Charli XcX at Northcote Theatre
02 March 2023
DJ Prophecy Girl gets the party started with a set packed with hyper-pop and goth techno bangers to amp-up the crowd. The self-proclaimed prophecy DJ cult-leader dedicates his work to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, even dropping a sample of the TV show’s theme in amongst fast-paced mixes for all the night crawlers.
Video footage of a fast car driving down a road on a stormy night, flashes up on the screen. The car crashes out of control and the screen fades to black before the name Charli XcX lights up in neon red. The crowd screams at the top of their lungs as the strobe lights swirl and visuals of a raging storm brings Charli XcX onto the stage with her electric pop hit Lightning. With two dancers by her side, the singer instantly commands her audience with the infectious ‘80s pop song loaded with her signature vocoder sound and crashing synth.
“You know my name, it’s Charli baby! Show me everything you got and let’s fuck it up!” she shouts, before launching into Gone. She’s giving Matrix Trinity vibes tonight in black leather and dark sunglasses. Charli is ready to slay the night with an epic set as she serves up a non-stop, high intensity performance with irresistible energy and a meticulously choregraphed dance routine that has her dripping with sweat in no time.
“It’s been a long fucking time coming. Welcome to the Crash tour motherfuckers,” she scream before continuing with five songs in a row from her latest album that reached the number one status at the top of the charts, upon release last year.
Charli XcX dedicates Party 4 U to all her number one angel fans who fought to get a ticket to this coveted sold out show tonight. She channels fellow songstress Caroline Polachek on the final high note. “Who’s been listening to Desire, I Want To Turn Into You? I’ve been listening to the album on repeat whilst I’ve been over here in Australia. It’s so good, I’ve just thinking about that when Caroline’s on the screen. She’s a fucking legend,” she declares.
With such a large catalogue of music it’s hard to pick 20 songs to fit in tonight’s set but it’s a great mix of singles, collaborations, deep cuts and fan-favourites. She continues with a string of bangers including 1999, Beg For You, Boom Clap and Twice.
Tonight is one of the last Crash headline shows and Charli expresses how happy she is to be here with us. She takes a moment to candidly open up and talk to the audience.
“Touring is like a (not to quote myself) roller coaster ride in the fucking fast lane. One minute you’re like I’m the fucking shit, having the best time of my life and the next minute I’m like oh my god, this is really tough, is this what I want to do? I know everybody has that in their life but on the road, it’s like this compact kind of pressure cooker,” she explains.
“Even if you’re having the worst day and you didn’t sleep and losing your voice or one of the dancers have an injury and it’s just really difficult but then coming on stage and seeing you guys makes it all worth it,” she continues.
“I really wouldn’t be here without you guys. I feel like you understand me, my music, my journey and it’s really special. I didn’t always feel like I have that and I’ve felt it grow by releasing the music that I wanted to release. We’re on the same page,” she says.
Before her four-song-encore beginning with hyper-pop fan-favourite Vroom Vroom, she reveals that when she gets back home from Australia, she’s heading into the studio with producer A.G Cook to record new music. The crowd screams with excitement and the encore turns up the theatre in a massive rave party pushing the limits to a whole other level we didn’t know was possible.
Got It usually features three other artists but tonight Charli does it solo with help from the crowd. “Alright Melbourne, I think you might have it (Got It). You want a couple more or what?” She quickly puts the girls back in her leather bra and her dancers re-join in cheerleading outfits for Unlock It and the final track Good Ones.
Words by Michael Prebeg