Carly Rae Jepsen brought good vibes to Radio City Music Hall (pics, video, setlist, review)
"We just want you to dance and have the best time tonight," Carly Rae Jepsen declared to a sold out crowd at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday night (9/28). "Let's get loose." It was the third night of her So Nice Tour, her first North American headlining tour since 2019, and the vibes, as they say, were immaculate. With a stage set-up of full of cheerfully puffy clouds and stars, an animated talking moon to introduce each half of the show, and a video screen occasionally prompting the lyrics that the kids already knew by heart, Jepsen's live approach is incredibly earnest, but full of genuine feeling, and she had the crowd in the palm of her hand (and on their feet) for the whole time. While some big pop shows eschew an onstage backing band for dancers, Carly had a four-piece band with her, plus two backup vocalists (who she engaged in a little light choreography with from time to time). Instead of the rigors tightly-scripted performance piece, it gave the proceedings the spontaneous feeling of a celebration with all of your friends, and invited tons of dancing and singing along from the crowd.
"I hope you will sing this next song with me," Carly said at one point in the show, "it's the law." She then launched into "Call Me Maybe," the 2012 smash hit that rocketed her to stardom. Rather than saving it for the encore she featured it towards the middle of the set, and with the enthusiasm of a brand new single walked out onto the wings of the stage to engage with as much of the crowd as possible.
Speaking of new singles, she did play a few songs off her anticipated new album, The Loneliest Time (which she ruefully acknowledged is due out the same day as the new Taylor Swift), including "Western Wind," "Beach House" (complete with a spinning onscreen "wheel of misfortune" that included having one's organs harvested, along with other possible perils of dating apps), "Talking to Yourself," and the unreleased "Go Find Yourself or Whatever," but most of the set was made up of songs from E•MO•TION and Dedicated.
For the final song of the night, "Cut to the Feeling," Carly invited out Isabella Boylston, principal dancer at NYC's American Ballet Theatre, to join her onstage. Isabella's ecstatic leaps and pirouettes punctuated the emotional peaks in the chorus, making for a few moments of stratospheric pop bliss as confetti rained down from the ceiling. It was the best vibes you could possibly hope for from a big pop show.
Empress Of opened the night, singing and dancing in front of a quartet of mirrors (with Salt Cathedral in the middle providing the backing tracks). She covered Marina's "Man's World," but it was her own material, especially the songs from her new EP, Save Me, that really stood out.
Check out pictures of both Carly and Empress Of, along with Carly's setlist and a few attendee video clips of her set, below.
SETLIST: CARLY RAE JEPSEN @ RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, 9/28/2022
This Love Isn't Crazy
Let's Sort the Whole Thing Out
Run Away With Me
Talking to Yourself
Emotion / Favourite Colour
Call Me Maybe
I Really Like You
Want You in My Room
Now That I Found You
Go Find Yourself or Whatever
Boy Problems / Fake Mona Lisa
Party for One
When I Needed You
I Didn't Just Come Here to Dance
Cut to the Feeling