The District’s historic Wharf has always been a hotspot for tourists and those looking to have a memorable D.C. weekend.
But for Washingtonians, nothing says crazy Wharf nights like catching a show at the famous Union Stage music venue.
Having been the District home to many big acts touring the nation and rocking crowds, Union Stage has always sought out captivating musicians — like the multi-faceted, iconic-in-the-making Claud.
Getting to know Claud
Whether it’s sad or romantic vibes or even a track that questions whether some audacious guy has “the balls,” Claud’s fanbase has many reasons to love this poetic jokester, who graced Union Stage last Thursday.
Spring Silver Repping the DMV
It’s always an immense pleasure to see touring acts give some love to local bands.
And when it comes to Claud’s night in the District, they made the amazing choice to have Maryland’s Spring Silver kick things off.
Although their name is a verlanic spin on their homebase in Silver Spring, nothing gets twisted when it comes to Spring Silver’s status as “that awesome band” (according to some aftershow chatter).
The amazing thing about this dynamic group of friends is that no one member shines above the rest.
Throughout their entire set, everyone in Spring Silver gave me reason to be impressed.
If it wasn’t the lead vocalist’s raspy highs, it was the amazing work put in by their drummer.
And if it wasn’t the bumping bass lines that lined every track, it was the lead guitarist bringing each bridge into a metal-laced breakdown that changed the entire feel of their songs.
The only thing that matches Spring Silver’s terrific stage presence is their friendly offstage demeanor and their amazing repertoire with fans.
Claud couldn’t have called on a better DMV opener than them.
KALI: Why I’m Crying
Up next in the show’s billing was none other than the awe-inspiring KALI, a musician whose work displays an abundant sense of emotional maturity.
Still in her teens and joining Claud for her first national tour, KALI was joined onstage by a primped, tie-wearing backing band that totally juxtaposed her chill, nearly nostalgic demeanor.
With her set, all the songs touched upon emotions and struggles that we see in our youth. But despite her apparent adolescence, KALI approaches these insecurities and longings in a nuanced and self-loving manner.
Her lyricism is incredibly personal. And although I’m not KALI myself, her words hit me in a way that totally plucked at my heartstrings.
So many publications have hailed KALI as a prodigy, but honestly “prodigy” doesn’t scratch the surface.
Regardless of age, KALI is an amazing lyricist and great stage personality.
Whether it’s relationships or loneliness or the longing for respect, KALI and her music are human for humanity’s sake.
Sad Jokes and Hilarious Tears
When Claud was set to take the stage, I didn’t know what to expect other than an incredibly bold personality.
From merch that displays such a ridiculously dry sense of wit to stage decor that invokes cartoon-punk juvenilism, I knew that whoever Claud was, they were somebody so smart that they didn’t have to take anything seriously.
And I was totally right.
Running out onstage to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of The Tiger,” this eccentric and carefree artist immediately dove into a collection of songs that put the silly appeal of their aesthetic on its head.
From discussing the iconic melancholy of New York City to calling out straight men threatened by genderqueer autonomy, Claud held no punches when it came to being deep and honest with their frustrations and laments.
And all of this versed self-reflection happened to come from the greatest onstage goofball I’ve ever seen.
Ranging from Gossip Girl character stanning to mentioning a beloved Meemaw who likes her vodka tonics, Claud was a refreshing break from the overly elitist stage banter I’ve seen at other shows.
Call them an artist for the people if you want, but to me, Claud’s musical existence is too independent to be categorized by reductive social analysis.
They are young. They are funny. And they are able to bring matter-of-fact nuance to the most serious subject matters.
There’s no mystery to Claud. But in place of mystery, there is an amazing honesty which I admire.