Charli XCX Live at the Troubadour

August 23rd, 2012
Goto comments Leave a comment

On Twitter, Charli XCX touts herself as “Girl Power, Round 2.” Mix Sleigh Bells with some Siouxsie Sioux, add a dash of Heart and put it in the blender with a electronic drum kit and a copy of “The Craft”–there’s the Charli XCX smoothie. It remains to be seen if this rambunctious brunette is indeed the second (but edgier!) coming of Sporty Spice, but she is certainly dressing the part. At the Troubadour this past Friday, she took the stage in neon Sporty regalia, her hair in a Scary Spice teased-tangle. “It’s girl power tonight,” she confirmed, and with the help of two twiggy lads on keys and electronic drums, proceeded to give a performance with all the ferocity of Posh’s pout.

Her set was a bit on the short side; likely due to her touring in support of an EP. What the show lacked in length was made up for in peculiar eye candy – from Charli’s Ibiza style thrash-dancing to the instruments decked out with roses and cascades of VHS tape-guts. The mixed and initially sleepy crowd woke up completely for “How Can I?” from her Heartbreaks and Earthquakes mixtape. For who can resist shouting along to “How can I face what I fucked up?”

After that, the audience was mostly hers to command, and she took full advantage. Following an Echo and the Bunnymen cover, she informed the room, “This song is kinda like a bump and grind song, R. Kelly style. So you guys gotta do that.” The direction was a bit difficult to pursue as she and her band launched into “The End of the World,” a mid-tempo rave-y number of Alex Metric’s that she guested on late last year.

Ms. Charli kicked the femme factor up a notch when she invited Sky Ferriera onstage for a performance of “Grins,” which has likely gone viral by now. Admittedly unrehearsed, the duet was charming if a bit slapdash, and brought Charli’s boundless energy into full focus. Dolled up like an Empire Records era alternative dream girl, Sky planted her feet, closed her eyes and sang, while Charli danced like her life depended on it.

After bidding adieu to Sky, she announced “I’m gonna dance like you’ve never seen anyone dance before.” Though the dance was much the same as the rest of the evening, its accompaniment–her single “You’re the One”–was the highlight of the night. A fabulous blend of spacious ’80s sounds and a dark contemporary hook, this piece showed off the best of Charli’s gutsy alto, with cooing, creepy bits that gave it that extra XCX splash of kink.

Although track-heavy electropop is perhaps better introduced via recording, Charli was a sight worth seeing. If this show was any indication, the world better get ready: raw girl power is fixin’ to fight for the pop throne.

Search for Charli XCX albums on Amazon

By Maggie Levin Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews


Related Charli XCX Content:

Features
Interview: Charli XCX Talks About New Album, Love, SXSW and Daytime Show Vibes

News
The Onion and Mike’s Harder present “Reload” SXSWi 2014 Party Announced
WEBCAST: Watch Livestream Release of “The Fault In Our Stars” Soundtrack at YouTube Space LA
Watch: Charli XCX Premieres New Video “What I Like”
Waterloo Records SXSW 2014 Day Parties Announced
LISTEN: Charli XCX Releases New Track “Boom Clap”
Charli XCX w/ Elliphant @ Emo’s Austin 10/17
UO Backlot Sesh SXSW 2013 Day Parties At Urban Outfitters Announced
WATCH: Charli XCX Releases New Video for Song “SuperLove”
IAMSOUND and Production Club Inc SXSW 2013 Day Party Announced
Charli XCX Announces Rescheduled Fall 2013 Tour Dates
Charli XCX Announces Fall 2014 Tour Dates
The Warner Sound and Nikon SXSW 2013 Day Parties and Showcases Announced
Charli XCX Fall 2013 Tour Dates Moved to October & November, Joining Paramore on UK Tour
Neiman Marcus and Atlantic Records present CUSP on Rainey SXSW Day Parties Announced
Charli XCX Goes From Punk to Pop
Filter Magazine’s Showdown at Cedar Street SXSW 2013 Day Party Announced
Under the Radar Mag’s SXSW 2014 Day Parties Announced featuring EMA, Charli XCX, and We Were Promised Jetpacks
Charli XCX Announces Fall 2013 Tour Dates
Pandora Discovery Den SXSW 2014 Parties Announced featuring Tyler, the Creator and Lucinda Williams
LISTEN: Charli XCX and Marina & The Diamonds Premiere New Track “Just Desserts”
Applauze SXSW 2014 Showcase Announced featuring MS MR and Charli XCX
WATCH: Charli XCX Releases Video For “Boom Clap”

Reviews
Some Nights are Magic: fun. with Charli XCX Live at the Wiltern
SXSW 2014: MTVu Woodie Awards
Charli XCX, Live at Sonos Studio
Charli XCX Live at the Troubadour

Comments