the area to perform as opening acts. Pagan Holiday, Bosston, and Salem Moon performed a variety of songs to get the crowd ready for Roan’s set. Each of the queens had a theme and a unique presence, showing the variety and beauty of drag culture. 

     “All of my non-binary siblings, I see you, you exist, you f—ing matter,” said Pagan Holiday, the first queen to perform, making sure to shout out the LGBTQ community. She then took a moment on stage to come out as agender to the crowd, saying “in drag, she/her. Out of drag, he/they.”

     The second queen, Bosston, is a Tulsa native and winner of the 2021 Miss Oklahoma Bold & Beautiful Newcomer title. The emcee for the evening was Dallas-Fort Worth queen Salem Moon. Salem Moon took a moment to thank the audience for supporting local drag queens.

    “Thank you to @chappellroan for giving queer folx like us a platform to be us!” said Salem Moon on her Instagram account after the show. 

     Outside of the themes for each show, Roan has said that all of her concerts are the “Pink Pony Club” in the sense that her shows are a safe space for queer joy and queer love. In the midst of anti-LGBTQ legislation, spaces for the queer community are fewer and fewer. Numerous lesbian bars have shut down in recent years, and spaces for drag performances have dwindled. 

     Roan herself, with her costumes and makeup, as well as her stage presence, is a drag queen. Roan has only released one EP, one album and a handful of singles, making setlist organization a slightly easier choice. She performed all of the singles from her album “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess,” including the incredibly popular “Casual” and “HOT TO GO!”

     The sea of pink cowboy hats was roaring with shouted lyrics, screaming along to every word. There was a sense of community in the way that people of all genders and identities sang of the excitement of the first girl Chappell fell in love with in “Naked In Manhattan.” 

     Chappell led the crowd in a synchronized dance to the song “HOT TO GO!”, a song that Roan described as her fantasy of being a cheerleader. Roan joked that the audiences at some of her shows recently have not been excited to dance, so she wanted The Jones Assembly to dance their hearts out. 

     A mainstay of “The Midwest Princess Tour” has been Roan’s cover of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, a notable figure in modern music and the queer community. The audience was just as excited to put their paws up in the iconic Little Monster pose as they were to sing Roan’s original songs. 

     Audiences were treated to a performance of “Good Luck Babe,” an unreleased song that Roan has performed at a number of shows on the tour. After that, Roan sang “Red Wine Supernova,” one of her most popular songs and the one she chose to perform on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in February. 

     The initial set closed out with “My Kink Is Karma,” an energetic performance with a soft bridge in which Roan knelt on the stage in front of her bassist for a serenade.

     It was at the beginning of the encore that Roan shared exciting news with the crowd, telling the room that her family was at the show and that it was the first time they had all attended one of her concerts. She then launched into “California,” a song about missing her midwest hometown when she was on the West Coast. 

     In an interview with ABC that aired before the show, Roan said that the queer communities of the Midwest were the people she connected with, a point that is not missed by her creative and touring choices. 

     The show ended with an emotional performance of “Pink Pony Club” in which Roan invited the people in the audience to sing the penultimate chorus. The room vibrated as everyone proclaimed, “I’m gonna keep on dancing at The Pink Pony Club.” 

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