Bringing her futuristic pop to Manchester’s Albert Hall, London born Charli XCX paid a visit to the ex-Weslyn chapel armed with top hits, ethereal sounds and bounds of energy.
Strutting onto the stage in a playsuit and a whopping pair of statement knee high boots, ‘Next Level Charli’ was the opener, perhaps to symbolise the fresh start and new direction in which her forward-thinking pop music is going.
Shortly followed by ‘Click’, it wasn’t long before she ditched the boots and returned in a pair of Balenciaga’s. With no band or backing dancers accompanying her, Charli confidently managed to maintain the energy levels throughout, proving she was more than capable of hosting the show herself. Captivating the crowd, she ensured the audience went wild for the trap-like deep bass lines woven through a handful of tracks.
Of course, this tour was designed to showcase her latest self-titled album ‘Charli’, which is loaded with immense collaborations with the likes of Lizzo, Troy Sivan, Haim and Christine and the Queens. What was a little disappointing was that for an album so heavily weighted with collaborations, there were no special guests. What made this an even harder blow was that Christine and the Queens was a special guest at the Brixton show. As they say, the south always seems to get the better end of a deal than the north!
None the less, what was lost in the lack of special guests was compensated by the adoring crowd, who sung the words back better than any guest could have.
A stand-out special moment of the show came when Charli XCX invited local Manchester queens onto the stage with her. The crowd were in admiration of the incredible dance moves as they owned the stage and received the rapturous applause they deserved. From high kicks, bottom slaps and the splits, the crowd went wild for the brilliantly outrageous performances.
Coming towards the end of her set, I definitely missed the absence of ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘Girls’, but she made up for it with ‘Boys’ and ‘1999’. As the neon green lights mirrored the aesthetic of the single cover, Charli had the crowd bouncing for one last time and beaming from ear to ear. Definitely a Wednesday night to remember for all the right reasons.