Conan Gray embraces being an outcast like a bearded millennial embraces craft beer. He is the undisputed heavy weight champion of the aromantic anthem. His ability to tap into every high schoolers experience ever was evident with the throngs of screaming teens at a packed Armory Thursday night.
Bulow stared things off right around 8pm. The German-Canadian singer and her band were energetic and bouncy. Synthy rhythms highlighted bulow’s lyrical style. The set had a sweet cadence, starting with a mellow tune, building momentum with a couple of rockers, a duet with her hella talented guitar player, and again ramping up the rock to end the set. Highlights were when the entire Armory in unison screamed “fuck you Jennifer”, and “Get Stupid” that had the venue floor shaking with all of the bouncing.
Gray’s set started with a projected image of a bird in a cage. The all-female band came out, then a spotlight hit Conan as he perched on top of the screen, huge smile on his face, greeting the screaming crowd in an electrified Armory. He opened with “Wish You Were Sober”, a song packing a most joyous beat, but with extremely heartbroken lyrics. Imagine finally hooking up with your crush, but they are so intoxicated that its obvious they won’t remember. Gray came down off the monitor wall, moving front and center to greet the crowd proper. “Telepath” was like a giant group sing along/therapy session. He then donned a guitar and serenaded the Armory with “Comfort Crowd to a sea of illuminated cell phones. There were dazzling lights and elaborate sets, including one of his bedroom.
Conan Gray claims never to have been in a relationship. I’m calling shenanigans. There is no way someone could write such emotionally charged songs, filled with raw relatable energy, as Gray does, without direct experience. Conan used his “outcast energy” to comfort those who feel themselves outsiders, and reigned positive energy on the Armory Thursday night.