Autumn is underway in The District — unless, that is, you recently were at a Reneé Rapp concert at The Anthem, where audience members traveled through all four seasons. Reneé played a sold-out bill of her Snow Hard Feelings Tour, with openers Towa Bird and her frequent collaborator and producer, Alexander23. The tour was promoting her album, Snow Angel.
At The Anthem on Oct. 27, Reneé stayed true to her “Snow Angel” lyric, “The seasons change, addiction’s strange,” and divided the set into four parts, one for each season. This was demonstrated not only by her songs, but also visuals on screen and a large set of rocks and flowers. In fact, it was so well articulated that one could walk in at any moment of her set and understand the concept.
At 23-years-old, Reneé has made quite a career for herself that well-prepare her for her first solo tour. She brings her theater kid stage presence to the tour, having gotten her start on Broadway in Tina Fey’s Mean Girls the musical. Her character was known for her large personality and belty big musical numbers. In between Mean Girls and tour, she played the energetic character Leighton on HBO’s Sex Lives of College Girls. Bringing her acting and strong vocals together for this tour created unbeatable stage presence and energy. She’s made it clear her solo-career is her next chapter, and she is only getting started.
Stream Snow Angel by Renee Rapp on Spotify:
Her set was a balance of soft ballads, like “Boston,” which asks her ex-partner, “How’d you make me hate Boston,” and energetic anthems like “Poison Poison,” with lyrics that don’t hold back about how she’s feeling about someone she has moved on from, “You’re the worst bitch on the earth I hate you and your guts!”
Reneé knew a select number of fans by name, talking about inside jokes they had from previous shows, and sharing them with the crowd. Throughout the tour, Reneé has been known to scope out funny signs in the audience to spark up a conversation bringing out her strong sense of humor. At one point she corrects a fan’s grammar (after yells, ”obsessed with you, though!”) and in between songs somehow ends up with a baguette from a fan at the barricade, before throwing it into the pit. Her humor on stage in between songs is an unusual added bonus that made the night even better.
Before Reneé took the stage, Towa Bird kicked off the evening. The UK based artist has entered the mainstream music scene after getting her start on social media just three years ago. It was her biggest show in her career, a fact you’d never know if she hadn’t shared it. She was comfortable and vibrant on stage, and got the audience pumped whether they knew her songs or not.
Stream top tracks by Towa Bird on Spotify:
In between Towa Bird and Reneé, Alexander Glantz, known as Alexander 23, performed both original songs as well as covers. Not only has he produced Reneé’s record, but also produced and co-written work for various other artists, mainly those under Interscope. Most notably, he was nominated for a Grammy for his work with Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour record in 2021.
Stream top tracks by Alexander 23 on Spotify:
Toward the end of the show, Alexander joined Reneé on stage for “I Wish.” Towa Bird also came out as a special guest for Reneé’s song,
“Tummy Hurts,” one of her most popular hits off the album.
Reneé is one to watch (that is, if you can find a ticket). At the end of the night, after the last song she returned to the stage in an all white outfit for her encore of “Snow Angels.” Unsurprisingly, the crowd was singing along one last time, many wearing angel halos. Her exit from the stage surrounded by all white lights and wings on the large screen did, in fact, feel angelic.
Talk Too Much
Tummy Hurts (with Towa Bird)
I Hate Boston
So What Now
The Wedding Song
I Wish (with Alexander 23)
In the Kitchen
*encore* Snow Angels
Here are some photos of Reneé Rapp performing at The Anthem in DC on Oct. 27, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Sami Pye.