Sunday, October 26, 2014


Charli XCX

Friday, night The Mayan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles transformed into a punk rock prom, complete with pink balloons, falling confetti, cheerleaders and a bad girl prom queen in the form of Charli XCX.  But if you thought Charli XCX was bubble-gum pop, think again.  She's more like if someone had spit out that bubblegum-pop and then someone came walking by and stepped on that gum.  

Charli XCX
Charli XCX performs at The Mayan Theater.
photo by picksysticks
Playing for a little over an hour, Charli stepped out, along with her band, in cheerleading uniforms with Sucker written on them - the name of her upcoming album.  Earlier in the night, Elliphant and Femme opened up. 

Singer Elliphant is the latest musical sensation to come out of the Swedish pop scene.  Influenced by London's urban music environment, Elliphant (aka: Ellinor Olovsdotter) fused those urban sounds with her dance/ dubsteb background to create a sound all her own. Her tunes like her live shows are filled with attitude and  struts in your face unabashadly.  In an unexpected moment, Elliphant stopped in the middle of a song when she noticed someone in the crowd fainting and handed her bottled water. 

Charli XCX
Charli XCX celebrates her new upcoming album SUCKER, out this January 2015.
photos by picksysticks
When Charli XCX finally came on stage, it eerily echoed high school prom all over again. The extra-large, mutated crystal ball hanging above added to the prom feel of twisted innocence, raging hormones and spiked punch. It also included a special celebration for Charli's mom, who was in attendance, when the everyone in the sold out Mayan Theater sang her Happy Birthday. 

But this night was special in other ways. Charli XCX showcased a range that spotlighted her musical styles - from disco, to  pop and finally to punk and rock.  But the highlights of the night didn't come from her hits like Fancy, Boom Clap and I Love It, it came when she unveiled her newer songs from her highly anticipated album Sucker which drops in January.  Admittedly saying her upcoming record is more pop, it's not hard to hear more of a rock/punk sound in her newer songs like the Weezer-esque "Breaking Up" and the punk sounds of the Ramones in "London Queen."  

Elliphant opens up for Charli XCX at The Mayan Theater.
photos by picksysticks
2014 has been a breakout year for the anti-pop princess.  After scoring a worldwide hit with last year's "I Love It" Charli has been winning ever since - this time with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and "Boom Clap" which was featured on the Fault in Our Stars soundtrack.  That single rose to the Billboard's top 10 singles chart.  She's one of the most sought after writers with  rumored upcoming collaborations with Rihanna and Gwen Stefani.

Charli XCX returns to Los Angeles on December 5th when she plays Staples Center as part of KIIS FM's  Jingle Ball which also features Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande,Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora. 

Mayan Theater Setlist (10/24/14) - Sucker / Breaking Up / I Love It / Famous  / SuperLove / Black Roses / Lock You Up / Caught in the Middle / Need Your Love  / Stay Away / You (Ha Ha Ha) / / London Queen  / Break the Rules  / Grins / Gold Coins / Fancy / Boom Clap