A royal affair: King Princess in Melbourne

Image by Jess Gleeson.

In celebration of her debut EP, Make My Bed, 19-year-old Brooklyn-born King Princess graced Australian shores with a run of live shoes for the first time. Stopping over at Melbourne’s The Forum Theatre, the ethereal voice of King Princess suited the star-studded ceiling of the venue perfectly. Australia’s own Clea set the standard for the night, with hearts racing over her all red suit and cathartic pop. With an all-ages crowd, the anticipation for the main attraction was high; The screams were very reminiscent of the fanbase of a popular boy band. It was easy to imagine how many young fans were stepping out for their first gig. There’s no doubt the fan base deserves an icon like King Princess, a badass 19-year-old who radiates confidence and self-assurance.

Kicking off with the title track, ‘Make My Bed’, King Princess set crowds up for a very sensual experience. The song of a mere minute and a half segued crowds perfectly into ‘Upper West Side’, which jolted them out of a trance into something they could sway to. Although KP and the stage set were not very theatrical, there was still plenty for the eyes to feast on. Her effortlessly cool and suave demeanour had every pair of eyes transfixed on her. Early in the show, Princess took off her jacket, and the room roared. Case in point. 

It’s not hard to understand why King Princess has such a large young following. With raw lyrics that directly relate to her real-life experiences, it resonates with a lot of people. It seems that Princess’ confidence in both herself and her sexuality makes for someone a lot of people look up to and aspire to be like. Regardless of what their sexuality may be, a King Princess show feels like a safe place to just own it. Not to mention the way she normalises words such as ‘pussy’ in her new song ‘Pussy Is God’ which traditionally possessed a vulgar, negative connotation. King Princess, even at the tender age of 19, is helping pave the way to reclaim it. On that note, performing in front of an all-ages comes with a sense of responsibility. At the risk of sounding like a narc, asking the crowd for help with scoring weed was just a weird vibe at an all ages show.

Image by Jess Gleeson.


Rebelling against tradition, King Princess didn’t leave her most popular songs until the end. ‘Tahlia’ played out with the screams of familiarity. Before too long, ‘1950 as well’ where she thanked the crowd for their support of the song that ‘started it all’. The hit played a little louder than others, joined with a choir of 15-year-old girls in the front row. While you could say her music is calming, the crescendo in the pre-chorus of ‘1950’ – “So tell me why my gods look like you” – was arguably as good of a drop than any other heavier act. Easily one of the best songs of 2018.

With only five songs released on the EP (plus the brand new single), it was unclear what the LA-based singer would have in store for the Australian crowds. It quickly became evident that this entire tour was a big hype tease. Skipping past a huge track, ‘Holy’, and only playing a sneak peek of new track ‘Pussy is God’ released that day, crowds were left feeling unsatisfied. Though in her defence, she confessed to not knowing how to play the song live yet – which hopefully alludes to Australian crowds hearing it live soon. Instead, she filled out her set with other songs fans are yet to hear and a Perfume Genius cover of ‘Queen’.

The early start to the night and an early finish gave the audiences the chance to get to bed early ahead of a long weekend where I’m sure they spent a lot of their time obsessing over the new song, ‘Pussy Is God’ and wishing King Princess will be back on Australian soil very soon. Or was that just me?

Listen to King Princess:

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