Charli XCX Brings Special Guests and "Boys" to Brooklyn 'Pop 2' Party
The second of two special shows for Pop 2 was held at Elsewhere in Brooklyn and saw Charli XCX provide a unique frame on pop.
After a star-studded Los Angeles show that included Tove Lo and Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX brought her to Pop 2 mixtape/album party to New York, or more aptly the Elsewhere space in Bushwick, for an explosive night of music and guests.
As was the case in L.A., "the night featured such a diverse cast of women, queer performers and people of color" (BrooklynVegan) -- guests in NYC included Kim Petras, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy, Caroline Polachek (formerly of Chairlift), A.G. Cook, and Dorian Electra. The audience was just as diverse too and very positive -- several people introduced themselves to me before this show. That has ever happened in the past (usually the count is zero, to be honest).
Following an intro from A.G. Cook, Charli XCX finally took the stage after 9:30 and the audience went wild. Arms (many clutching phones) waved in the air as she and Kim Petras kicked off with "Unlock It". The live performance was as much a showcase for Pop 2 and Number 1 Angel (her previous mix) as it was for the special guests featured on each. Petras, straight from SXSW, rolled the energy into a performance of her own song, "I Don't Want It All". Later on, Caroline Polachek performed her song "Chandelier" after reprising her turn on "Tears".
The night's standout may have been the anthem "Boys", which featured sumptuous eyecandy on stage wearing pink tinged clothing some holding flowers. The coin-block sampling song was one of 2017's best pop songs and the celebrity-filled video received a lot of buzz. As the song ended, Charli leaned over to give one of the boys a kiss.
Charli noted that this was only the second occasion on which Brooke Candy and CupcakKe were performing her (the previous time was also in NYC) and the three looked thrilled to be sharing the stage. CupcakKe got a little naughty as she sang her songs "Duck Duck Goose" and "Deepthroat" (I'll let you guess what direction her antics took on that one) and the crowd gobbled it up. The finale was a one-two of "Lipgloss" and "Girls Night Out" which saw almost everyone return to the stage and a bunch of fans take the initiative to get on up there themselves (before they were quickly escorted off).
Pop 2 and Charli's previous mixtape Number 1 Angel sound like little anything else Charli has done before. It will be interesting to hear how Taylor Swift's audience reacts to Charli when she opens shows for the former's upcoming summer tour. Would Charli dare bring her squad out with her on the tour as Swift had in the past? Charli draws a diverse audience out to hear audacious sonics and infectious lyrics as the Pop 2 parties can attest.
3/18/2018 Elsewhere Setlist:
Intro (A.G. Cook)
I Don't Want It All (Kim Petras)
3AM (Pull Up)
Roll With Me
Chandelier (Caroline Polachek)
Out of My Head
Don't Touch My Hair Hoe (Brooke Candy)
I Got It
Duck Duck Goose (CupcakKe)
Girls Night Out