Live Music Review: Carly Rae Jepsen at Glasgow’s O2 Academy

5 mins read

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Glaswegian fans came down with a serious case of dance fever last Wednesday, February 8, when she brought her So Nice Tour to the O2 Academy in Glasgow’s East End.

Equipped with bops from her newest album, The Loneliest Time, as well as better-known songs for older fans, Jepsen’s 24-song long setlist commanded the audience to sing their hearts out. The gig was supported by Lewis OfMan, a French electronic artist who Jepsen previously collaborated with on their song Move Me last summer.

carly rae jepsen
Jepsen holds her microphone up to the crowd. / Image Credit: Robbie McAvenue

Jepsen launched the show with the opening track to her new album, Surrender My Heart; a big, sprawling song that calls for the audience to shout – not just sing – every single word to its chorus. Later, Jepsen sang Run Away With Me, arguably her most ambitious song ever, begging the crowd to pack up, get out of their current lives and take an adventure with her.

Jepsen then stripped it back with Go Find Yourself or Whatever, her slowest song to date. Lead by acoustic guitar, Jepsen’s chilled, stripped-down performance rendered the audience silent with heartfelt emotion. The song’s lyrics about unrequited love were sung with a pure embodiment of those feelings, and the crowd had no choice but to sway their arms and mobile phone torches in the air.

Jepsen knows a thing or two about connecting with an audience, and halfway through the gig she wanted to rile the rowdy Glasgow crowd up. She announced that her next song would be up to the crowd: a toss-up between Cry and Your Type, two synth-poppy fan favourites that leave us unsure whether we want to bawl our eyes out or dance like nobody’s watching. In the end, a large portion of the crowd determined that Your Type would be the winner – a good decision, because you could tell this song was one of Jepsen’s favourites.

carly rae jepsen
Jepsen’s colourful set was lit up by neon lights. / Image Credit: Robbie McAvenue

One of the show’s highlights was when Jepsen performed her biggest hit, Call Me Maybe; the song that kickstarted her career back in 2013 and most likely hooked the majority of her current fans in.

The bubblegum-pop hit is slightly marmite: some love the song and find it nostalgia-filled and generally good fun, whereas for others it’s nothing but an irritant. When Jepsen performed the song live, however, opinions seemed to fall away as the captivated audience travelled back to 2013. Call Me Maybe is now an anthem and marks a certain era in popular music when fun pop songs reigned supreme – it’s no wonder the music video has now racked up over one billion views.

carly rae jepsen
Jepsen holds a sword given to her by a fan. / Image Credit: Robbie McAvenue

Just when you thought it was over, Jepsen returned for a three-song encore, armed to the teeth with a sword (yes, one fan handed her a literal sword) and fan-favourite tracks: I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance; The Loneliest Time, which very recently went viral on TikTok; and Cut to the Feeling.

The Loneliest Time, the new album’s title track, gave us one of the best moments of the gig, the monologue halfway through the song that became a TikTok craze: “I’m coming back to you baby.”

The final song Cut to the Feeling was the most electric song of the night, Jepsen was on cloud nine performing it and confetti cannons that burst onto the audience halfway through summed up the positive, glittery atmosphere of the gig as a whole.

Featured Image Credit: Robbie McAvenue

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