It feels like the enigmatic charisma that is Charli XCX has shot out of a cannon and from out of the middle of nowhere. From solo singles to iconically LGBTQ artist collaborations, this pop artist has made her way front and center and is forming a whole new soundscape for the Top 40.
Known as much for her solo work as for the long list of co-writing accolades, such as Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love,” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” the British pop star is as creative offstage as she is on it. Now that Charli XCX has released her fifth full-length album Charli, the singer/songwriter/performer is ready to take on the challenge of hosting stages all her own.
Currently on a headlining tour, Charli XCX took the stage at the Ogden Theatre on Wednesday, October 9 with opening support from Dorian Electra. The room was super-charged with pure, queer inclusivity, and from every corner of the room, there was some kind of electric connection radiating out.
From the moment Charli XCX took to the backlit stage, her shadow generated a squeal from the crowd, seriously challenging the volume of the tune that was entering its beginning notes. The crowd bounced and jumped to hit after hit as she dug deep into her list of five full-length studio album options.
Taking short moments to share thoughts between songs, the enthusiasm of Denver’s Ogden audience didn’t keep her chatting for very long. Charli XCX’s live show is a lot of dancing, a lot of jumping and booty-shaking, and a lot of flashing lights. Vocally, she sounded great, and the variety of slow tunes to upbeat songs was just right.
A unique attribute to Charli XCX is including the LGBTQ performance community on each stage of the city she’s in. Some of our favorite queer artists and performers from the local drag scene got the chance to have their moment on the stage with her, bringing out all their killer moves and fiercest poses. By far, this was a major highlight of the night.
Overall, however, the show was rather boring, which was surprising. Not bad, but not great, and it seemed many in the crowd had expected the latter. The frequent trips to the bar from concertgoers made it apparent the show was easy to walk away from and return to without fear of missing much.
The night, however, was far more than the music; it seemed that community was truly the focus. Spotting friends and queer family lounging across every wall, hugs and kisses were a constant theme. We also loved to see our friends from The Drop at Planned Parenthood handing out lube and condoms as well as information and an overall friendly greeting.
Memories, safe spaces, and fun dance music: that’s what a great concert is really all about.
*Photos and video by Veronica L. Holyfield