Charli XCX Brings Out The Best in Pop in Los Angeles and Brooklyn
    • MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

    • Posted by: Elissa Fertig

    In 1985, the pop music was artists like Madonna or Michael Jackson, and in 1995 it was probably Alanis Morisette or Christina Aguilera. And today in 2018, it's British icon Charli XCX who is paving the way for pop artists everywhere, exploring the potential of the genre with major hooks, emotions, and hyperreal sensibilities.

    Charli played in Los Angeles and Brooklyn this past weekend and brought out a ton of guest artists to both shows. The LA show included Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo (who actually came out first and started the show with "Out of my Head" and later performed "Disco Tits"), Brooke Candy, and others. In Brooklyn, she brought out Kim Petras, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, and CupcakKe amongst others.

    We knew as soon as she announced these shows that the setlist would be studded with stars, as her latest and most excellent mixtape Pop 2 actually only featured two solo songs amongst a slew of features. It didn't only feature huge stars though, it also put the spotlight on more emerging artists who are lighting a fire under the industry's butt, like Dorian Electra, Mykki Blanco, and Tommy Cash. "Everyone's a friend on the mixtape," Charli said. "Friends are my biggest inspiration."

    Would you rather: smell like raw beef for the rest of your life BUT you get to be Charli's BFF, or smell like roses even when you work out but never even get to see Charli XCX live? The choice is obvious.

    In LA, Charli performed "Backseat" with Carly Rae Jepsen and then went into Jepsen's excellent single, "Cut to the Feeling."

    In Brooklyn, things were a little more subdued guest-wise, but still pretty crazy. I mean, CupcakKe came out. CupcakKe. And they performed "I Got It" with Brooke Candy along with the rapper's track "Duck Duck Goose."

    After binge-watching a ton of YouTube videos ourselves (FOMO), both nights looked like a giant dance party with only the best pop artists performing and the most insane crowd. Charli XCX knows how to throw a party - she gives "party" a whole new meaning - but beyond that, she knows what it means to be a woman in the music industry. And she's out there working tirelessly, making infectious pop music that's pushing the envelope and creating a space for more experimentation and more representation in the musical sphere and society at large. And her desire and willingness to collaborate with other amazing artists just supports that fact.

    P.S. If you're wondering: yes, I am obsessed with Charli XCX, but YOU SHOULD BE TOO. I mean, it's 2018, and we should all be obsessed with inclusion and creativity for female pop artists.

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