On Saturday night, English singer-songwriter Charlotte Emma Aitchison, a.k.a. Charli XCX, with the help of opener Brooke Candy, put on an electrifying show at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC.
Back in 2012, the English singer was supposed to perform at the now-defunct Media Club but the show was cancelled. The same thing happened the next year when she was due to play Venue Nightclub. Since then we have been eagerly waiting for her to make it out for a headlining set.
Saturday night started with a provocatively dressed Ms. Candy stepping out on stage with the floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain at her back. At first, it seemed there was a technical issue with her microphone but that didn’t stop the petite musician as she powered out vocals into the venue and danced about the stage with fervor and spirit. She quickly ignited a venue wide dance party as pulsing, hypnotic strobes flashed through the air. Brooke Candy was a great way to start the night.
Charli XCX soon took over the stage, stacks of lighting equipment lined across the stage behind her with a single, ominous eight-foot cube as the center piece.
The anthemic track “Next Level Charli” kicked off her set and carried on that dancing energy created by Brooke. The audience simultaneous erupted into a single bounding body, rhythmically bouncing, their arms outstretched towards the young starlet as if she were the messiah.
Ms. Aitchison is a force to behold. She commanded that stage with loving energy and just never seemed to stop moving through the entirety of the set.
Her genuine performance further riled up the audience, that symbiotic relationship allowing her to fuel them and vice versa. Things were getting hot and sweaty, it was delightful. Pure performance with no self-indulgence, just releasing into the moment.
Midway through the night, she brought up a number of local drag personalities on to the stage to dance along. Brooke Candy joined the troupe and they performed their joint track “I Got It”.
The energy kept swelling. Charli never let it die down, she kept pouring herself into every second.
She closed out the performance with “1999 [Easyfun Remix]”. The venue was full of smiles on sweating faces and the English musician thanked the crowd before fading into the shadows.
After seven years of waiting for a Charlix XCX to headline Vancouver, I can say, without any hesitation, that she undeniably talented. She is no flash in the pan, she is the real deal and if you get the chance you should make every effort to see her live. The question isn’t whether or not she will headline arenas but when.
Thank you to the artists and their teams and the promoter for putting on such a wonderful night.