This is the question I asked to my compadre, Joel when we first arrived, and it’s the question I’m asking you. Because if you have not listened to Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest full-length, 2015’s Emotion, I’m going to need you to stop judging the 22-year-old man who showed up to The Plaza Live and took a bubble-gum-pop bath with a crowd of girls, and their less-than-thrilled boyfriends. Emotion is an immaculately-crafted pop album composed of sugary synths and sweet vocal melodies; and it, along with cuts from her debut, was brought to life by the talented and charming Carly Rae Jepsen and her backing band. It was cotton candy for the ears. And I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like cotton candy. Enjoy.
Let me be clear. This wasn’t an assignment. I really wanted to go see Carly Rae Jepsen. But I didnt’ want to go alone, because a grown man by himself at a Carley Rae concert isn’t cool — it’s weird. So, I brought my best friend Joel. And before we went in, we ate a pot brownie, a really good one. But please, don’t let this retract from the amazing experience we had with Ms. Jepsen, because she would have blown our minds either way.
A CRJ show is a spectacle. The lights are pink and purple, jumping around the venue. Her backing band are a group of incredibly skilled musicians. The bass player in particular caught my ear. He popped along with dat funk building the dancing beat as the synths breezed over top. During one epitome of art, her synth player grabbed a saxophone and decided that he was going to rip this audience a new asshole. They loved it! At the center was Carly herself, BELTING her pop anthems exactly how they sounded on recordings.
Songs “E•MO•TION,” “Boy Problems,” and “Gimmie Love,” elicited a teenybopper-like falsetto out of me as I struggled to sing along with my new hero. Joel and I received more than a handful of strange looks from the dads and boyfriends around us as we danced without care — high as hell. And with the kind of catchy, repetitive music that CRJ makes, I was singing the songs I had never heard before by the third chorus. Of these songs, the one that stuck with me most is the drop-heavy club banger, “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance.” Carly introduced the song as an anthem for her and her friends on those nights that she goes out and has one too many Old Fashioneds — hey Carly, that’s my drink too. 😉
Of course, the crowd favorite of the night was CRJ’s 2012 #1 single, “Call Me Maybe.” Even the boyfriends were dancing and snapchatting like school children. You may not be aware, but “Call Me Maybe” is a esoteric quandary of a hit song. It’s bridge contains the lyrics, “Before you came into my life I missed you so bad.” I’ve always thought that this was just some dumb mistake overlooked because it sounded good, but after experiencing the aura of Carly Rae Jepsen live, I think she’s just a time traveling genius.
After the final (and my favorite) song, “I Really Like You,” this GOAT-level tweet was made:
true fan @carlyraejepsen pic.twitter.com/zDgFwPKoG0
— The Vinyl Warhol (@thevinylwarhol) February 16, 2016
Then … tHeN … then, we spot a group of fans crowded around outside the The Plaza. “Could it be?” The legend herself was meeting her fans. So we do what any two adults do … sprint over to meet fuckin’ Carly Rae Jepsen! As we await our time with The Lord something hits me, “I’m really fucking high.” The edible was peaking and I had no idea what to say to Carly. I’m next in line. My mind is racing, but I know exactly what I must do. Aaaaannnddd, some guy skips me. No problem. I drop the reference I’d been holding in my mind for the last 15 minutes, “I’ll just stand over here … maybe have an Old Fashioned.” BOOMMM! I make Carly Rae Jepsen laugh. My life is made. ThEn … we squad up!
Carly Rae Jepsen Live Review by Matthew Weller.
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