On the night of February 22nd, fans abuzz with excitement lined Milwaukee Ave outside Logan Square’s Concord Music Hall. The anticipation was palpable in the crisp winter air, with attendees decked out in head to toe sparkles, red and pink love-themed fits and relaxed evening glam. The Love Ball brought out a beautiful mix of couples, friend groups, and solo attendees ready to dance with their favorite drag performers. 

Once inside the venue, adoring fans quickly flooded the balcony and ground floor. DJ Miss Toto Clermont Dion’s pre-show set warmed the crowd up with mixes that infused hyperpop, reggaeton, and early 2000s hits. As the space filled, lively chatter filled the air. Some fans gushed over their photos with the headliners, taken at the meet and greet earlier in the day, while others made new friends in the crowd.

DJ Miss Toto Clermont Dion got the crowd hyped before the queens came out to perform
DJ Miss Toto Clermont Dion got the crowd hyped before the queens came out to perform on Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Tonal Simmons for The TRiiBE®
Lala Ri from season 13 of RuPaul's Drag Race wows the audience with her fierce choreography and lip syncing.
Lala Ri from season 13 of RuPaul's Drag Race wows the audience with her fierce choreography and lip syncing on Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Tonal Simmons for The TRiiBE®

The Love Ball, presented by beloved Chicago native and drag performer, Shea Couleé, and HausDown Productions, graced Concord Music Hall with an unforgettable experience. For the tour, Couleé was joined by Monét X Change, LaLa Ri, Luxx Noir London, and Tayce – all alums of RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

The show, inspired by Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour, seamlessly flowed from one act to the next. True to the theme of love, the performances explored the highs, lows, and playful emotions we experience in intimate spaces. After LaLa Ri took fans to space with a rain-backed performance of Beyoncé’s ‘Cuff It’ (Wetter Remix), Couleé and X Change reenacted their Lip Sync to ‘Old McDonald’ from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7. Inviting fans to relive iconic moments in drag made the show that much more exciting for attendees. 

Monét X Change, from season 4 of RuPaul's All Stars, put on a stunning visual performance at Concord Music Hall.
Monét X Change, from season 4 of RuPaul's All Stars, put on a stunning visual performance at Concord Music Hall on Feb. 22nd, 2024. Photo by Tonal Simmons for The TRiiBE®

Each stop in this limited run featured a local opening act. For Chicago, DiDa Ritz shook the crowd with a performance of Natalie Cole’s ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),’ a nod to her memorable lip sync on Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Between headliners, the background dancers got more time to shine with interpretive pieces that celebrated queer love.

DiDa Ritz, from season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race put on a high-energy performance, leaving the crowd breathless with her dynamic and captivating stage presence.
DiDa Ritz, from season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race put on a high-energy performance, leaving the crowd breathless with her dynamic and captivating stage presence on Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Tonal Simmons for The TRiiBE®

The stage design was a work of art. Fans were transported to the moon, through island treetops, to sparkling cerulean waters via backdrop as the stars took to the stage for their respective numbers – in high fashion, no less. 

One moment stands out. Shortly after the stars performed an introductory number, Couleé returned to the stage solo. She stunned in a red number with an ornately crafted heart on the wings of her back, giving thanks to Chicago while being nearly drowned out by fans singing her praises. She proceeded to sing her stripped-down single “Gasoline” and “Collide” from her debut album, ‘8.’ Both captivating and generous in her curation of the event, Couleé gave flowers to the flourishing drag scene in our city as fans gave them right back to her.

Shea Couleé performing live on stage at Concord Music Hall
The Love Ball Event, on Feb. 22, 2024, with Shea Couleé, Monét X Change, Tayce, LaLa Ri, and Luxx Noir London's drag show in Chicago, was inspired by The Renaissance World Tour. Photo by Tonal Simmons for The TRiiBE®

The Love Ball kicked off in Chicago on February 22 in Couleé’s hometown show

is assistant to the publisher for The TRiiBE.