*Photo: Reneé Rapp via reneerapp.com
Reneé Rapp has been commanding the stage for years. From high school theater performances to starring on Broadway, the singer has a natural proclivity for the limelight. Currently, she has been showcasing her remarkable skills on her headlining tour, The Snow Hard Feelings Tour. After listening to her recently released debut album, Snow Angel, I became an instant fan. Immediately, I was inspired to review the album and to purchase last minute tickets to her show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Attending this show and being able to witness Rapp in her element was the best impulse decision I have ever made. From her phenomenal powerhouse vocals to her personalized fan interactions, Rapp proves that she was born for the stage.
As I had stated in my album review, I knew that the first track on Snow Angel would be an iconic opener for a concert. As it turned out, Rapp thought the same thing and kickstarted the night with her high-energy, pop-rock inspired song, "Talk Too Much." This was an instant mood booster, getting the audience on their feet and dancing along. In the bridge of the studio version, Rapp has a hilarious speaking part that gives the audience an insight of her inner monologue. However, due to this being a little hard to convey live, the singer took this time to showcase her range with impeccable vocalizations. At the end of this section, the song has a fun line that provides additional humor to the track as she yells "Ah, just shut the fuck up." As Rapp inched closer to this part, I could feel the tension in the audience as we all anticipated to see if she was going to do. Of course, she did and the crowd went wild as we joined her in this iconic moment. From the very first song, I knew that this was going to be a legendary show.
Photo: Reneé Rapp singing "Gemini Moon" during a full moon.
Rapp immediately entranced her audience from the very first note from her outstanding vocals to her overwhelming charisma. Throughout the show, her cheeky and humorous personality shined through each of her performances and every monologue in between. With clever anecdotes and amusing dance moves, the artist kept the audience on their toes and there was never a dull moment in the show. Something that truly stood out to me was when she was sharing how last December she headlined The Troubadour (max. capacity 500), and now she was headlining a sold-out show at the Greek Theatre (max. capacity 6,000). I could tell that she was very grateful for the past year she has had and all the fans that stood by her. Which then led her to point out familiar faces she recognized from her previous show, calling out fans by name. This emphasized the fact that to her, her fans are not just another number to her. Instead, she feels a personal connection to her "OG Fans," and remembers everything about them. Even as a brand-new fan, this made me tear up. Seeing an artist that has blown up recently but still remembers where she came from is amazing to witness. Anyone in the crowd could she the sheer amount of love and appreciation she has for everyone that has supported her.
As a thank you to these fans, she gave the Los Angeles date a unique surprise. She shared a story about how she began recording and posting videos of her singing in high school- ones that the mean girls at school would make fun of her for. However, she is very grateful that her friend encouraged her to post these videos. Then, the singer played a video on the big screen of her singing a song from singer, rapper, and personal inspiration, Bryson Tiller. This led to the singer covering the song live on stage, as a tribute to her fans that have been with her since day one. Into the second verse, the surprise continued as the rapper joined her on stage to finish the track. It was such a heartwarming moment as we all knew just how special this was to not only the original fans but to Rapp herself. Seeing her live out her dream and duet with one of her biggest inspirations is enough to bring joyful tears to the audience's eyes.
Video: Reneé Rapp performing "Exchange" with Bryson Tiller
Throughout the show, Rapp periodically shared insight on the songwriting process behind her songs and discussed the background of the lyrics. Snow Angel was produced by friend and colleague, Alexander 23. Rapp invited him to be one of her openers for the tour, making the lineup even more special. As a cowriter on every track, Alexander 23 was a crucial part of the album-making process and Rapp credits him for a major part of the project's success. So when Rapp brought her friend out on stage to play the guitar while she sang "I Wish," it brought a sentimental atmosphere to the performance. With the band faded into the background, Rapp and Alexander 23 were at the front and center, sitting on the stage while performing the vulnerable track. This provided an intimate setting that made the huge, legendary amphitheater seem like a cozy, private venue. The chemistry the two artists share shines through their interactions, showcasing that they were a musical match made in heaven.
After the initial ending with "In The Kitchen," fans new Rapp would come back out for at least one final song-- the title track. The singer had not sung "Snow Angel" yet, and we all knew it would be the perfect song to close the concert. As anticipated, she came out in a full white outfit while "snow" came pouring down, tying together the whole imagery. Even the screen behind Rapp gave her angel wings, making the artist fully embody the track's name. At the end of the powerful song, Rapp began one final speech. She told everyone how grateful she was for their support and emphasized the gratitude she feels for the sold-out show at the iconic theatre. While choking back tears, the audience knew that nothing she was saying was for show. Rapp was genuinely appreciative of everyone's love and support. Her tears ran free while she looked away to gather herself, only making the audience tear up themselves. The relationship Rapp has with her fans is so pure and wholesome, making her one of the easiest artists to support.
Photo: Reneé Rapp's emotional speech after "Snow Angel"
The Snow Hard Feelings Tour barely just began, with North American dates ending on November 3rd, and her European leg quickly following. Check out her social media and website to score tickets. You will not regret seeing Rapp live. From her mesmerizing vocals to her down-to-earth personality, she is a world-class performer. Take the opportunity to see her now before she grows into an even bigger superstar! And make sure you do not miss her as Regina George in the movie adaption of Mean Girls: The Musical, out January 12, 2024!
Written By Karlee Skipper
*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.