WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE? O2 Brixton Academy
WHEN? 31/10, tour runs to 28/11/19
SETLIST: Next Level Charli; Click; I Don’t Wanna Know; Vroom Vroom; Gone; Cross You Out; Warm; February 2017; Thoughts; White Mercedes; Official; Shake It; I Got It; Blame It On Your Love; Silver Cross; 2099; Unlock It; I Love It; Boys; 1999
It’s the encore of this sell-out show and its star (pictured above) is in tears reflecting on the success of her biggest London gig to date and making the transition from writing radio hits to songs she fronts that better represent her.
- Read on for reasons including how Christine and the Queens appeared in person here to duet
It’s Halloween and monstagigz could not feel more underdressed as Charli XCX’s legion of predominantly young fans has arrived in outlandish garb with an ‘angels and demons’ theme. There’s lots of crop tops, short skirts and skin on show. And that’s just the guys.
It seems a long way from when we last saw Charli XCX in early 2015 in Brighton when the world appeared to be at her feet (although, as we learn from her emotional encore outpouring, Charli wasn’t feeling great about it and wanted to reflect herself better through her music).
New collection Charli was a recent Album Of The Month and is well represented here as Ms XCX bounds onstage energetically covering every corner of it as she announces: ‘Tonight is going to be the best night of your lives.’
A confetti cannon goes off during song one, the stage is free of musicians, and it is instead spectacle that the audience is being treated to as our star is joined on stage by a succession of guests during her 85-minute set.
‘I never thought I’d sell out Brixton,’ she confides at one point and it’s a curious admission because she has a strong, acrobatic voice, is an energetic and charismatic performer who connects with her growing audience, especially when it’s sporting either devil horns or angel wings.
There are two highlights of the set for us: we love Christine and the Queens and it’s a real thrill for us to see her performing a duet here (listen above) which is more current, pop, focussed and uptempo than much of her more recent album.
Christine’s appearance is early icing on the cake but, for us, worldwide smash I Love It is the reason why we’re here and Charli XCX does not disappoint: as the enthusiasm with which she demolishes it is reflected back to her 100-fold by her fans.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect from this gig before we arrived in Brixton and Charli XCX seemed happier in her own skin, a feeling that is resonating with her growing audience.