A Friday afternoon in the blazing sunshine is the perfect time to showcase all the pop tunes, Carly Rae Jepsen has many to offer. I knew a couple of the big songs and I will happily bop along to Call Me Maybe (2012) whenever the opportunity arises, now I will be extending my repertoire after her afternoon set. The Canadian songstress burst onto the Other Stage for her debut Glastonbury performance and spent her allotted one hour belting out a decent smattering of hits. The set was unexpected, for me, why wouldn’t you start with I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance and end with Call Me Maybe? My personal favourite, see previous comment, but that didn’t matter and she didn’t ask for my advice. Jepsen held the audience’s attention from the get go, she gave the people what they wanted.
Carley Rae Jepsen @ Glastonbury Festival 2023
Surrender My Heart from 2022 album, The Loneliest Time was the opening choice and perhaps it was her way of saying she was surrendering, or asking the crowd to surrender to her. It worked, she smiled and strutted in chunky pink platform boots keeping the masses in the palm of her hand. It was a master class of pop excellence. The set took its content from Jepsen’s 6 album back-catalogue and featured a new track, Shy Boy, which received a pretty big cheer. The announcement coincided with the removal of her pink cropped camouflage jacket, I can’t be sure some of the cheer wasn’t for that.
There was much arm swaying and too many people on shoulders seeking that all important camera shot to be displayed on the screen. Jepsen was a consummate professional, her engagement grin-inducing. She used her backing singers as confidantes and treated the crowd like friends. She was just the right amount of chatty, humorous and vulnerable. When introducing Bends, she said it had personal meaning for her, a change in tone from the main focus of parties, boys and love or heartbreak. Her voice was occasionally pitchy, but that was ok. At regular intervals the shout of “Let’s Go” caused the throng to jump along with her and generally raise voices for a choral accompaniment to the tune.
My personal highlight was the crowd-pleasing I Really Like You followed by (I) Want You In My Room into pick-up-song turned life mantra (her words) I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance, all sing-a-long-tastic.
The whole experience was the perfect upbeat start to the weekend. Carly enjoyed herself claiming the memory was implanted already before she launched in her closing number, Cut To The Feeling. Which was euphoric in delivery and obviously, had everyone chiming along. Until next time, Ms Jepsen. You were a joy.
Review by Sharmayne Robinson and photos by Kalpesh Patel at Glastonbury Festival 2023.