As the sun sets behind the pride flag waving on top of London’s stunning Somerset House, there’s a sense of the giddy excitement that only warm summer nights can conjure up. Smiles are all round and good vibes radiate through the crowd, even before the main event has started.
The courtyard is packed with fans spanning all ages and genders, from glitter-soaked teens at the barrier to older couples chatting together in the bar queue, and not one person in the throng of people eagerly buzzing around seems even remotely capable of having a bad time. This is perhaps the biggest indication of the universal appeal and magic of Carly Rae Jepsen.
“Someone asked me today what the biggest lesson was that I have learned on the road,” she’ll tell the crowd later on in the set. “I used to think I was too loud, too crazy, too emotional, too nuts… but there’s no such thing.” Carly has carved a space in the pop world that prioritises feeling however you want no matter what people think, and tonight she lets us join in on letting loose with her.
Her hour on stage flies by, limiting mid-song chats to jump quickly to the next hit instead. Gems from 2015’s cult classic ‘E•MO•TION’ like ‘Boy Problems’ and penultimate singalong ‘When I Need You’ shine, while ‘Dedicated’ cuts ‘Julien’, ‘Everything He Needs’ and ‘No Drug Like Me’ also get the crowd swaying.
May track ‘Western Wind’ is our only taste of new music from Carly, but she delivers on the classics. ‘Call Me Maybe’ gets a, quite early, mid-set outing, while the euphoric pop of ‘I Really Like You’ and ‘Cut To The Feeling’ close out the night.
Hidden away in Somerset House’s iconic courtyard, it feels like a little bit of pop oasis on a Monday afternoon in the middle of Central London, and for that one hour nothing seems to matter apart from singing as loud as you can.
Yes, the set may be short, but thanks to Carly it is no way less sweet.
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