Chris Farren at Heartwood Soundstage in Gainesville, Fla. | photo by Lorien Lamarr

Lorien Lamarr Photo Column—Chris Farren

Sep 02, 2023

Chris Farren is well known for his over-the-top performances which mirror his outsized stage personality. With album titles like Born Hot, Like a Gift from God or Whatever, and Chris Farren Can’t Die and taglines like “another perfect set from Chris Farren,” he has created a dedicated and enthusiastic fanbase. You never know what to expect from a Chris Farren set except that it will be loud, fun, and colorful.

At Fest 20, Chris Farren released a set of balloons all with his face printed on them into the crowd, which quickly became beach balls that bounced throughout the performance. It was exuberant, the crowd was inextricably involved, and, yes, there was glitter. An outside observer likely wouldn’t even realize the songs are deeply introspective and self aware. Chris Farren’s showmanship and bravado foster a playful, confidently tongue-in-cheek positivity that’s intoxicating. I think that’s what keeps me coming back. So much of Chris Farren’s inner world is on display in the music but in the performance it’s a celebration. It’s as if he’s inviting us all to celebrate our own complicated little messes along with him and to do it with joy. It’s almost enough to make me want to print my face on a balloon because I’m worth celebrating too.