Rex Orange County brings his "WHO CARES?" tour to Atlanta for a night of singing, dancing, and joy.
Fresh off the release of his fourth studio album, WHO CARES?, Rex Orange County seemed more than ready to hit the road again. A few one-off shows and two stops in Miami and St. Augustine separate the performer from his last stop in Atlanta in February 2020. That show was his last in the states before the pandemic. He returns to a sold-out crowd nearly three times the size of his last time in The Big A.
Rex Orange County is the stage name of 24 year-old Alex O'Conner. The English singer blends elements of pop, lo-fi, and R'n'B to create a unique brand of fun and often emotionally toiled alternative music.
Eclectic and colorful, Rex Orange County brings a lot of life to his live performances. Alex cycled between singing, guitar, and keys, staying dynamic throughout the night. With his backing band confined to the upstage, Alex had plenty of room to strut and interact with fans along the front row and sides. It may seem odd to say, but O'Conner's stage presence seemed to add a sincerity to his music, something that was already fully present, that really brought out the best in his songs. From charming banter with the crowd to consistently hugging his guitar tech, Alex's performance was made that much more human.
O'Conner is just a fantastic performer. While not regarded as one of the best vocalists of our time, Alex's voice is uniquely charming and more than capable at capturing the hearts of fans. From the cathartic build of "Never Enough" to the wonderfully fun "Loving Is Easy," Rex Orange County delivers song after song. A trumpet solo on "OPEN A WINDOW" sealed the deal for me, blasting the band right back into it to open their second set of the night.
Rex brought with him quite an impressive production. Massive sun and moon curtains opened to reveal glowing hands, reminiscent of The Grateful Dead's bears, in front of a Dalmatian print back drop. During the second set these were replaced by disco ball filled flowers and an 80s-prom-esque silver drape. Plenty of lights and a large "WHO CARES?" sign lit up the night, all culminating in an aesthetic masterpiece fitting his entire album rollout.
Two sets and an encore throughout the night, Alex performed for roughly an hour and forty-five minutes nearly non-stop. Four songs, "Untitled," "Happiness," "Always," and "Corduroy Dreams" were performed solo while the band rested, an unexpectedly intimate moment in such a bombastic show. "KEEP IT UP" and "Sunflower" stood out as two favorites.
1. MAKING TIME
3. KEEP IT UP
4. ONE IN A MILLION
5. Television / so Far so Good
8. THE SHADE
9. Lovin’ You (Minnie Riperton cover)
10. 4 Seasons
11. Untitled (solo)
12. Happiness (solo)
13. Always (solo)
14. Corduroy Dreams (solo)
15. OPEN A WINDOW
16. IF YOU WANT IT
17. Never Enough
19. Best Friend
20. Loving Is Easy
21. WHO CARES?
22. Pluto Projector
There's still a lot of touring to be done for Rex. Only three shows deep in his "WHO CARES?" world tour with over 30 left in North America alone, I'dd highly recommend catching his show. With about half of the North American shows sold out, expect some wild crowds. The "WHO CARES?" tour resumes tonight in Nashville, TN.
5/08 Nashville, TN — Ascend Amphitheater
5/10 Baltimore, MD — Pier Six Pavilion (SOLD OUT)
5/11 Boston, MA — Leader Bank Pavilion (SOLD OUT)
5/13 Philadelphia, PA — Skyline Stage at the Mann Center (SOLD OUT)
5/14 Queens, NY — Forest Hills Stadium*
5/16 Raleigh, NC — Red Hat Amphitheater (SOLD OUT)
5/18 New Orleans, LA — Mardi Gras World Ballroom
5/19 Houston, TX — The Lawn at White Oak Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
5/20 Austin, TX — Germania insurance Amphitheater
5/22 Dallas, TX — Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
5/23 Oklahoma City, OK — The Criterion
5/25 Morrison, CO — Red Rocks Amphitheatre (SOLD OUT)
5/27 Las Vegas, NV — The Theater at Virgin Hotels (SOLD OUT)
5/28 Phoenix, AZ — Mesa Amphitheatre (SOLD OUT)
5/29 San Diego, CA — Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater (SOLD OUT)
6/01 Santa Barbra, CA — Santa Barbra Bowl (SOLD OUT)
6/04 Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl (SOLD OUT)+
6/05 Berkely, CA — The Greek Theatre at UC Berkely (SOLD OUT)
6/07 Portland, OR — Edgefield
6/08 Vancouver, BC — PNE Amphitheater
6/09 Seattle, WA — Marymoor Park (SOLD OUT)
6/11 Salt Lake City, UT — The Great Saltair
6/13 Kansas City, MO — Starlight Theatre
6/16 Minneapolis, MN — Armory
6/17 Milwaukee, WI — BMO Harris Pavilion
6/18 St. Louis, MO — Saint Louis Music Park (SOLD OUT)
6/20 Columbus, OH — KEMBA Live!
6/21 Pittsburg, PA — Stage AE
6/22 Cleveland, OH — Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
6/24 Chicago, IL — Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
6/25 Detroit, MI — Meadow Brooke Amphitheatre
6/26 Toronto, ON — Budweiser Stage (SOLD OUT)
7/07 Manchester, UK — Castlefield Bowl (SOLD OUT)
7/15 Dublin, IE — Iveagh Gardens (SOLD OUT)
8/02 Glasgow, UK — SWG3 Galvanizers Yard (SOLD OUT)
8/03 Glasgow, UK — SWG3 Galvanizers Yard (SOLD OUT)
8/13 London, UK — Gunnersbury Park
9/02 Auckland, NZ — Spark Arena
9/03 Wellington, NZ — Michael Fowler Centre
9/08 Sydney, AU — Hordern Pavilion (SOLD OUT)
9/09 Sydney, AU — Hordern Pavilion
9/10 Brisbane, AU — Riverstage
9/12 Adelaide, AU — Entertainment Centre Theatre
9/14 Melbourne, AU — Margaret Court Arena
9/15 Melbourne, AU — Margaret Court Arena
9/17 Perth, AU — Belvoir Amphitheatre
11/14 Oslo, NO — Sentrum Scene
11/15 Stockholm, SE — Fållan
11/16 Copenhagen, DK — KB Hallen
11/18 Amsterdam, NE — AFAS Live
11/20 Paris, FR — Salle Pleyel
11/21 Brussels, BE — Cirque Royal
11/23 Berlin, DE — Columbiahalle
11/24 Cologne, DE — Carlswerk Victoria
* with Phony Ppl
^ with Dijon
+ with Benny Sings
A truly fantastic show, from performance to production. The amount of joy seen on fans faces throughout the night tells a story, one thats certainly good for Rex Orange County. Many fans are going to have left that show having had one of the best nights of their life, and that is something that is hard to recreate.