Carly Rae Jepsen, who rose to fame with the 2012 megahit “Call Me Maybe,” delivered a magnetic concert at the Showbox Monday, Feb. 29.
“This is the greatest space,” Carly Rae Jepsen remarked, looking at the full house at the Showbox Monday (Feb. 29). “It’s like we’re all in this living room … having this intimate shared moment.”
Indeed, the 1,100-capacity Showbox must have felt intimate to Jepsen, given that the Canadian singer-songwriter was playing stadiums four years ago behind her 2012 megahit “Call Me Maybe.”
But Jepsen seemed to relish the chance to bring her airtight, arena-tested show to an adoring all-ages crowd in cozier environs. Her 100-watt smile never once waning, the 30-year-old brunette had the audience magnetized throughout her nearly two-hour performance.
In step with the synth-heavy sound of her 2015 album “Emotion” — a surprise critical favorite — an ’80s vibe colored the evening. But she and her five-piece band, which she’s been playing with since her early 20s, accomplished this without bludgeoning the bass or Auto-Tuning the vocals.
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Keyboardist Jared Manierka stepped out on saxophone for the opener, “Run Away With Me,” and on “Let’s Get Lost” (both from the new album). Guitarist Tavish Crowe traded out his Telecaster for an acoustic on “Curiosity,” one of a handful of songs played from Jepsen’s debut “Kiss.” The band busted out with Mumford and Sons-style “whoa-ohs” on “Good Time.”
Musically, if not commercially, “Emotion” was a quantum leap for Jepsen and her band, finding a sweet spot between mainstream glory and indie cred. Proof of that came when they finally played “Call Me Maybe,” second to last, and it felt like just another big group singalong.
The concert drew an eclectic crowd that included elementary-school-age kids sitting on their parents’ shoulders, tipsy fangirls and boys making up interpretive dances at the bar and friends and couples of all stripes belting out the words to earworms from “Emotion,” such as “Boy Problems” and the sensual “Making the Most of the Night.”
The show was over before the clock struck 11, leaving time for the young, fresh-faced, ecstatic fans to get a good night’s sleep before work or school the next day, which was no doubt appreciated.