Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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Fletcher Slays in Nashville

By Sara Gougeon

Photo by Dillon Jordan

“Respectfully, choke me,” read a sign towards the front of the stage. A sea of queer humans flooded the venue. Unity, love, and excitement filled the room. 

I stood there in amazement. There were more lesbians than the lesbian bar. It was gayer than pride. It was like Nashville’s QDP (Queer Dance Party) events that bring together queer community – but add phenomenal live music, synchronized stage lighting, and stunning performers. The venue was packed. Mind you, this was a Monday. 

I must have seen less than a quarter of the audience and recognized more than 10 people: someone I went on a few dates with, the bass player I went to college with, a few friends I met at Nashville’s lesbian bar, other queer event organizers, two viral TikTok artists, another well-known artist from American Idol. And I’ve only lived in Nashville for a year and a half!

When I say everyone was there, I mean everyone, including Fletcher’s popup artists, Ingrid Andress and Kelsea Ballerini. Amelia Moore and Julia Wolf, who opened the night, also brought on stunning performances and messages. 


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

When Fletcher came on, her voice soared over the crowd, backed by a chorus of hundreds who knew the words to her songs, and not just the choruses. It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite song or moment, but the tracks from her EP THE S(EX) TAPES were riveting. Energy was pulsing. Fletcher danced, the crowd sang. I melted. 

She shared wanting to create a set that looks like an NYC alleyway which was an expensive endeavor. “Fuck money, we do shit for the art,” she stated. The crowd went wild. Fletcher revealed her fear of heights, “If something scares the fuck out of you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it,” she told the crowd after singing several songs from the top of a large platform.

Photo by Dillon Jordan

At one point, Fletcher asks the audience, “Is anybody here with your ex tonight? Fucking lesbians!” I was not. Although, I did feel somewhat called out for going last minute with a ticket from a girl I dated who couldn’t make the show. If that’s not gay culture, I don’t know what is.

Speaking of gay culture, let’s take a moment to appreciate Fletcher pausing the show to sign boobs.

Photo by Dillon Jordan

Fletcher’s pop up artists, Ingrid Andress and Kelsea Ballerini, were nothing short of amazing. 

Each accompanied her on stage for one song. Andress joined her in singing “About You.” Together they gave compelling performances. Their powerful vocals filled the venue and shook the crowd with excitement. When Ballerini walked on stage with an acoustic, the two sat on stools.The intimacy set in, and Ballerini started picking at her guitar strings. They graced the crowd with the classic Stevie Nicks’ song, “Landslide.” It was wholesome, warm, and unforgettable. Andress and Ballerini brought divine feminine energy to the stage. 

It’s not an exaggeration to say this is the best concert I’ve attended in years. What struck me about the show was that it was about more than Fletcher’s incredible music. These shows are creating spaces for community to gather, dance, sing at the top of their lungs, and celebrate music and queerness.

Sara Gougeon is a Canadian-grown, Nashville-based singer-songwriter, writer, and organizer of queer events. She founded Pineworks Creative to create spaces for queer music, offer songwriting courses, and provide writing services. She founded and hosted Queerfolk Fest to support LGBTQ+ music.