Clairo sings and slings her way into Chicago

Wed. March 23, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Claire Cottrill has been making music for a decade now thanks to an early start at the age of 13. The talented singer known as Clairo has grown in popularity over the years after learning to transform her bedroom pop onto a public platform. 

After seeing her play at the much smaller venue of Lincoln Hall in 2018, Clairo has returned to the Windy City to play two nights at The Riviera Theatre for The Sling Tour. The two shows on March 16 and 17 kept the concert hall from being too crowded and made room for plenty of seating in the balcony area. 

The two out bisexual singers presented a welcoming and safe environment for the LGBT community on both nights who obviously support their respective art. British singer Arlo Parks started the night off with a strong set of tunes and a skilled backing band behind her. Her speaking voice was incredibly sweet as she addressed the crowd in front of the stage. She paced back and forth through several songs, then finally settled in for standout tracks "Softly" and "Hope." These worthy offerings of music proved it is time for her to graduate to a headline tour and come back to Chicago with new music soon. 

Clairo began with a shaky start of "Bambi" for her section of the night. Every performer knows not to call attention to your mistakes as most audience members won't notice a problem, but Cottrill is obviously a perfectionist and way too hard on herself as she restarted several songs throughout the concert. One moment was particularly embarrassing when she had Parks join her for "Blouse" and began all over again after a flub while the supporting act waited patiently. During the song "Just for Today" she doubted herself then realized she was playing the chords correctly after all. Next time just keep going, Claire! 

It was smooth sailing through most of the lengthy setlist though for the casually clad Clairo wearing rolled-up jeans. She had 20 songs to tackle and alternated between sitting at the piano and standing with a guitar. Her backing band was another example of the strength and support that musicians can add to live setting. 

She displayed a new song called "Nomad" and then one eager fan yelled out, "What is your favorite color?" After she stated it is blue, she told a story about the meaningful relationship with her dog to whom she dedicated an instrumental song called "Joanie." The ponytail-wearing singer rocked on "Amoeba" with a full production complete with bright lights. The heartbreaking "Management" showed that Clairo could have an impressive career just by making movie soundtracks. She closed the night with fan favorite "Sofia" with a promise to return. 

While Clairo is not yet a polished artist, she has many more years to bloom and grow. With lyrics that continue to resonate and a soothing voice to convey her poetry, Clairo has a bright future ahead of her. 

Follow her journey at with more tour dates planned for the rest of this year.