Drag Queens pride themselves on being able to startle their audiences. Friday night in Quartier Des Spectacles, however, the stiletto was on the other foot.
Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 winner and songstress Trixie Mattel had to bring her open-air Just For Laughs show to an abrupt halt when two separate audience members required medical intervention within moments of each other.
Due to her off-the-cuff comedic sensibilities, most assumed it was just another bit when the performer repeatedly told her band to stop playing mid-song. Trixie then asked her fans for silence and patience so medics could make their way to the people in need of assistance on either side of the stage.
The comedienne credits the crowd for alerting her to the emergencies. “At first, it looked like they were just moving their hands to the music,” she later reflected, noting that both people ended up being carried out, something that “has never happened during a show before.”
In spite of the minor setback, the Milwaukee native – nee Brian Ferkus – enjoyed an otherwise triumphant night. Thousands packed Quartier des Spectacles to revel in Trixie’s signature blend of vintage outfits and frank comedy.
It’s difficult to imagine another personality who could so easily attract audiences both gay and straight and young and old, nevermind one confident enough to quip about anal sex and call guests “whores” at an open-air event.
Trixie has built her brand by maintaining an honest, “you’re in on the joke” dialogue with fans, both as a makeup mogul and an internet personality. Her hilarious YouTube series, entitled UNHhhh, features extremely unfiltered conversations with fellow Drag Race alum Katya and has garnered them millions of views.
Simply put, people would be disappointed if Trixie didn’t bring some irreverence to the proceedings. And Trixie, having attended JFL once before, knew better than to hold back with a Montreal audience.
The self-proclaimed Skinny Legend bantered playfully while strumming a guitar and bopping her way through a selection of tunes from her folk and rock-inspired albums. Hits like Hello, Hello and Malibu were interspersed with covers of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games and even Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda.
And through it all – of course – were a variety of wig and costume changes glamorous enough to delight even those standing back by the Dairy Queen on St. Catherine’s Street. Hilariously redubbed vintage commercials played between sets to afford Trixie time to change, in a welcome callback to the zany editing of UNHhhh.
There was one slightly botched costume reveal, thanks to two unrehearsed audience members acting as assistants. But throughout it all, the star maintained her composure, even delighting when the skies opened up in time for her final number.
As someone who rose up from humble beginnings to the top of the drag world, Trixie knows how to roll with the punches and fans love her for it.
They will also love hearing that her recent renovation reality show, Trixie Motel, may possibly be expanding into something bigger. Much like the plastic doll that first inspired her, Trixie is eager to explore new avenues, thanks to the continued support of those who’ve followed her career.
Mattel basked in their affection while reminding them to savor the moment: “this is the last f***ing time you’ll see Trixie Mattel do something free for you guys!”