After releasing the brilliant Set My Heart On Fire Immediately nearly two years ago, Perfume Genius — AKA Mike Hadreas — is finally embarking on his first major US headlining tour since the pandemic began. It’s a cycle of touring that many artists who released music in 2020, and even 2019, are having to undergo: you either make a brand new record and tour that one, or you go out two years later and hope that music still strikes a chord with an audience.
Luckily for Perfume Genius, his extensive catalog of music glows with confidence and courage. His songs are multi-layered, powerful pieces of indie rock, baroque pop — perfectly-produced meditations on queerness, vulnerability, and the nuanced language of the body. Needless to say, seeing Perfume Genius live promises to be quite the experience.
Though Hadreas and his band embarked on a short West Coast tour last year, his current US tour — which began yesterday (March 20th) in Los Angeles — finds Perfume Genius headlining some of his biggest venues yet. When asked about forming the setlist and rehearsal process for such a major tour, Hadreas claims he prioritizes the energy of the set above all. “I’m very chaotic,” he says, “I’m very okay with going in and out of any vibe, but now I have so many songs that I can make brothers and sisters out of different energies.”
And while Hadreas had released Set My Heart On Fire Immediately during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 to widespread acclaim, he claims that he was “in a void” throughout most of the lockdown period. “I wasn’t writing or doing something productive,” he shares. “I wasn’t even making bread!”
It may have been an odd time to release a record, but undoubtedly, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately was one of his most heartfelt and meticulously crafted albums, and the most glorious parts of it will definitely translate well in a live setting.
Consequence caught up with Perfume Genius before he embarked on his US tour to chat about his touring routines, favorite songwriters, and more. Check out the full Q&A below, and grab tickets to Perfume Genius’ US tour here.