Róisín Murphy’s Hit Parade Tour Hits the Recently Revamped Brooklyn Paramount

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There aren’t too many singer-songwriters making brainy, avant-leaning dance-pop that appeals equally to the hips, the head and the heart, but Róisín Murphy has always been one of a kind. From her time in the duo Moloko in the ‘90s to her no-misses solo discography that includes electropop classics such as Overpowered (2007) and Róisín Machine (2020), she never fails to deliver, particularly on stage. So when the Irish artist hits the U.S. for a tour, people turn out – and sure enough, a packed audience spanning generations and state lines (some folks drove more than four hours to see her) greeted Murphy when she played New York City’s Brooklyn Paramount on Friday (June 7).

With a title like Hit Parade Tour, one might wonder if the trek is Murphy’s version of Madonna’s Celebration Tour or Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, both career-spanning global treks that played to enthusiastic (well, mostly) crowds and critical raves. And while Hit Parade is, more directly, the name of her 2023 album (which she followed this year with the companion piece Hit Parade Remixes), you wouldn’t be too far off.

Over the course of a lengthy, muscular set, Murphy performed four tunes from her old band, one from her solo debut, three tracks from Overpowered, and four apiece from Róisín Machine and Hit Parade. Hardly career-encompassing (two albums were skipped), but a pretty healthy mix of beloved catalog and more recent material spanning a quarter of a century.

Throughout those years, Murphy’s substantial vocal chops have only seemed to improve with each release. During her show at the gorgeously restored, dramatically lit Brooklyn Paramount, she performed peerless electropop without singing to track (almost unheard of in pop) in front of a live band that provided every rubbery bass line, shimmering synth and razor-sharp beat in real time. (Originally a movie palace that opened at the top of the talking pictures era, Brooklyn Paramount turned into a live venue that housed everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Buddy Holly in the ’50s before shutting down to the wider public for decades; it only reopened as a concert space this year thanks to Live Nation and Arcadis.)

As a fashion-forward artist frequently inspired by drag and queer culture (more than a few chart-topping pop stars with larger profiles have followed in her footsteps), Murphy brought a mix of camp, eleganza and couture to the show, changing her outfit for nearly every song – sometimes while still singing.

The wild costuming and nonstop dance party clearly resonated with her substantial queer fanbase, who turned out in big numbers at the Brooklyn Paramount despite Murphy’s controversial comments last year. In Aug. 2023, a screenshot from Murphy’s Facebook account called puberty blockers – a go-to boogeyman for people targeting the trans community – “F—KED.” Shortly after, she released a statement apologizing for her “directly hurtful” comments, affirming her commitment to “celebrating diversity” without directly backtracking on the issue; she did, however, promise to “bow out of this conversation within the public domain.” Since then, fans – who had previously expressed widespread disappointment in her comments – have mostly dropped the topic, and it didn’t seem to impact her ticket sales too much, at least based on the NYC turnout. (In 2023, she played Terminal 5, which fits about 300 more people than the Brooklyn Paramount does – not enough of a drop in venue size to extrapolate anything meaningful.)

Notwithstanding her regressive, unnecessary take on trans youth, Murphy continues to craft, record and execute some of the most innovative dance-pop of this century. And on her latest trek, it comes to life in all its beautiful, bizarre splendor.

Upcoming Hit Parade Tour Dates

June 10 – HISTORY – Toronto, Canada

June 11 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL

June 13 – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Manchester, TN

June 15 – The Fillmore Miami Beach – Miami, FL

November 1 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

November 2 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, WA

November 3 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, Canada

November 7 – The Shrine Expo Hll – Los Angeles, CA

November 9 – The Warfield – San Francisco, CA

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