To say that Carly Rae Jepsen has been on my bucket list bands for awhile would be an understatement. I had an awakening to the magic of Carly Rae Jepsen around the time she released her Emotion album in 2015. Prior to digging into the entire CRJ discography, I, like many, only knew Carly Rae Jepsen for her 2012 breakout hit Call Me Maybe. Unfortunately for many folks I know – Call Me Maybe is where there CRJ knowledge ends. But Jepsen is a full blown pop queen. She is the reigning master of writing, feel good, dancey, love songs – which lets be honest – is pretty much what pop music is all about. Both Emotion and her 2019 release Dedicated have become some of my favorite albums of all time – throwing them on at work, in the car, at the gym and really whenever I need a pick me up. Carly Rae Jepsen is my comfort food of music and I couldn’t wait to experience it live. \
I walked into an already packed State Theatre right around 8:00 pm when Mansionair was already on the stage. Hailing from Sydney, Australia – this trio has been making some waves in the pop music world live – take cues from the likes of Lany and The 1975, while doing something completely unique and their own. I knew Mansionair has swung through the Twin Cities before but this was my first chance to catch them life. Frontman Jack Froggatt was absolutely captivating to watch live. Though the State Theatre is a true theater, thus seated, Froggatt along with Lachlan Bostock and Alex Nicholls made the most of the crowd. “How being seated do you guys like that,” Froggatt joked. “Well maybe for our next song we can all stand – but we will do in a way so that no one feels weird. Because it’s always weird, being the only one standing…on a stage…in front of people,” he joked. Mansionair got the crowd (who was clearly dying to dance) on their feet for the last bit of their set and got the room dancing. Mansionair closed their set with their hit Astronaut (Something About Your Love).As the stage turned over for Carly Rae Jepsen, the anticipation in the State Theatre grew palpable. It was clear I wasn’t the only one dying to see the pop queen live. And let’s be honest for one second – we were all dying to see what she was wearing – as she is known for her colorful and wonderfully eccentric outfits on stage. Carly Rae Jepsen emerged on an orange light drenched stage for her first song of the evening No Drug Like Me. Jepsen was decked out head to toe in an orange outfit which was giving major Velma from Scooby Doo vibes in the best possible way. From the moment Carly Rae Jepsen took to the stage – there wasn’t a still body in the State Theatre. Everyone was dancing and singing along to song after song. It’s not often that everyone in the crowd knows every single song but that definitely seemed to be the case last night. It was the CRJ superfans (self included) out in full force. Jepsen breezed through her set with what seemed like ease. Her live set includes a full band complete with two supporting vocalists (Sophi Alexis Bairley and Julia Ross – both incredibly talented). The complete band mixed with the dreamy floods of light and a twirling disco ball – gave a very 70’s inspired feel to the whole evening and the crowd was loving every minute of it.
Watching Jepsen at the State Theatre on Friday night – I was reminded again why I (and so many others) love her music. There’s no way you can’t feel good listening to CRJ. It’s feel good songs about falling in and out of love – or just needing a night to dance by yourself. Jepsen has clearly studied the playbook of the great pop goddess who came before her (Whitney, Mariah, Robyn, Britany to name a few) and is keeping the spirit of no nonsense pop music alive. It’s music to dance to – and that’s really all you need on Friday night.
Set List: No Drug Like Me / E·MO·TION / Run Away With Me / Julien / Happy Not Knowing / Call Me Maybe / Now That I Found You / Gimmie Love / Feels Right / I’ll Be Your Girl / For Sure / Want You In My Room / Store / Too Much / When I Needed You / I Really Like You / Everything He Needs / Boy Problems / Party for One / Encore: All That / Let’s Get Lost / Cut to the Feeling