I went to the future at the ‘Charli Live Tour’.

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I went to the future at the ‘Charli Live Tour’.

Charli's name on the marquis outside Fox Theater.

Charli's name on the marquis outside Fox Theater.

Mason Montano

Charli's name on the marquis outside Fox Theater.

Mason Montano

Mason Montano

Charli's name on the marquis outside Fox Theater.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

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On Wednesday, October 2, English singer-songwriter Charli XCX performed live at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California as part of her Charli Live Tour in promotion of her, recently released, third studio album, Charli. I purchased my tickets back in June when the tour was originally announced, obtaining a presale code upon preordering the album. Yes, it’s that serious.

Before the tour began in late September, it was revealed that the first 50 people waiting outside the venue would gain access to an exclusive meet-and-greet with Charli herself. Our show was scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM, with the doors opening at 7, so my friend and I got in line at around 11:30 AM, but to our horror, there were already more than 50 people in line. While I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t going to meet one of my idols, I was honestly just happy to be there.

American rapper and long-time friend and collaborator of Charli’s Brooke Candy performed as the show’s opening act. I never was a big Brooke Candy fan, and I only knew a couple of her songs prior to the show, but after watching her set, I can say with confidence that I’m now, officially, a stan! 

Sporting a jacket bearing the message; “TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS”; Candy’s set was phenomenal! She has a captivating stage presence, and I didn’t know she was a singer as well, so hearing her singing voice live for the first time was a very pleasant surprise.

Thirty minutes later, it was finally time for Charli to take the stage. She opened the show with an explosive performance of “Next Level Charli”, and her vocals paired with the powerful bass and misty atmosphere of the stage made me feel as though I were ascending into gay heaven — truly a life-changing experience.

The rest of the setlist was mainly comprised of songs from Charli, along with a few fan-favorites, including “Vroom Vroom” and “Boys”. Speaking of “Vroom Vroom”, Charli’s fans, the “Angels”, are notorious for going absolutely insane when she performs it live. An industrial electronic banger, the song became an instant classic back in February 2016 when it was released to the dismay of the GP. I can confirm that this track live is an absolutely terrifying and emotionally overwhelming experience, as everyone was screaming and jumping and overall losing their minds! (Myself included).

Charli has been criticized for using autotune during her live shows, the effects of which could be heard during her performances of “Warm” and “Thoughts”, but while some may disapprove, I thought its use was tasteful and made her sound more futuristic. It was a very nice touch.

Another standout performance of the night was “Shake It” because, for each show, Charli invited local drag queens and entertainers she discovered through social media onstage with her. The result was the best kind of controlled chaos I had ever seen, and Brooke Candy, who is featured on the song, also joined Charli for the performance.

She closed with “1999”, ending the show with a bang and sending us off into the future, and even though I didn’t get to meet her, Charli did wave at me when addressing the crowd. Validation: Complete.