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Chelsea Cutler Guides Fans Through Self-Discovery on “The Beauty Is Everywhere” Tour

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When it comes to vulnerability and honesty, few artists in the modern indie-pop era have discographies that could compare to Chelsea Cutler’s. The pop singer has spent most of her year to date traveling across the country for her headlining “The Beauty Is Everywhere” tour, supporting her third and most recent studio album, Stellaria.

The emotional body of work sees Cutler bare the intricate details of both her mind and soul to listeners, carrying us through a spectrum of mental states that range from dissociation and depression to love and joy. From start to finish, Stellaria is a glimpse into a wider journey of self-discovery that Cutler likely spent years exploring and charting. It’s an invaluable tool for other twenty-somethings that are undergoing the same, all too familiar quarter-life crises that can leave us wondering if there’s any hope of finding a direction to move in. With Stellaria, Cutler has created a detailed map to finding your way toward the light, no matter the situation you find yourself in.

Even on a cloudy Monday night, a packed crowd filled the floor of The Van Buren in Phoenix. Dozens of fans, ranging from teenagers to parents and grandparents, waited eagerly for their heartstrings to be gently pulled at by the deeply empathetic and approachable lyrics that form the backbone of Cutler’s songs. The stage setup was visible even from afar, teasing the crowd as they were left to chat amongst themselves about how they imagined their idol would come onstage. A raised platform, adorned with lighting panels that would turn on in various colors and patterns during the set, sat front and center on stage, clearly the spot from which Cutler would spend much of her set performing. Behind the platform were three large arches, grounding the rest of the setup and creating an elegant backdrop for the performance to come, which certainly couldn’t come fast enough for those of us who were counting down the minutes.

Chelsea Cutler guides fans through self-discovery on "The Beauty Is Everywhere" tour in celebration of her new album, Stellaria.
Chelsea Cutler guides fans through self-discovery on "The Beauty Is Everywhere" tour in celebration of her new album, Stellaria.

When the backing track of “Something More” began playing alongside the band, fans cheered as the long awaited set finally began. Cutler ran up onto her platform with her guitar in hand, stage lights flashing overhead in tandem with the beat of the track itself. As she began her soft crooning of “‘Cause I need something more / Something more than this”, she was quickly greeted with a wave of backing vocals coming from dozens of young fans who earnestly sang along with Cutler.

Chelsea Cutler guides fans through self-discovery on "The Beauty Is Everywhere" tour in celebration of her new album, Stellaria.
Chelsea Cutler guides fans through self-discovery on "The Beauty Is Everywhere" tour in celebration of her new album, Stellaria.
Chelsea Cutler guides fans through self-discovery on "The Beauty Is Everywhere" tour in celebration of her new album, Stellaria.

The excitement only continued when she transitioned into introspective critique anthem “I Don’t Feel Alive”, a track that sees Cutler’s stream of consciousness inner dialogue turned into a seemingly cheery, melodic pop song. Underneath the upbeat delivery, the lyrics recount the deep struggles inherent to attempted self-improvement and growth, where we latch onto any and every tool that could be used to dig ourselves out of a hole of our own creation: “I’m writing feelings in a journal / ‘Cause that’s what people who have their shit together seem to do”.

The full set saw a mix of new songs and those from earlier projects and singles like Sleeping with Roses, How To Be Human, and Your Shirt. Occasionally, Cutler would allow her lighthearted personality to shine as she chatted with her fans, some of whom were holding up signs with specific song requests. With a smile on her face, she confessed that there was no other group of people that could have gotten her to be outside her home on a Monday night. She also remarked that Phoenix was the 26th show of the tour, leading to her feeling a bit vocally drained. Stretching her smile even wider, she asked the crowd if they’d help her sing her next song “Hunting Season” because she wouldn’t be able to hit the high notes. As she went through the lyrics with the crowd, the whole room was soon filled with the vibrations of dozens of voices crying out “It’s been so hard for so long”.

In just a few minutes, Cutler had connected her crowd to one another in a way that transcended far beyond what regular conversation could, forming an intimate memory for all who were present.

Soon after, the singer found herself receiving a bit more vocal support from a young fan named Abbie. Having met Abbie and her friend prior to the show, Cutler took a chance and arranged for her to join her onstage to sing “Crazier Things”, a track that was originally a duet with Noah Kahan. Upon hitting her first note, Abbie had already won a wave of cheers and shocked screams from the crowd and even Cutler herself. Completely understandable, as she has one of the most entrancing voices that I’ve heard in a long time. Along with everyone else in the crowd, I could have listened to her sing with Chelsea for the remainder of the set if they’d have allowed it.

Cutler herself was both relieved and surprised to hear how well Abbie could sing her parts of the song, breaking every few lines to encourage the crowd to cheer her on as she hit higher and higher notes. At the final verse of the song, Cutler finally re-entered to harmonize with her, much to the pleasure of the entire crowd. If you’ve ever felt full-body chills from hearing the chorus of a song before, imagine that to the furthest extreme. Hearing the pair sing together on an already powerful song nearly brought tears to my own eyes.

The remainder of the set kept excitement running high in the room with Cutler masterfully navigating her course through the sea of emotion the crowd was exuding. There aren’t many artists whose shows could genuinely evoke the feeling of just hanging out with a friend, but Cutler is certainly one of them. In being a fan of her music, it feels as if Cutler becomes more than just the artist. She fills the role of guide, confidante, companion, and more, just via the tone of her voice and the many sentiments carried within it. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being a brilliant, soulful light in an all-too turbulent world, Chelsea.

Show Date: 03.25.24 // Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren // Chelsea Cutler Guides Fans Through Self-Discovery on “The Beauty Is Everywhere” Tour
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Brian Mecinas
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Based in Phoenix, Arizona! Environmentalist by day and concert photographer by night <3
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