Six songs into her Saturday night (Aug. 10) show at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre, Carly Rae Jepsen played “Call Me Maybe.” Rest assured, 2011’s world-conquering hit can still move a room, but it was played (and received) more like a fun curio from a bygone era.
In the eight years since, the Canadian singer-songwriter has steadily outgrown the song to become a very different kind of artist. Her third album, 2015’s E•MO•TION, and this year’s similarly ’80s-indebted Dedicated have recast her firmly as queen of emotionally evocative and wonderfully melodramatic pop. Her summer Dedicated Tour has been marching through the U.S. since June, and as it came to an end with a two-night stand at the L.A. venue, here’s our rundown of night one’s five best moments.
Dedicated opens with this moment of disco-flecked gold and live, it shimmered with just as much brilliance. But Jepsen took a moment to add her own deliciously devilish details. “We spent three wonderful nights together,” she said, referring to the song’s titular character. “But the truth is, I don’t have any feelings for you anymore. You just have a very musical name. So if you’re here tonight, don’t call me!” And she don’t mean maybe.
Reuniting With Old Friends
As Jepsen explained from the Wiltern stage, much of Dedicated was written in Los Angeles (where she also has a home) and for the upbeat swing of “Feels Right,” she was reunited with Electric Guest vocalist Asa Taccone. His cameo was short and sweet, but Taccone ably assisted Jepsen in reaching the higher end of her range in the song’s chorus, and shed a little more light on one of the album’s lesser known gems.
The Jepsies Let Loose
Witnessing Jepsen’s cult but deeply loyal following — particularly among the LGBTQ+ community — worshipping their idol is an experience in itself. The “Jepsies” were fully integrated into the show, and Jepsen frequently acted as a conductor, encouraging the sold-out crowd to sing and sway almost constantly throughout the 90-minute set. It’s a generous but smart act by someone who knows her fame and success is fan made.
Carly Spills the Beans
After four albums, we all know that Jepsen isn’t afraid to sing her life. But she also speaks it. Her Saturday set came studded with stories and confessionals, including the one about stealing an ex’s bike. “I had to get out of there,” she explained, with a hilariously odd logic. She also recalled breaking with one dude on top of a mountain during a hike, before launching into the maddeningly catchy E•MO•TION: Side B track “Store.” You can’t deny that a Carly Rae Jepsen show is a riveting listen, in more ways than one.
“Party for One”
The smash that never was. Jepsen’s 2018 single is pop lighting in a bottle; a sad-yet-celebratory-yet-funny ode to self love (both emotional and physical). Even though it barely made a dent on the chart, it was greeted like a returning heroine by the crowd. Future generations of music fans will think of us unkindly for failing to give Jepsen “Call Me Maybe”-sized numbers for this dazzling track.