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4th June 2022

Live Review: Charli XCX delivers a pop-epic show at Victoria Warehouse

Delivering a choreography-packed concert at Victoria Warehouse, Charli XCX showed that she deserves to be placed among the pop superstars.
Live Review: Charli XCX delivers a pop-epic show at Victoria Warehouse
Photo: Charli XCX @ Press

Following the release of her album CRASH, English pop star Charli XCX played a sold-out show at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. Offering irresistible energy and meticulous choreography performed with two backing dancers, she lit up the venue from the opening ‘Lightning’ up to the four-song encore.

Before Charli appeared on stage minutes after 9pm, support act yeule tried to prepare the crowd for what was to come. However, the ambient electronic set from the Singaporean artist did not feel at the right place as everyone was awaiting Charli’s up-beat tracks. A never-ending chatter throughout the audience made yeule’s songs barely hearable, and the nature of their music in which the instrumental largely overpowers their voice was not of much help. Although the atmosphere of their songs might be reminiscent of Grimes, there was no power and energy to be found. The melancholic, electronic sounds certainly did not grab the crowd’s attention, ultimately making for everything that the opening act should not be.

The sour taste the audience was left with after the support act only heightened the expectations for Charli; but as soon as the opening lightning struck on the LED screen, everyone felt relieved knowing that they are in for a great show. 

Charli XCX
Photo: Charli XCX @ Press

Utilising the massive LED screen to the maximum, Charli XCX felt nothing but comfortable with the fast-changing aesthetics of the show, with songs such as ‘party 4 u’, ‘Used To Know Me’, and ‘1999’ being played back-to-back. She provided the eager crowd with an impressive set list of 20 tracks, playing every song from her newest album as well as a selection of the biggest hits from her previous works. This included ‘Boom Clap’, preceded by Charli exclaiming that she’s still “a mainstream pop girl”, and the fan-favourite ‘Vroom Vroom’ opening the encore.

It’s fair to say that Charli’s fans think of her as a goddess, and every small interaction with the audience resulted in the explosion of cheers. Dedicating ‘Boys’ to “all the gay boys out there tonight” was one of the best received moments, but every single song was met with excitement; Charli did not miss with any choice she made, either while planning the show or while performing it, and it would be difficult to come up with any criticisms.

Charli XCX
Photo: Charli XCX @ Press

Although the pop-epic, choreography-packed show might be something Charli XCX’s fans have not been used to, this tour might mark an entirely new era for the artist. With CRASH, she managed to reach her first UK number one, and everything seems to show that she is ready for new challenges. For us, all that remains is to be excited for what she decides to do next.

Michal Wasilewski

Michal Wasilewski

Managing Editor of Culture for The Mancunion.

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