The main room of First Avenue on Wednesday was buzzing. The excitement in the air was palpable and the outfits that entered the iconic venue were impressive. It made it feel like it was a Friday or Saturday night, not a sleepy Wednesday evening and I was absolutely here for it. Glittery clothing, smiles all around, it was like entering a completely new universe that I so badly needed after the insane work day I had had.

Kicking the First Avenue show off was Shea Couleé. Shea rose to fame after competing on season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race and placing in the top four. They reappeared on the show in various seasons of the show and the adjacent RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars but they had already made a name for themself. Shea came off as confident on the show and quickly found a home in the music scene. Although I was super excited to see them perform due to their time spent on RuPaul’s Drag Race, it was clear that fans had continued to follow them as they expanded into music. If I’m being quite honest, Shea’s music just didn’t do it for me. It was just a bit too stereotypically “drag music” but it was well done and I was captivated by their beauty throughout the set. Gracing the stage with two dancers by their side, Shea Couleé’s set was super short at right around thirty minutes but it packed a punch of energy and fun that I so desperately needed as I planned out my night that would be spent hopping between this show and the one happening downstairs in the more intimate 7th Street Entry.

Shea Couleé had absolutely set the stage for the night and after a ridiculously long change-over, Betty Who took the stage and ran with it. I hadn’t seen Betty Who since back in May of 2019 but I remember standing there that night and being absolutely struck by Betty’s beauty and talent. That same feeling washed over me on Wednesday night as Betty Who leapt into her set that would end up lasting over twenty songs all of which brought a sense of energy and passion to the nearly sold out venue.

Born Jessica Anne Newham, Betty Who is from Australia which just made her stop in Minneapolis on Wednesday night that much more special. At thirty-one years old, this woman has made waves throughout the music scene but I feel like she has just never received the accolades she so deserves. She has put out four full length albums including ‘Big!’ which came out last October and was the object of this particular tour. Beyond that, she has done everything from hosting TV shows to constantly being an advocated for the LGBTQIA2S+ world. Long story short, Betty Who is everything we all wish we could be and she does it while staying humble and true to herself and her fans.

That became clear throughout her set. Although, in my mind, Betty Who is a huge act who deserves to be in arenas, she took the time about half way through her set on Wednesday to come out into the crowd and perform two acoustic tracks from right there in the middle of it all. I’ve seen bands do this multiple times. It’s nothing new but I think seeing someone as iconic as Betty Who do it definitely had me a bit starstruck. I wasn’t alone with that sentiment. Betty Who walked right by a good friend who I was at the show with and he touched her arm. He instantly came back to me joking that he would never wash that hand again. I know that it was a joke but it also wasn’t in a way. Being that close to an icon is a position I have been in many times before but still don’t get over quickly and I would have been just as excited Betty Who walked right next to me,

Although I love Betty Who and all that she stands for, she’s not part of the daily playlists of my life. This is on me and it’s not something I’m proud of but her music is just a bit too poppy for my taste. It’s great. It’s well produced and well delivered when it comes to being on a live stage but, when sitting at my house dealing with headache inducing work, it’s just not what hits the spot for me. That being said, I will never miss a chance to see her perform live because of the aforementioned delivery. I don’t think there was a single moment during her set on Wednesday that there wasn’t a smile on Betty Who’s face. Even when she was tackling dance moves while singing Betty Who continued to let her personality shine. It was a high energy show so much so that it didn’t matter if you could sing along or not, you were dancing along to the infectious beats that were flooding the venue.

The world needs more people like Betty Who but, at the same time, Betty Who is truly one of a kind. I urge you to catch her live if she ever comes close to you. It will give you a blast of positive energy that, in today’s world, we could all use a little more of.

Line Up:

Shea Couleé

Betty Who

Venue: First Avenue

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing

Average Age of the Crowd: 28

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers-0

Mosh-ability- 1 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0

Broken Bones- None spotted

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Randomly Shirtless Men – 0

Passed Out Kids- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security – None Spotted

How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-

Shea Couleé – 0

Betty Who – 1

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score- 8 out of 10

Show on Deck — Red Hot Chilli Pipers

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