LIB recap: 5 thoughts on Charli XCX

Charli XCX penned one of this year’s biggest pop hits: Icona Pop’s “I Love It.”
Dan Curwin, HR

1. One of the acts I was most excited to see, Charli XCX didn’t disappoint—but she didn’t blow me away either. The same goes for her band, which was tight musically, but lacked in energy. With an early set time of 2:20 p.m., a hip-shaking Charli danced and gyrated in the hot sun for 40 minutes, but her set could’ve used a lot more chemistry from her bandmates, who stood idly behind their instruments, appearing bored the whole time. Perhaps they were mad at the songstress for making them wear schoolgirl outfits.

2. Charli XCX was really f*cking hot—literally. In between songs the crowd was treated to the 21-year-old lamenting about how hot it was, how sweaty she was, and how really f*cking hot it was, and nothing else. She apologized for not being the best at “stage chat,” but her awkwardness and nervous panting in between songs made everything feel … uncomfortable.

3. The sound at the Ambassador stage might have been the best at the entire festival. The mix was near perfect, and Charli’s dark, soupy vocals were even better than I thought they’d be live.

4. True Romance didn't translate well into a live rock ’n’ roll performance. The album is rife with stylized hip-hop beats and slower tempos that sound better through headphones than giant speakers. And the crowd didn’t seem to get that into it, either. Her latest single, “Superlove,” and the Icona Pop track “I Love It,” both not on the 2012 LP, were the only tracks that seemed to get the crowd moving.

5. Charli’s set might have fared a lot better at nighttime. When I got to the stage, there was hardly anyone in attendance. Halfway through, I looked behind me to find a sea of new bodies. An evening slot would have drawn in even more people ready to dance to her down-tempo pop set.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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