On a Thursday in Melbourne’s inner north Charli XCX enchanted a sold-out crowd of her most devoted Victorian fans with a mix of demonic hyper-pop bangers.
Prophecy Girl, the self-described ‘naarm based vampire slayer’, set up the night with their fiery dj mixes. Teasing fans with expertly curated sound bites of XCX and Rosalía packaged perfectly for a lively start. This opener struck the right balance of techno and fan girl inspired hyper-pop, everything the audience needed to kick the evening into gear. During their performance there were a few special moments you could see Prophecy Girl was living out a newly-realised dream in front of new fans, like myself.
The venue itself was reminiscent of an embellished Australian school hall. In 1912, Northcote Theatre became the first electrified building in its suburb. And in 2023 it was transformed into a temple of worship for fans of pop music’s high energy sub-genre.
The show started with effects of sensory overload and lightning strikes engulfing the theatre, marking the beginning of what would be XCX’s electric performance. Coming out on to the stage wearing a high ponytail, wraparound sunnies and a badass biker-esque jacket dress she began bolting out her song ‘lightning’. Symbolism on point.
XCX danced and sung her way from hit to hit with each song accompanied by a stage-size backdrop of curated graphics to transport the crowd to XCX’s world. Her set list leaned heavy on her latest album Crash, an era you could tell was a favourite creative exchange between artist and fans. She also brought back a few of her signature songs like ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘Boys’, XCX switched into a confident auto-pilot as she let the audience sing along to most of the foundational anthems.
With the immodest diva status she has earned, she quoted one of her own songs by describing the tour as “a rollercoaster ride in the fast lane.” She proceeded to thank fans for the love, support, and consistent energy on every stop of her tour.
After performing a few of her final hits like ‘Vroom Vroom’ where the crowd went absolutely feral, XCX let everyone in on a secret – once she got home from Australia she was excited to get straight back into the studio and start recording her next releases. This comes after XCX announced the signing of her new recording contract for two albums last week on social media.
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The show came to a close with ‘Good Ones’, yet another fan favourite that the crowd religiously sang their hearts out to, and after, Charli made her triumphant exit from another Australian visit. The overheated crowd started to disperse from the theatre as XCX’s unreleased song ‘Taxi’ was teased through the speakers.