Elle King didn’t play The Majestic on Wednesday night — she transcended in it. She has all the makings of a rockstar: drinks like a fish, swears like a sailor, dresses eccentrically and, most importantly, puts on a damn good rock show. The rescheduled, sold out show, refused to lose any amount of steam throughout King’s set. Draped in a black and white fur coat, the 26-year-old singer/songwriter worked through material from her debut LP Love Stuff complemented by a handful of widely-appreciated covers.
First and foremost, an Elle King concert is a good time to be had by all. Two songs in, she admitted to the crowd she had forgotten her drink and conversed until one was brought to her — her wry sense of humor was the perfect complement to her alt. rock sound, making the personality, and the sometimes dark humor present in her music, feel all the more genuine. Before rolling through “Under The Influence,” she declared, “I’m drunk,” laughing with the crowd and asking them to raise their glasses because no one likes to drink alone. She made a spur-of-the-moment decision to throw a mash up of Nick Jonas’s “Jealous” and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” partway through the setlist — demanding that even the shyer concert goers dance.
More dazzling than her personality, was her voice. Her singularly soaring and raspy delivery didn’t come as a surprise, simply because it was so pure on her record, but even live there seemed to be a bit more growl in her delivery, infusing more energy into the set. She showcased the majority of Love Stuff, prefacing most tracks with short stories on inspiration or uninhibited ramblings. After performing Grammy-nominated top ten hit “Ex’s & Oh’s,” King poked fun at herself when she unabashedly called herself a slut. King’s voice allows for both of her tones — lowly blues-country singer on “I Told You I Was Mean,” “Make You Smile” and “Kocaine Karolina,” and growly rocker on “Where The Devil Don’t Go” and “Last Damn Night,” to maintain the crowd’s focus at all times. The band-heavy tracks pulled energy from the crowd, while the slower songs demanded attention solely because of King’s delivery.
At the beginning of the show, she announced a special surprise would be coming if the crowd stayed until the end. The surprise, to make up for postponing the show in November, came in the form of a three song encore, which was the the energetic climax. First — for Detroit — King spat the entirety of “The Real Slim Shady.” “Pinching nurses asses when I’m jacking off with Jergens / And I’m jerking but this whole bag of Viagra isn’t working,” is way more charming behind King’s persona — she added some miming for explanation, laughing collectively with the crowd. Next up was a cover that helped get her noticed, a folk-indie rock mold of Kia’s female satisfaction anthem, “My Neck, My Back.” Between the two covers in King’s encore and “Oh! Darling” during the set, there’s no question: Elle King can do it all.
She capped off the show with her upcoming single “America’s Sweetheart.” She delivered the verses with a wicked smile and blew through the song’s even-better-live chorus. Drums vibrated off every surface in the room and the passion of King’s delivery took the crowd just a little bit higher before the night was over, building more energy with each chorus. King certainly isn’t America’s sweetheart — she’s not rock ‘n’ roll’s either (yet) — but on Wednesday night a much-hyped show proved, at least for a night, she was Detroit’s.