[LIVE REVIEW] CARLY RAE JEPSEN @ ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL, LONDON – 07/12/2015
Carly Rae Jepsen has had one hell of a year. The album E MO TION remains one of 2015’s most interesting success stories, purely because of how unsuccessful it was, yet how amazing it really is as a body of work. No one bought this album, yet this album has made nearly every end “Best of….” from the likes of Rolling Stone to TIME magazine. If one things for definite, this cult following that Jepsen has gathered in this past year are loyal and she knows that, so she brought this album to the UK for her first ever headlinE UK show.
Before Jepsen took to the stage, the fans were treated to a quick opening set from rising musician HUNTAR, who delivered a production heavy performance that left the crowd cheering and pumped for what was about to happen. After a quick 30 minute wait and stage setup, it was time for Jepsen to hit the stage. Who knew that one saxophone could cause such loud screams from an excited audience.
Run Away With Me – the smash that never was – was the song to open this 80’s pop evening and what a choice to open a show. This collection of dedicated fans were left spinning and dancing with each other chanting away to the infectious chorus and it really set the tone for the rest of the night, it was going to be a fun evening. She then burned through a few more tracks – both new and old – from the likes of the title track to the Owl City collaboration and summer classic from years ago, Good Times.
Boy Problems was a stand out of the night, with Jepsen sounding on point, having fun with her also on point backing vocalists. The crowd yelling “I think I broke up with my boyfriend today, but I don’t really care” at each other was such a euphoric moment and ironically you could feel the love in the room. This was also the case for new single Your Type, the energy in the room from not just Jepsen, but from the love the crowd was giving off – it was such a surreal moment.
Towards the end of the set she toned it down with songs like Favourite Colour and a stripped down version of a track from her previous album Kiss, Curiosity, which saw Jepsen seek audience participation leaving a nice forwards and back action with both Jepsen and the crowd.
Closing the show however was back to back pop classics, starting with the forever infamous and most digitally downloaded song of all time, Call Me Maybe. This song live is the definition of fun, with on point vocals and an energy as powerful as the crowd and band combined – and the glitter ball hanging high in the air – it’s just a high energy ball of fun.
When you think it’s over, she closes the show out with I Really Like You and what a way it was the close the show. A fan also threw a Christmas hat on stage, which I guess makes up for the lack of her newly released Christmas cover on the stage.
Needless to say though Carly knows how to put on a show and hopefully it wont be too long until Jepsen is gracing English soil yet again.
Words and photo by Connor Spilsbury-Brown