Chelsea Cutler: When I Close My Eyes

Chelsea Cutler

fox theatre (oakland, ca)

Chelsea Cutler brought the second leg of her “When I Close My Eyes Tour” to the Fox Theater stage in Oakland, California. The night opened with Arden Jones, who told the crowd that he had initially found Chelsea Cutler on TikTok years ago, and “immediately knew that she would be the next big thing.”

Chelsea eased the crowd into her set with the chill intro of “Under”, but by the end of the song, the whole crowd was bouncing. She continued with “Sad Tonight” and “Someone Else’s Heaven” before pausing to speak to the crowd - asking everyone to look to either side of them to get acquainted with each other. The entire room, lit up with the house lights, broke out with the din of thousands of people talking at once. Chelsea has always been intentional about building up her fans as a community, bringing them a sense of connection - not only to her, but also to one another. No longer strangers, the crowd was now buzzing with another level of energy as Cutler announced to them, “It doesn’t matter if this is your first show or the sixth. Tonight, we are committed to having the best Tuesday night!”

Further into the show, Cutler broke out an oldie, “Cold Showers.” She then surprised the crowd with a brand new tradition started by a fan in Milwaukee, five cities prior; for one person in the crowd, the night would be even more unforgettable as they were pulled on stage to play the electric pad for the song that would kick off the rest of the show.

Before the show and in between sets, the large LED screen onstage displayed the lyrics to her then-upcoming single, “Man on the Moon.” Incredibly, but unsurprisingly, the crowd sang their hearts out to this unreleased song. At a Chelsea Cutler show, the experience is two-way - while Chelsea gives it her all on stage for the crowd, the crowd gives back all their support and energy as a community.

photos & story by carolyn wang