Charli XCX changing the game


By Bee Bielak, Section Editor

Charli XCX is currently on her headlining CRASH tour, including a recent stop close to home at the Royal Oak Music Theater. With Baby Tate as an opening act, and high energy male background dancers, this show was something worth seeing. 

Starting with Baby Tate, I was amazed. Full disclosure, I am not usually a fan of rap music. But Baby Tate had a unique mix of rapping, and also used her rich singing voice. My favorite of her songs was definitely “Eenie Meenie”, as it was high energy and had everyone shouting along to her lyrics. At one point in her set, she pulled forward a ballet barre to assist her dancing. Even though she wasn’t doing ballet, she was definitely still an entertaining dancer. Overall, I expected to be bored during her set, but I was pleasantly surprised with how dynamic her music was and by her energetic stage presence. 

Now onto the main act, Charli XCX herself. The set started with a dramatic video and lighting sequence, transitioning to her song “Lightning”. Charli took the stage, along with two scandalously dressed male background dancers. I was shocked. A strong woman singer with masculine dancers is not something very common, but it totally worked. She separated the show into chunks, or “acts”, with interludes of videos on the big screen backdrop in between. As the set progressed, Charli’s energy just increased, and each new song felt like the set opening. There was no point where her vibrance onstage dimmed. “Yuck” and “Boom Clap” specifically had everyone dancing and singing along. Her strong presence being paired with the two dancers gave the performance the perfect amount of stimulation to the audience. I never stopped singing with her, or dancing with the crowd. 

Speaking of the crowd, there were people that were my grandparents’ age to my right, and a four year old with her mom a few people over on my left. It was very clear that Charli brings in a wide range of listeners. 

Charli ended with a dramatic encore of a few more songs, including her hit “Vroom Vroom”. After a set that lasted over an hour, I expected the encore to dial back the energy, but this was absolutely not the case. The vibes were even more over the top than before, and she truly went out with a bang. 

With male background dancers, separation into ‘acts’ and an age range from four to 60+, the Charli XCX concert was definitely one of the most new-aged shows I’ve been to. Charli, not only in music, but in stage presence and social appearance, is changing the game for musicians everywhere. I am giving it 5 stars, and would recommend this concert to anyone who likes to party.

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