Unapologetic pop star Kim Petras gave a glittered Sinclair audience infectious electro-pop dance beats and soaring vocals about boys, clothes, cars, and drugs on her sold-out headlining “Broken” Tour.

Photo by Owen Markham

“949-331-0609…call me up…for a good time!” announced happily hedonistic pop star Kim Petras as the ticking high-hats and breezy keyboards rang through, “Got My Number” a fresh summer banger off her new, critically acclaimed album, Clarity. Petras’ loyal disco army burst into hysteria as she emerged in an over-sized shoulder-padded white blazer, signature side-bun hairstyle, ruffle socks, and glittery white Air Force Ones. Backed by a DJ booth and white Beverly Hills mansion pillars, Petras commanded the stage with the poise and vocal control of an industry veteran, but had the bouncy giddiness and uncontainable excitement of a pre-teen singing into a hairbrush in the mirror.

In line with Petras’ glitzy style, fans were glammed-out, rocking various types of sheen from glittered faces to metallic fabrics. There were even lyrics from her new songs bedazzled on tank-tops, saying things like “Secure the Bag” as well as the phone number she yelled out at the beginning of the show. The entryway was booming with laughter and camaraderie from her fans—Petras’ “come one, come all” vibe drew a huge crowd of Lady Gaga diaspora. 

As the show progressed, that camaraderie got stronger as fans knew the words to every song including the full-throated cry-out anthem, “Personal Hell,” which was only released a week ago. Petras bounced and strutted around the stage with the carefree attitude of endless LA designer shopping spree fantasies that songs like “I Don’t Want It At All” depict.  With hair flips, power stances, Madonna vogue poses, outfit changes, and a fan steadily blowing her golden locks, Kim Petras was in her element.

Photo by Owen Markham

“This next song is about rich boys breaking my heart,” Petras said as the crowd screamed and bright notes rang out for the intro to her hit 2018 single, “Hillside Boys.” Whether she was singing about unrequited love in her smash hit with Cheat Codes, “Feeling of Falling,” or tripping on pills in “The Hills,” she sang through a near-tears look on her face.  One could see how therapeutic it was for her to perform as she said, “The thing that helped me escape from my life and the boys that didn’t like me was pop music.”

Through her style of pop, Petras prefers unapologetic gloss over sending a message. She told The New York Times last year, “I don’t care about being the first transgender teen idol at all…I just want to be a pop star.” At the age of 16, Petras moved from her home in Germany to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. After writing songs for stars like Fergie and JoJo, she released her own tracks, and the song “I Don’t Want It At All” reached the Top 60 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. She eventually signed with one of teen-pop’s modern-day hit makers, Larry Rudolph, who has managed the careers of Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. Rudolph told The Times, “I’m in the star business…and she’s a star.”

Photo by Owen Markham

The show reached its crescendo during the penultimate song when Petras blasted her biggest hit, “Heart to Break.” She added vocal layers to this (and every) song, bringing it higher higher, and creating a live experience that stood out against the recorded versions. The show ended with the airy synth melodies on “Sweet Spot,” which felt like the rolling credits at the end of a great movie. 

Petras exists in a permanent state of being love-lorn. She pours out her unrequited love onto the stage with angst and desperation that one can feel firsthand. So much of her music exposes personal breaking points around love and affection. She’s able to open up on such a deep level that she’ll be bonded to fans like glue forever.  Poignantly explained on “Heart to Break,” she sings, “Even if I end up in shatters / Baby it doesn’t matter / I’m gonna give you my heart to break / I don’t care if this is my worst mistake!”

Photo by Owen Markham

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