Concert Review: Charli XCX performs in Bender Arena
The singer headlined SUB’s annual Welcome Week concert
Saturday night’s Welcome Week show with headliner Charli XCX and opener Color Palette fired up a large crowd in Bender Arena. Despite being on an empty stage accompanied only by a DJ riser, Charli XCX danced all over and commanded the attention of everyone in the crowd.
Doors opened at 8 p.m. and as students started to pour in, AU DJs “Mekanikal” Kyle Jensen and “Rucca” Lucca Vaselli began their opening set of house and trap music.The DJs played high paced heavy bass remixes of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “Stay the Night” by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams and Fetty Wap’s “679” to get the crowd pumped up.
The DC native rock electro band Color Palette came onstage at 9 p.m. with songs from its newest debut album, “Vaporwave”. Mixing dreamy synths with rugged vocals, the band’s upbeat and explosive sound got the audience jumping and dancing.
After Color Palette ended its hour long set, Charli XCX’s DJ walked to her riser to start playing the fast paced trap beats from the hook of “Trophy,” off the new “Vrooom Vrooom” EP. Charli XCX strutted her way onstage wearing a white cap, a neon bikini top and a plaid skirt against the backdrop of white lights and a loud crowd. She busted out her dances moves across the stage and rapped the first verse before switching to sing the chorus.
Once “Trophy” finished, the English musician sung her Icona Pop collaboration “I Love It,” and the popular anthemic chorus became even louder thanks to the energetic crowd. She performed a variety of older songs like “You (Ha Ha Ha)” which she mentioned she played during her first concert in DC at the 9:30 club and “Famous,” as well as songs from her new EP.
Later her DJ played a heavy bass remix of “Fancy” where Charli XCX covered Iggy Azaelia’s part with her unique, husky and deep voice over Azaelia’s part. Charli XCX sang along with the crowd who yelled the chorus back at her as she pointed the mic at them.
During the song “Paradise”, all eyes and phones were on Charli XCX as she grabbed the attention of the whole crowd with her voice blending into the accelerating beat. The crowd clapped along with the beat and became more hyper with the build up of the bass drop.
Charli XCX’s audience interactions made the show more exciting and memorable. During “I Love It”, she threw her ring pop into the crowd with a group of hands reaching to catch it.
The crowd cheered her wild dancing on as she swung her hips with the beats and even pelvic thrusted at the crowd. At one point, Charli XCX even asked if anyone knew any house parties since she had never been to a sorority or a fraternity party and wanted someone to invite her.
She performed her hit “Boom Clap” from the film The Fault in Our Stars as her last song. Her slow body movements were in sync with the rhythm and her deep voice echoed with the music. The crowd again sang along to every word in the song and raised their hands. As the Welcome Week show came to an end with an energetic and memorable performance for Bender Arena, Charli XCX paraded off the stage.