Next Level Charli: Charli XCX at HOB

You may know Charli XCX from 2014 chart topper “Boom Clap” or perhaps from features on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” or Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” but her show at House of Blues on October 17 proved yet again why she is, as she boldly declared during the show, “the best pop star ever.” Touring in support of the newly released album Charli, the British singer showcased her unique brand of avant-pop. 

Before she even took the stage, fans were chanting her name in anticipation, which quickly dissolved into shouts as the opening notes of “Next Level Charli” echoed through the venue. The song set the tone for the night—the whole crowd bouncing along with Charli XCX, singing along about the magic of nights out full of music, dancing, and partying.

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Much of the textural elements in her next song, “Click,” were lost to the volume of the crowd, but the energy absolutely remained. Charli XCX danced along to backtracked verses by Kim Petras and Tommy Cash, proving she could command the stage with her presence, not just her voice.

During “Vroom Vroom,” the crowd erupted into chaos, shouting incomprehensibly to the syncopated beats of the fan-favorite. Charli XCX sang through a handful of new songs before dialing the energy back for the sweet “Official,” a glimpse into the artist’s more vulnerable, emotional side. She encouraged fans to sing along, and sing along they did, creating a beautifully intimate moment.

IMG_3584She immediately ramped up the energy again with “Shake It.” After singing the chorus, she called out three drag queens to dance along to Big Freedia’s verse, and then three more for Cupcakke’s, and for BrookeCandy’s and Pabllo Vittar’s until there were twelve local artists shaking it along with Charli XCX.

Her encore featured her break-out song, “I Love It,” which fans seemed to enjoy just as much as her new material. It was clear, however, that she had grown tremendously as an artist since that release. She closed the show with “1999,” leaving fans singing, “I just wanna go back,” a perfect parallel to how she left us all wishing we could go back and relive the concert again.

 

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