On Sunday, Charli XCX played an electrifying show for Wellesley students. Students in attendance received the young English artist with an enthusiasm, both from Fall Frenzy excitement and a need to release the stress of midterms. The fun singer reciprocated their energy, moving around the stage and urging the audience to let loose as she sang her synthy pop numbers.
Coming onto the stage in a short silver dress and sky high platforms, Charli XCX wasted no time in capturing the attention of the audience, opening with “Sucker”, the angsty title track from from her upcoming album. At a pause in the song, she and her band raised their middle fingers high in the air as an ironic salute to the beginning of the fun night. In a set of nearly 20 songs, she played an assortment from her 2013 album, “True Romance,” as well as new ones like “Caught in the Middle” and “Break the Rules.” If this sampling of the tracks from “Sucker” is any indication of what can be expected from the album as a whole, prepare for a commentary on money and fame.
Later, Charli XCX sent the crowd into hysteria when she sang “Fancy.” For a track that had been heard over and over again on the airwaves, its magic was revamped heard live. To close the show, Charli XCX played “Boom Clap.” Just like “Fancy,” the final song of the evening was a sing along moment for the ages.
For an artist who has been striving to break into the U.S. charts for a number of years, Charli XCX shattered them. Although she was previously better known in the United Kingdom, this year she was launched into fame on the other side of the pond. Her first breakthrough came in 2014 when she co-wrote rapper Iggy Azalea’s song “Fancy,” a number one hit that dominated the Billboard charts throughout the spring and became the mainstream anthem of the summer. The singer-songwriter’s popularity continued to skyrocket as her song “Boom Clap” from the soundtrack for “The Fault in Our Stars” was released. The movie was highly anticipated, and having Charli XCX’s distinct voice featured in the trailer was a guarantee to propel her forward.
Charli XCX played a sold out show at The Royale Boston on Saturday. Instead of traveling straight to New York City the next day to film at VH1 and play at a Nylon Magazine party, Charli XCX came to Wellesley. Her Girl Power North America Tour would not have been complete without coming to the Wellesley College campus, the collegiate epicenter for female empowerment. Throughout her time on stage, she was happy with her almost entirely female audience and mentioned multiples times how she loved “all this pussy power.”
While Charli XCX was a powerful force on her own, she stayed true to the Girl Power theme with an all-female band as back up. It was pleasant to see Charli XCX support other female musicians in an industry that’s hard for women to enter. The three women behind her were undoubtedly the backbone of the edgy pop princess’ performance.
Charli XCX provided a glimpse into what it was like watching Madonna’s early days in her career. Wild ponytail, red lipstick and retro black sunglasses, the artist sang with spirit and attitude. Dancing on stage and interacting with the crowd, she conducted herself with a confidence that, with her sassy lyrics, will allow her to have steady run in pop music.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article was published online and in print. The article stated that Charli XCX opened with “What I Like” during her concert at Wellesley. She actually opened with “Sucker.” The Wellesley News regrets this error.