Charli XCX

Charli XCX Plays It Safe But Never Boring

Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, Oct. 21

If you accepted Charli XCX’s late-night Pride performance for what it was—a strobe light marathon of interpretive trap dance—then you had a good time. Here at Vegas Seven we don’t judge. So when Charli XCX, starring her blatant butt cheeks, hit the stage with her girl squad in tow, we were all ears (and eyes). At first glance, the ladies accompanying the “Boom Clap” star appeared to be backup dancers, but as the night devolved, we concluded that they were there to party, and party, they did. One dancer showered the audience in Champagne during “I Love It,” and later handed off a bottle to Charli, who sipped it in her oversize coat, looking like a raven-haired Penny Lane, minus the quaaludes. 

The singer held it down on songs from her latest EP and sophomore album, but when it came to performing collaborative efforts such as “Fancy” and “Drop That Kitty,” the energy flatlined without the support of her musical guest stars. Grand nostalgia hit when Charli returned to material from her debut LP,  True Romance, but revisiting just “Grins” and “What I Like” left much to be desired as far as quantity goes.

We’d be lying if we said Charli’s confetti-spouting, bottle-popping performance wasn’t fun. But it felt as though it could have happened anywhere. That’s not to say the singer didn’t put her sweat into it. She just left us wanting more. Perhaps a little too much. ★★★✩✩

Photos by Downtown Las Vegas Events Center/Tom Donoghue Photography