If there’s one thing Justin Bieber shouldn’t be sorry about, it’s putting Carly Rae Jepsen on the map. Back in 2011, the Canadian popstar tweeted about Jepsen’s song, and in weeks, “Call Me Maybe” was a bonafide hit— the 2012 Song of the Summer and every millennial’s favorite Karaoke tune. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Jepsen was as charming as the song was catchy.
It’s been a long three years, but Jepsen has returned with one of the best follow-ups in recent history. Emotion has not only been a hit with critics (many have called it one of the best albums of 2015), but it’s resulted in a few chart-topping singles as well.
Jepsen, now decidedly grown up, has traded in her squeaky clean persona for one with a whole lot of raw edge and, yes, I’ll say it, emotion. And it was never more clear than at Irving Plaza on Wednesday night at the NYC stop for Jepsen’s tour. In just 90 minutes, Jepsen proved while she’ll never just be a one hit wonder.
It was a sold out crowd as Jepsen took the stage, clad in a lace-up deep V sequined jacket and short black jagged bob, showing how much she’s grown up since the days of “Call Me Maybe.” Jepsen began the night with Emotion‘s “Run Away With Me” and “Making the Most of the Night” before going back in time with “Good Time,” her collaboration with Owl City. Next up, she barreled through a number of songs off Emotion, including the title track, “Warm Blood,” and “Boy Problems,” which elicited perhaps the largest singalong of the night (yes, maybe even more than “Call Me Maybe).”
On stage, Jepsen no longer seemed like a popstar still in the making. Now, she was was one. The 80’s beats of tunes like “Gimmie Love” and “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” blended with her voice almost seamlessly, and as she performed, it seemed effortless.
And it was clear she knew her fan base, making fun of Los Angeles before “LA Hallucinations” and engaging with the crowd. The small venue was ideal for the singer, who easily commanded the crowd, during songs like “Favorite Color” and “Love Again.”
As the night started to wind down, she played ballad “All That” and closed with “Let’s Get Lost.” It was only a few minutes, however, when Jepsen returned with an acoustic version of “Curiosity.”
And finally, the moment the crowd, mostly made up of die-hard fans, had been waiting for. “I may need some help with this one,” Jepsen yelled into the mic as the tune for “Call Me Maybe” began. The crowd went wild, singing along and jumping as Jepsen left the stage to sing with her fans. The singer finished the night with the first single off Emotion, “I Really Like You” reminding us how far she’s come in three years.
And as you may have assumed, history almost always repeats itself. Back in April, Bieber helped his old friend out by recording a lip synch version of “I Really Like You” back in April. The thing is, Carly, we really, really like you too. And it’s pretty clear you aren’t going anywhere.