Mostly known for their songs “Soft Spot” and “Wish You Were Gay,” Claud’s discography, while not expansive, encapsulates the wide emotional spectrum experienced by by young queer people. After becoming the first artist to sign to Phoebe Bridgers’ record label, Saddest Factory Records, in 2020, Claude has embarked on their first headlining tour since the release of their first album Super Monster in February 2021. Celebrating the record’s release nearly a year later, Claud delivered a performance with the expertise of a seasoned professional with a tightly run set, but with the sincerity and joy of an artist touring their first album, as they exuded giddiness throughout the show.
Great American Music Hall is a rather intimate venue, and Claud’s magnetic energy and clear passion shine through, inspiring every attendee to stand on their feet. Their musicianship was also especially notable, as their guitar skills meshed seamlessly with their band. The sense of camaraderie between the performers helped execute a successful show, even in early stages of the tour.
Claud’s songs range from grappling with their identity to past romantic paramours to reflections on their past adventures. They tackled each subject with ease and brought lyricism that was both subtly brilliant and immensely relatable. Beyond the music, Claud’s easygoing charm helped make the show especially memorable. Their playfully awkward, kind and silly banter in between songs refreshed the show, whether it’s self-deprecating jokes about being 4’11” or their sweet yet wry intros for songs. “This song is about soda,” Claude remarked blithely, anticipating “Pepsi.”
Another running gag suggested they might perform a surprise cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License.” The joke culminated in a funny apology as they admitted that they didn’t actually know the song well enough to perform it. In interacting with the crowd, Claud showed pure pleasure, practically pranking the onlookers for the majority of their set.
Claud’s music orbits around genuine storytelling, so it’s no surprise that their performance shone in the same way, enriched by Claud’s sincerity and silliness. While the studio version resembles a hyperpop sound, “Wish You Were Gay” found new piano accompaniment that stripped down the song to its most bare and tender. This change elevates “Wish You Were Gay” as one of the set’s standouts and a perfect penultimate track.
In a final sendoff, Claud played one of their unreleased songs, “Go Home.” The track felt especially fun and energetic, spelling out a bright future for the artist. The balance between Claud’s melancholy love songs with their own unique and playful touches is like that of the lid snapping in “Pepsi.” It discerns Claud’s sad bops from others in the genre, their artistic creativity truly making them excel.
While their aesthetic may be described as cool, their show at Great American Music Hall should be described as nothing short of warm. With tones of bright blue and green, their personable demeanor and energetic way of putting on a show were radiant.