SXSW: Charli XCX Saves The Day

I was having a really rough start to my day. I had woken up late, was feeling a little heart broken, and got bombarded with some stressful work related news in the morning. I decided to start excessively day drinking in order to dull my brain down and numb my feelings. After another beautiful performance by Lord Huron at the IAMSOUND Day Party at Mohawk, I let the front of the stage clear and then positioned myself directly in front. During the 20 minute set change and sound check, I’d finished my Lone Star beer but decided I didn’t want to lose my spot as the area had gotten pretty packed. I knew I’d made the right decision as soon as Charli XCX came into view, bouncing on stage in a neon yellow sports bra, plaid wool pants, and 4 inch Spice Girls era platform sneakers. My mood immediately lifted.

She took to the mic, and began gyrating her hips to the bass lines of "You’re the One". It was a non stop dance party from there. She never stopped engaging the crowd, her hips kept moving, and she was jumping around with the boundless amount of energy that I vaguely remember having as a 20 year old. It was impossible to take your eyes off of her. Despite very little make up or hair styling, lighting, or elaborate costumes, she was captivating. Her face faintly resembled Mila Kunis – if she has a spunkier little sister from England, it might be Charli.

At one point, she asked the crowd if anyone liked Gold Panda and after a resounding roar, she answered, "This is my take on their song". She’d added three words to the title and a full set of vocals on top of already amazingly crafted electronic track, "You", to make, "You (Ha Ha Ha)". A huge fan of the Goldroom remix of the song, I suddenly realized I’d never even heard the original before. I knew all the lyrics though, and had no trouble singing along to the last line of the song:

"Good job, good job… you fucked it up."

I couldn’t imagine a more perfect line to release my emotions at that moment – if I was still in a funk at all, it was all forgotten; I was finally able to fully enjoy one of my favorite performances of the festival.

Photos By: Koury Angelo

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