Conan Gray (23) is an American singer and songwriter, who had his international breakthrough during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tik Tok. Some of his songs went viral on this social media platform. However, Conan already had built his audience with his YouTube channel, which he started back in 2013. After his self-released songs gained a lot of attention, he got signed to Republic Records and started releasing music in 2018. His debut album Kid Krow was released in March 2020, right before the first international lockdown. Due to the pandemic, he couldn’t promote his new record to any life audiences, as mentioned TikTok helped him out a lot. Since live events are luckily allowed in Switzerland again, Conan stopped also in Zurich on the 17th of May during his World Tour.
The concert was in Volkshaus, Zurich and the doors opened at 6.30 p.m., but I arrived there at 7.30 pm with my friend Jordana, who also enjoys Conan’s music. I listened to his discography as preparation for the concert all day. Since there was almost no queue, we realized that most of the fans must be already inside and so it was. As soon as we went in, we could see a ton of teenagers queuing for the cloakroom, merch stand, bar, and the bathrooms, therefore fan traffic was everywhere. I could sense easily that everyone was excited to attend this event. So were Jordana and I. Conan’s audience consisted mainly of youngsters and their parents and you really could feel the queer vibes. I loved it; the concert was a safe place for everyone.
At 8 p.m. the support act Mallrat (23) appeared on the stage with her female DJ friend as a duo. The girls were welcomed by the crowd amiable. Mallrat is an Australian electro-pop singer and songwriter. The audience loved her songs, so she really managed to warm up the fans for Conan Gray with her electro-house tunes. At some point, even Jordana and I were jumping with the teenagers to the beat. Yeah, we felt like 16 again. Mallrat seemed very chill and cool; she has the attitude of a rebellious older sister. She didn’t know which language we were speaking in Zurich. I mean fair enough since there are four official spoken languages in Switzerland. However, for Zurich, it’s of course Swiss-German. She was wearing a playful costume, a black skirt with many different and colorful key chains. The crowd loved her, they accompanied her with clapping and flashlights during her leg. Mallrat promoted her brand-new debut album, which took her four years to release, called Butterfly Blue. Go and check her out for some well-produced electro-pop songs.
Conan Gray´s Performance
Perfect on time at 9 p.m. the lights went off for Conan Gray and his live band. An animated video was shown for the opening and to build up the tension. Suddenly Conan stepped on the stage and opened the show with his smash hit single Wish You Sober. He was waving and greeting the audience with his smiling face while wearing black trousers and a white shirt with a golden vest just like a Disney Prince. I loved his energy and stage presence already. He also seemed very professional but still adorable at the same time. It felt like being at your best friend’s concert. He continued with his chill single Telepath, one of my favorites. His welcome speech came right after, and he wanted us to hug the friend we came with, and if not, he promised to be our friend. During the third song Comfort Crowd, written about friendship, he forgot the lyrics or lost focus in the first verse, but the crowd was singing it for him instead. He also played the guitar during this track and for some of the following ones. The crowd accompanied him with their flashlights during the emotional song Astronomy.
Before singing Checkmate, a song about someone he hates, of course, his ex, he made us sure to be ok and that nobody was passing out. Some staff members were also distributing water bottles during the entire show, which was great since it was a very hot day in Zurich. He told us that he is not worth passing out, which I also heard at Madison Beer’s concert some weeks ago. Afterward, he made the Swiss crowd sing happy birthday in Swiss German to a birthday child in the audience. Since he is traveling through Europe, it became his ritual to make the crowd sing in their native langue.
Then he performed Memories one of his newest singles, which is about trying to get over someone. While he was singing, the fans surprised him by throwing red roses onto the stage. For his hit song Overdrive, he took off the white shirt and was only wearing the golden vest on top. After singing Affluenza he even got a painting of himself as a gift from a fan. Then he sang The Story one of my favorite chill songs by him, I love the storytelling of this track.
One thing I enjoyed at the concert was his personal speeches and the told stories behind the songs. So, during the next speech, he told us about his bad and challenging childhood. How adults told him to stay strong and that everything will get better. He said how stupid this sounds for a teenager and that he doesn’t want to stay strong since he has the right to be weak as a child. He added: at the end, it really does get better, otherwise he would not stand on this stage tonight. Also, he said that he is glad that we are all on this earth, which was so kind of him to say this to his fans. Then he of course sang the matching song The Story, which I love. The entire crowd was singing along, and it got really emotional. After that, he brought his live band back on stage and they performed Lookalike, a song about being in love.
For his last speech, the topic was how to turn self-hate into self-love based on his personal experiences. This concert was definitely therapeutic for his fans. Finally, it was time for him to perform my favorite song of his called People Watching, I loved witnessing the live performance of this song. After singing his hit single Maniac Conan left the stage. After a quick costume change, he came back to perform Heather for the encore, while wearing a high school skirt and a white elegant tank top. The entire concert lasted around 80 minutes, which is amazing. Most new artists like him usually perform just for an hour. It was a concert I really enjoyed and had a great time at. I will for sure go again to his concert on his next tour. Thanks to Gadget abc Entertainment for having me at this concert.
Conan Gray keeps releasing new songs even though he is on tour. So, the newest single Yours just came out last week!
And his second studio album called Superache will be released on June 24 this summer, you better don’t miss it.
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