“My name is Charli XCX and I’m one of the best pop stars in the world.” The British singer songwriter, Charlotte Aitchison, known professionally as Charli XCX, ended her show at Union Transfer Saturday night with this bold statement, inciting a roar of applause from the audience in attendance. While she might not be modest about it, Charli XCX is right.
Upon immediately entering the venue I could tell right from the start that this was going to be a high energy show. Charli XCX’s dedicated fan base, known as “Charli’s angels,” is definitely one of the craziest fandom’s I’ve encountered. The entire venue was packed before the opener, Dorian Electra, even took the stage. This particular show sold out in only a few days, so a majority of the people in attendance were likely true fans who came ready to party with Charli.
Charli’s self-titled third studio album released on Sept. 13 and features a number of artists including Christine and the Queens, Troye Sivan, Kim Petras, Haim, Lizzo, Clairo, Big Freedia, Brooke Candy, and more. This show focused heavily on content from the new record, with all 15 songs from the album being on the setlist. It was evident during the performance how much this album means to Charli. Right before taking the stage, a voice recording of Charli played over the speaker in which she thanked every artist that was featured on her album.
The amount of energy that Charli XCX put into every song from start to finish was absolutely amazing. She sang, danced, jumped, and screamed throughout every song, interacting with the fans and putting on the ultimate show. Because a majority of her songs use experimental noises and autotune, I was expecting Charli to lip-sync some of the songs. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she sang the entire night, just using autotune during the songs that were originally recorded in that style.
Mid way through the show Charli brought out a number of special guests to help her perform her song “Shake It.” Before this tour began, Charli posted to her social media account asking for people to submit videos of themselves dancing for a chance to be invited up on stage to perform with her at each show. This special moment creates a unique and personal experience for each city on tour and it was one of my favorite aspects of the show.
Another one of my favorite parts of Charli’s show was the number of completely unnecessary wardrobe changes. Charli is known for serving looks every night on tour with different hairstyles and outfit changes. While it may be extra, the fans go absolutely crazy each time she comes out in a new leotard or athletic bra, and you can tell she feeds off of their wild energy.
Charli XCX was unlike any other show I’ve ever experienced before. Everything from the light show, to the excessive autotune, to the zealous stans added up to be one insane night of pop music. Was it a rave? A fashion show? The world’s biggest dance party? I’m honestly not quite sure, but I’m glad I got to experience it.
By Olivia Burger