Review: Kim Petras Feeds the Beast That Is the Aragon Ballroom

German Pop star Kim Petras has had quite the driven year so far. From releasing two albums, Feed The Beast and Problématique, to collaborating with the idolized rapper Nicki Minaj on Kim’s track “Alone.” Kim Petras has gained so much traction and momentum over the past couple of years and she’s not close to being finished. I was a bit surprised she made her way to the Aragon Ballroom given her increased popularity after her viral 2022 single “Unholy” featuring singer Sam Smith. The Aragon feels like an in-between venue; giving the allure of a smaller concert hall with arena worthy names taking its tall yet somehow compact stage.A lot of times when I catch a show at Aragon, I’ve noticed elaborate stage productions don’t typically fit on their stage. Unfortunately this included Kim’s Feed The Beast World Tour stage design. Petras aura is suited for much grander arenas that can truly hold every aspect of her performance. Nonetheless, Petras brought all of her energy out last week for Chicago and gave nothing short of a classic yet spectacular pop show.

Fans swiftly crammed under the star-lit ceiling with drinks in hand to get a glimpse of Kim, it was clear the vibrant crowd was overflowing with excitement to see her. To kick off the very flamboyant evening, DJ Alex Chapman gave Chicago a clubby pre-show DJ set. He played all the iconic gay anthems and artists to get Kim’s fans pumped for her eruptive set. Shortly after, the massive curtain was dropped revealing Kim’s stage set. The entire stage was a staircase going down towards the audience. The wait for her was rather quick in between acts. As the lights went down, a steel-like capsule emerged from the ground at the top of the stairs which opened up revealing a majestic Kim Petras ready to stun the packed venue.

Her show was divided into various acts; each with its own mood, wardrobe and mini setlist. It commenced with a fierce performance of none other than her track “Feed The Beast,” the perfect opening song with its turbulent beat to really get the crowd dancing as if they were at a bar in boystown. The opening act of course focused on her stellar 2023 release, Feed The Beast; followed by the second act which was a full front to back performance of her seven track EP Slut Pop.

A neon green whip materialized from the ceiling down into Kim’s hand which she then proceeded to swing it over the crowd. This was definitely the highest energy portion of the evening, with her sex positive lyrics radiating throughout the Aragon. It was undeniably clear that the audience was in tune with Petras as she gave a flashy performance during this segment. Petras has a meaty catalog of songs that can have you dancing for hours and hours, song after song. I honestly couldn’t believe how many jams she actually had.

As the fourth act approached I thought to myself that there couldn’t have been a more perfect month for Kim Petras to stop by Chicago to perform my personal favorite tunes of hers which all originate from her 2020 ear wormful of an album, Turn Off The Light. This Halloween themed pop album is brimming with spooky sounds paired with tasteful synths, instrumentals and lyrics that make this album an instant October classic. Petras emerged through a cloud of smoke in a dark outfit with her backup dancers in white masks as the instrumental track “o m e n” played in the background before fading into a snippet of “Turn Off The Light.” Kim got on the top spinning platform and mounted one of her dancers as she performed her flawless song “Wrong Turn.”

This act in itself deserves its own show, which I would happily attend if it meant getting to hear more of this project live. The rest of this act was just as jaw dropping, with a performance of “There Will Be Blood” followed by the almost dub-step instrumental track “<demons>” which was accompanied by a dance number from her backup dancers. The last portion of the evening was met with a beautiful gown that gave a winter vibe for this act. Kim performed tracks “brrr” and “Icy” before concluding the evening with her very 90s club sounding track “Castle In The Sky.”

Coming back for one last encore set, Kim Petras performed “Alone” to a still very hyped crowd, despite the setlist already approaching an impressive 30 songs. The evening finally closed out with her cheery song “Heart To Break.” For how lengthy the setlist was, it certainly did not feel like a long show; in fact it left me wanting to hear some of Kim’s deeper cuts she did not have the opportunity to perform. Kim Petras is a talented artist and performer that has definitely achieved stardom within the music community and we all just want more. It is invigorating to see the rise of such prominent LGBTQ+ artists make it out into the mainstream world to further push boundaries and acceptance of all backgrounds and art forms.

All Photos by Andrew Lagunas

Andrew Lagunas
Andrew Lagunas

Andrew Lagunas is a freelance photographer from Naperville who specializes in portraiture and concert photography. He has an Associate in Arts degree from College of DuPage and is always looking for new creative outlets.