The singer-songwriter played up the song’s core themes, loss of innocence and youth, by wearing a massive, baggy suit onstage. She clutched the microphone tightly with both hands as she crooned the track’s smoky R&B hooks, occasionally stomping across a stage lined with three backing vocalists, a live drummer and two synth players.
“Growing Pains” is the lead single from Cara’s as-yet-unannounced second LP, which follows 2015’s Know-It All.
Earlier in her Tonight Show appearance, Cara chatted with host Jimmy Fallon about winning the 2018 Best New Artist Grammy award – a role she’d been preparing for since childhood. “In my shower, growing up, I would thank people for fake songs that hadn’t come out,” she recalled with a laugh.
The vocalist also detailed how she pulled off an impressively detailed prank against recent touring partners Coldplay. In a plot to scare the alt-rock band, her sound tech Leo removed all the stuffing from a giant stuffed teddy bear, and Cara squeezed inside.
“I left a little note, saying, like, ‘I wanted to thank you guys for having me on tour, and I left you this bear,'” she said. “I planned it all, got fake balloons, all of it. I was in there for what felt like three hours – it was 30 minutes, actually. The thing is you want it to seem like you don’t have bones because you’re not a person, so I had to be limp. I couldn’t see anything, and I guess all your remaining senses are heightened, so you just know that they’re there. Then I just jumped out, and I scared them all.”