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The Holland Project (Reno, NV) – 11/14/2023

When I heard that Princess Chelsea was performing at The Holland Project, I was immediately intrigued. My first exposure to her music, like many other people my age, was through her song “Cigarette Duet” on TikTok. When I first heard “Cigarette Duet” what stood out to me was how dreamy and airy the song was. What I love about the song is its guitar sections that reminded me of modern desert rock like Alexandra Savior or The Growlers, plus its assortment of organs and xylophones matched on top of the contrast between Princess Chelsea’s and Jonathan Bree’s vocals. With “Cigarette Duet” being one of my only reference points of Princess Chelsea’s work, along with some other singles like “I Love My Boyfriend“, I was excited to go into the concert relatively blind, and I wanted to hear more of her music from her over decade long career. 

One of the openers was indie pop artist Kinneret, who has several similarities to Princess Chelsea stylistically, as well as the fact that she found a larger audience through TikTok with songs like “No Wind Resistance!“. She had a really fun set and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of her discography. She has a song with Dev Lemons called “Soon You’re Gonna Know” that I highly recommend. The other opener was local band Heaven 07, and their set was short and sweet. They played the two songs that they have released (“Beach Party Tonight” & “Johnny Baseball“) as well as a cover of “Kids” by MGMT.

Princess Chelsea’s set had a lot of surprises. First of all, she was accompanied by a full band of around eight other people. Even though they did a great job, it did feel a bit crowded at times. With so many people on stage, a couple of times the focus went away from Chelsea and it was a little distracting. Thankfully, the quantity of performers on stage did not the quality of the performance. The live instrumentation was stellar and it led to some stand-out moments, like the several guitar solos that ramped up the energy in the room. It was a pleasant surprise to see her versatility on stage and how energetic her performance got, especially since I only knew her from the “Cigarette Duet”. Overall, it was a pretty fun night, and I’m glad that more interesting acts are coming to Reno.

Photos by Aden Oster