At the Altar of a Popstar: chloe moriondo at Aladdin Theater
Having made her full transition into hyperpop, Indie/Alt mainstay chloe moriondo brought their latest record, SUCKERPUNCH, to a headline set at the Aladdin Theater. Read Bren Swogger’s full review of the show below. Exclusive backstage portraits with chloe moriondo shot by Emma Davis.
As chloe moriondo arrived to the Aladdin stage, the crowd of fans transformed into a room of devout disciples at an altar of worship. Gifts of all kinds—from flowers to stuffed animals—rose above the crowd, being passed up to the stage and falling at the feet of the 20-year-old popstar.
There has always been an aura of almost religious devotion in the pop music sphere. Fans dedicate their time to artists on socials, praising and listening to their idol’s music on constant loop. They come in droves to the live shows, holding signs, bearing gifts, and waiting through cold and chaos to get the closest they can to the star they admire.
This haze of holiness isn’t anything new to the world of pop concerts, however, there was something even more potent about the fervor chloe moriondo brought out of her fans that made this show especially devine.
“Hello, Portland,” chloe addressed her followers from the stage. As the gifts poured in, tearful thank yous exchanged, chloe began to get emotional at the clear love and devotion pouring out in the room. “I’ve been getting close to crying at these shows,” she admitted.
Carefully placing the new stuffed animal friends and flowers around the stage, chloe donned a crown that had been passed up alongside the other tokens of devotion, and launched into the meat of their 16 song set.
The sound of SUCKERPUNCH is quite a shift from the alt-rock focus of their sophomore album, Blood Bunny. It’s full of synths, big and brash in its explosive pop energy, but aside from auto-tuned vocals, in their live show variation, everything—from Blood Bunny to SUCKERPUNCH—meshes together, sharing fully in the chloe moriondo DNA.
Moving between brash SUCKERPUNCH cuts like “Knockout” and “Celebrity” to classic Blood Bunny tracks like “Take Your Time” and “Bodybag”, moriondo kept the energy high whilst still finding time to address every emotion that flows freely through her music and mind.
Introducing “Cry”, chloe invited the crowd to put the scumbags in their lives on blast, asking the room for a worthy tribute to give the metaphorical middle finger (“FUCK YOU, DYLAN!” the crowd screamed).
And though “Trophy” is an angry song off of SUCKERPUNCH’s tracklist, the contrast between the anger pouring from the lyrics to chloe’s bubbly personality was palpable. Storming around the stage, middle finger held high, she would immediately fall into a fit of giggles. But it’s all part of her charm and the reason her persona is so easy to love, especially for a room of like-minded fans.
As the show continued, lyrics sang along, more gifts passed, the set forever felt less like a concert—with a distinct line drawn between artist and fan—and more like a coming-together of friends. Between every song, chloe took time to talk with the crowd, checking in with them, asking them questions, answering theirs, and keeping the line between artist and friend blurred.
However, whether friend or fan, chloe moriondo will forever be held high on the altar of a popstar.