Kim Petras wants you to ‘Feed the Beast’ in ATL

Kim Petras leans back, singing into the mic while raising her hand to the sky. Her set was engaging and multi-dimensional through the themed acts tying the discography and show together. // Photo by Sloan Salinas Student Publications

On Oct. 4, Kim Petras graced the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta for the seventh stop in her “Feed the Beast” World Tour. The tour was named after her debut studio album by the same name and features songs from numerous other releases, most notably the EP “Slut Pop” (2022) and mixtape “TURN OFF THE LIGHT” (2019). Her tour also serves as promotion for her second studio album “Problématique,” which was a surprise release on Sept. 18.

Concertgoers dressed in a variety of mesh tops, bedazzled shirts, bold makeup, platform boots and otherwise flashy statement pieces as they waited down the block for the doors to open. Fans’ styles tended to blur the gendered line in fashion, alluding to Petras’ large following in the LGBTQ+ community. In a prior interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Petras stated that she felt “like gay clubs raised [her]… and no one loves pop music more than gay clubs.” The influence of the LGBTQ+ community in Petras’ music is clear in the upbeat, technopop music with which she gained recognition.

Petras’ performance was split into five acts plus an encore: Act I: Inferno, Act II: Slut Pop, Act III: Garden of Earthly Delights, Act IV: Turn Off the Light, Act V: A Crumbling Castle in the Sky/Ice World and finally, Encore: Cupid’s Heaven. 

In her performance, Petras and her dancers enhanced the viewing experience through costume changes (offstage between acts and even onstage during the performance), props and pre-recorded videos.

Petras’ performance started in a dramatic fashion. As the music began, an iron coffin rose onto the stage and eventually opened, revealing Petras inside. Petras originally donned metal “armor” that covered her face, right arm and part of her torso that she later shed during this act. In terms of the imagery Petras employed in this portion of the performance, she drew inspiration from Dante’s “Inferno” and included imagery of flames, horned figures and red lighting throughout the first set. The dance choreography was also noticeably inspired by more traditional dance forms like ballet compared to later choreography revolving around  modern moves and hip hop. The mood drastically shifted as Petras began Act II. 

The stage was illuminated in a pink tint as Petras reentered the stage, wearing a suit jacket and shorts while singing “Slut Pop.” Her dancers’ costumes matched hers as they donned full suits and briefcases. The choreography was suggestive, employing the aforementioned briefcases to represent Petras’s legs opening as she sang the lyrics, “Touch it here, right now.” 

To keep with the theme of this act, Petras and her dancer began undressing each other as the music transitioned from “Treat Me Like a Slut” to “XXX.” Behind Petras, pixelated sexually explicit videos played, adding to the sex-positive atmosphere she generated through her set. 

During her live rendition of “Throat Goat,” Petras performed alone, singing into a microphone disguised as a hanging green dildo that had descended onto the stage at the beginning of the song. Behind her, clips of the insides of people’s mouths played on repeat interrupted by sing-a-long portions where Petras would point her microphone at the crowd as they chanted “What’s my name? I’m the throat goat.”

Act III began with another drastic mood and costume change. Petras wore a royal purple corset — over a short white dress — and matching purple gloves that extended past her elbows. The stage was lit in a green hue, and Petras again employed religious imagery in the choice of her dancers costumes. They wore ruffled black pants, black cupped tops, tall black heels and horned masks that obscured half of their faces. 

As she sang her 2017 hit “Hillside Boys,” videos of Petras’ male alter-ego “Hans” played behind her, a light contrast to the more emotional tone with which she sang. Petras became Hans by dressing herself in a hyper-realistic silicone muscular bodysuit and wearing short blonde hair, ram horns and black leather pants and gloves. 

In Act IV, the atmosphere shifted yet again incorporating more grayscale, spooky elements. As Petras sang, her dancers wore marbled gray and white Morphsuits and faceless white masks as they creeped around the stage with exaggerated movements. Black and white videos of unknown forests played behind Petras as she sang “Wrong Turn,” and the video angle constantly shifted, almost indicating that the person filming the video was being chased by something. 

In Act V, the stage became a winter wonderland as fake snow fell and videos of cloudy skies and ice castles played. Petras performed in a long silver dress, a white fur throw draped around her shoulders. Petras took on this act on her own, dominating the stage as she closed out the main performance with
“Castle in the Sky.” After a brief intermission, Petras returned to the stage again for her encore performance. As fans excitedly waited for Petras to return for her final set of songs, what appeared to be a disco ball  embedded in the stage suddenly illuminated the venue. As Petras made her entrance, the “disco ball” rose to reveal a bedazzled penis that Petras and her dancers posed with as it ascended through the floor. Petras kept the mood of her final set light; she and her dancers wore variations of sailor costumes in front of grassy scenery with rainbows and pink lights. 

Within the encore set, Petras performed “Problématique” from her new album, which further lightened the mood. Petras closed out the night with “Heart to Break,” giving the audience a final opportunity to sing along with her before ending the night.