Charli XCX takes control, makes her fans take it too


Photo courtesy of (Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for iHeartRadio/TNS

Charli XCX performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Z100 Jingle Ball 2021 Pre-Show on Dec. 10, 2021. The artist performed at Lollapalooza singing “Lighting,” “I Love It” and more on Sunday. The photo pit was closed for Charli XCX’s Lollapalooza performance.

By Aidan Sadovi , Staff Writer

The best part about listening to Charli XCX’s music is that it can sometimes feel like it was made just for you. 

Charli, at an evening show at the Bud Light Seltzer stage on Sunday, leaned into this dynamic to give a massive crowd a taste of the breakneck energy and dynamism they came to see. 

Charli, whose real name is Charlotte Aitchison, appeared onstage to much fanfare in a leather roman soldier-style kilt and top, a fitting outfit for a set that emphasized the sheer power of the beats and motoring rhythms present in her music. 

Although at an open-field festival and not a dark and crowded dance floor, Charli didn’t shy away from playing the music she does best: club bangers that can make fans feel empowered in their individuality.

Near the beginning of the show, around the track “party 4 you,” a group of friends forced their way into a tight hamlet of the crowd, around the right side of the stage.

Lightly pushing other audience members to the side, they began to dance on the patch of grass they had designated as their personal dance floor — an action that Charli herself would have likely endorsed.

Songs like “Lightning” — which started out the English singer’s set — were enjoyable and catchy enough, but the real joy came to the crowd when fans took part in singing with the strangers at their sides. 

“I Love It,” one of the most confidently carefree songs in the Charli repertoire had most fans harkening back to the summer in which she released the single, catapulting the singer to a popularity that she’s continued to grow to this day. She also performed the song at a smaller set during an appearance at Lollapalooza Chicago back in 2015. 

Everyone was hype for that one,” said Chicagoan Mary Burns after the show, 

Charli has also found a devoted fanbase in LGBTQ+ communities, members of whom she has often acknowledged and thanked for their support. 

Charli dedicated her song “Boys,” a catchy, digitally accented tune, to gay members of the audience. 

“This goes out to all the gay boys out there,” she said. A loud cheering and whooping came from  the crowd. 

“I had a feeling you were out there,” she said, smiling. 

Charli thanked and supported her fans, and superfans, during the show, calling them “Charli’s angels.” She reflected a positive energy in an earnest Essex accent that the crowd loved. 

“I see you out there, looking sexy,” Charli said to the crowd but to no one in particular. It didnt matter, though, because much like most of her music itself, the gratifying words were delivered in such a comfortable and alluring confidence, that seemed impossible not to give in to.


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