Review: Carly Rae Jepsen at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney.
Carly Rae Jepsen stormed into our collective hearts eight years ago with her saccharine, chart-dominating hit ‘Call Me Maybe’. A song that earned her legions of devoted fans that only bolstered with the release of her perfect, critically-acclaimed third album E•MO•TION. Though for some unexplained reason, Carly had never Australia before.
For many Carly tragics, like myself, the evening felt nothing short of monumental. Discourse leading up the spectacle revolved largely around a feeling that surpassed butterflies and transcended into pure, inexplicable anxiety. I imagine it’s the same pang of excitement and dread that one feels the day before their wedding. What we were all so anxious about? who knows. Eight years of waiting just does something to you.
To try and articulate the feeling of pure euphoria that swept over the audience upon the opening sax riff of ‘Run Away With Me’ would do the moment a disservice. It was chaotic, unbridled bliss. I struggle to think of a pop song released in the past decade that makes one’s heart soar quite like it. No setlist spoilers could have prepared our collective bodies for the sheer adrenalin of hearing that song live. Limbs were flying akimbo, feet were getting stomped on, but there was not a trace of negativity. Just a mutual, unspoken understanding that this was everyone’s moment.
The production was stark, simply Carly, a staircase, her band clad in white and of course — a disco ball. The most endearing aspect of Carly Rae Jepsen is her complete lack of natural swag. She is not a pop star that has perfectly curated her show with sleek choreography. Instead, she relies purely on her infectious energy, and the complete care she has for her devoted fanbase. As my dear friend so succinctly put it — it’s like if Carey from The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody forged a successful pop career.
With so many perfect songs under her belt, there were obviously going to be some omissions that hurt, but it was honestly a faultless, career-spanning setlist. Ebbing and flowing between beloved E•MO•TION hits like ‘Gimme Love’, ‘I Really Like You’ and the slap-bass stunner ‘Boy Problems’ and Dedicated groovers ‘No Drug Like Me’, ‘Want You In My Room’ and ‘Party For One’. She even through in cult E•MO•TION: Side B hits ‘Cry’ and — the best pop song ever written, and the genesis of ghosting— ‘Store’.
Carly didn’t talk much through the show, but when she did it was impossibly charming, she exudes a natural charm. Quipping about how, on occasion, she does crazy love things — like stealing a lovers bicycle. It was a joyous celebration of feeling feelings to the umpteenth degree. She is a shining force of unrelenting earnestness that is so welcome in a musical landscape that often feels so irony poisoned. Everyone that went to the show left abuzz with glow. It was a perfect, forever evening that I will hold in my heart for a very long time.
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