Caroline Polachek Welcomes Philadelphia to Her Island


Despite just having started to release solo music under her own name in 2019, Caroline Polachek’s career has spanned well over a decade. As the front woman of Brooklyn-based pop band, Chairlift, she has written and produced music for an extensive list of artists including Beyonce and Travis Scott. Her innovative style and creative partnership with producer Danny L Harle has positioned her as a trailblazer in the experimental pop scene.

Caroline brought the first U.S. date of The Spiraling Tour to sold out crowd at Philadelphia’s Franklin Music Hall. She is back and better than ever touring in support of her second full length project as Caroline Polachek, Desire, I want To Turn Into You.

Caroline Polachek at Franklin Music Hall (Photo by Hailey Collins)

The show began with a countdown to an off stage shriek. Caroline marched out to “Welcome To My Island,” as everyone chanted the pre-chorus along with her. The backdrop featured an ever-changing volcanic island landscape that immersed the crowd in her ethereal universe. Moving elegantly across the stage as if the notes were flowing through her entire body, she seemed like a cyborg mermaid luring you in with every note.

The setlist featured her latest record in its entirety as well as selects from Pang. Caroline’s ability to use her voice like an instrument had the crowd completely spellbound. Her live execution of the most demanding ad-libs on her record was near perfect. The percussive “Bunny is a Rider,” melodic warble in “Pretty in Possible”, and epic vibrato in “Sunset” were just a few examples of her range and versatility. Her extraordinary vocal talent was especially showcased in the gorgeous ballads “Parachute” and “Crude Drawing Of An Angel.” She also mashed up elements of songs across albums – inserting vocal runs from Pang’s “Hey Big Eyes” into “Blood and Butter,” and mixing “Look at Me Now” into Dido’s part of “Fly To You.”

Caroline Polachek at Franklin Music Hall (Photo by Hailey Collins)

The room was mostly filled with adoring Gen Z avant-pop stans. They knew the choreography to “So Hot you’re Hurting My Feelings,” likely because of its viral TikTok moment. They also sang in place of the children’s choir in the outro of “Billions.” It was clear that they were grateful for the opportunity to see one of pop music’s most boundary pushing figures performing at the top of her game.

Check out more photos from the night below!

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Photos and review by Hailey Collins (@haileycolllins)

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