PinkPantheress, Brooklyn Princess

PinkPantheress, Brooklyn Princess

By Tobias HessApr 16, 2024

PinkPantheress doesn’t know much about New York, but New York certainly knows a lot about her. The 22-year-old British pop princess was characteristically coy and playful as she descended on the Brooklyn Paramount stage, a newly refurbished, cathedral-esque venue in the heart of downtown Brooklyn that harkens back to the heyday of the jazz age. “What’s your favorite borough?” she asked the giddy Gen Z crowd. “Brooklyn?” to which the crowd exploded. “I don’t know much about the boroughs,” she laughed. “I’m from London.”

That said, she was still welcomed like a hometown hero. She told the crowd that the last time she had been in New York was for a much smaller show. Headlining two nights in this gargantuan NY venue thus served as a milestone for the rising star. She’s not the mysterious Soundcloud chanteuse anymore. She’s a certifiable pop star, treated as such by legions of adoring loyalists.

Throughout the roughly hour-long set, PinkPantheress was repeatedly given a series of cute, if not bizarre, gifts: a pink-striped flag emblazoned with her face atop it, signs asking her out to dinner at NYC Italian hotspot, Carbone, and finally someone’s clip-in bangs, which she looked at disgustedly before deciding to hold like a Birkin. Eventually, she was forced to complain about how distracted she was by this assemblage of offerings, but she smiled through it all and took it in stride.

PinkPantheress’s music is known to never overstay its welcome. While other artists haphazardly attempted to mold their music according to the impatient imperatives of TikTok promotion (make songs that are short, catchy, and can work as a gimmick), PinkPantheress transcended the format. In short flashes of bubble gum pop, she delivers tracks that pack a punch while staying light on their feet.

As a performer who rose to prominence on the internet, she could have taken the easy route for her live shows and prance around with a DJ while humming along to a vocal track. But the show is excitingly intricate. Her drummer, in particular, played her highly, produced drum n’ bass rhythms with stunning precision, alongside keys, guitar and a DJ holding down the fort. Her vocals were clear and crisp and her signature lilting levity sat right in the mix.

It didn’t hurt that the crowd was basically off-book, screaming all the words to deep cuts and hits, like “Boys a Liar” which she closed the night with before coming out once more for her collab cut with Central Cee,Nice to meet you.” All but a few pauses — including a break due to technical difficulties and a surprise performance by rising Bronx rapper Cash Cobain, which was solid but a bit lethargic — the night zipped along.

The crowd was out by 10:30 pm, but a few were already prepping for the following night, when they’d return to live it all again.

Photography: Emma Berson