Hayley Kiyoko w/ Jess Kent
Showbox, Seattle, WA
Most people still see Hayley Kiyoko’s face and are instantly reminded of Lemonade Mouth, one of the many musical movies Disney Channel pumped out over the years. But since then, she’s dropped the stereotypical high school rebel look to take up a pop career, and become a strong, proud voice for LGBT+ visibility along the way.
After Jess Kent got The Showbox warmed up with some fun tropical pop music, the crowd spent the break unfolding pride flags, putting on tour merch, and prepping for their headliner to finally come on.
When Hayley Kiyoko stepped foot on the stage, all eyes were on her, and she never lost the attention of the crowd. No longer restricted by a musical setup like she was the last time around at The Crocodile, the singer was now finally free to dance around and make a real show out of her performance.
Kiyoko has a magnetic personality. She’s hilarious, she isn’t afraid to tell stories from her past, and her big charismatic demeanor lends itself to her show, creating a silly and carefree environment that’s so easy to enjoy.
“Girls like Girls,” “Ease My Mind,” and “Pretty Girl” proved to be the favorites of older fans, but of course everyone still yelled along passionately to the new tracks too. A stripped-down performance of “This Side of Paradise” accompanied by a slightly sad story about Kiyoko trying to figure out her sexuality when she was younger was beautifully touching, especially as it was played a little different than on the album.
If you’re looking for a fun night of energetic bubble-gum pop that actually means something, look no further than Hayley Kiyoko. She’s got a wild performance that never dies down, and tracks that sound great shouted by a crowd as she dances around, not taking herself too seriously.
Review and photos by Lulu Dawson