Show time was listed as 8pm for the first of two opening acts. But that didn’t stop Charli XCX’s fans from lining up at noon to be the first inside (Le) Poisson Rouge. The line went down the block on Bleecker and wrapped around the corner onto Thompson. The crowd was young and loud, randomly breaking out into song and losing their collective minds when one of the opening acts (Cupcakke) snuck in through the front door.
As soon as the doors opened the crowd was itching to get by security to make the mad dash down to be close enough to touch Charli or the openers (Cupcakke and Brooke Candy). And they wasted no time crushing up against the stage with an hour to spare. The kind of packed-in sardine feel that you get once the opener comes on every bit of space has disappeared. Yeah, that was the scene with an hour to go for the first act. And when Brooke Candy’s squad of fabulously glam drag queens preceded her on stage, the crowd lost its collective mind.
Candy strutted on stage, looking like a tiny powerful mix of mid-80s Madonna meets Alice in Wonderland. She was sauntering back and forth across the stage, spending her time getting right up in her fans faces or striking poses with her posse. And she spent a lot of time with those fans. And let’s face it; this night was all about the fans. Most of the time you couldn’t hear the lyrics being belted out, because the fans were singing louder than at most shows you’ll find in the city. One thing the night wasn’t – a showcase for live instruments as there wasn’t a single one on stage during the three performances. Candy came at the audience hard with her meticulously crafted and supercharged persona and judging by the near tears on some fans faces, they were absorbing every bit of it.
Next up was Cupcakke, who proceeded to immediately take her shoes off and get intimate… no more explicit would be the better word … with the crowd. Cupcakke is the type of artist who would’ve made Tipper Gore’s head explode back in the 80s and Luther Campbell blush. If the set aired on live TV, it would’ve been the biggest FCC fine in history. I wonder if they would’ve had to fine every one in the audience as well, cause that every audience member looked to be in on the act.
And just when you thought that crowd couldn’t get any more fanatical, out came Charli XCX and the screaming went up six or seven notches. Charli XCX was glam as you can be when mixed with a workout video’s move and attire (only shinier and tighter). She brought forth the tunes from her recent mixtape and graced a venue that seems way too small in size for a star of her stature. She was bouncing across the stage, shaking her butt, and constantly pumping up the crowd with her fist flying through the air – and stopping every now and then to collect a gift from fans, be it sketches they drew of her, flowers, or notes – she took in, what seemed to be everything handed her way.
Backing Charli XCX up was producer A.G. Cook, who, when he wasn’t dropping beats for her, was rolling around on stage and seemingly getting lost in the pulses of the night. It’s probably fitting that they were both dressed in stylized workout gear, because they didn’t just keep their heart rates elevated, but those of the crowd as well.
Article: Omar Kasrawi