While Carly Rae Jepsen may have been without her sword for her Friday afternoon Outside Lands performance, nothing stopped her from slaying. With her set only scheduled for 50 minutes, Jepsen wasted no time in sauntering to the stage in wild white fringe pants, dancing and twirling as she sang the effervescent “Run Away With Me,” the track’s music video displaying images of Jepsen running through Paris and Tokyo behind her.
Knowing full well that most of her songs deal with “Boy Problems,” Jepsen gave relationship advice between tracks. She shared that she really did steal a bike from an ex-beau, as she claims in “Fever” off her 2016 release Emotion: Side B — in response to which a fan yelled, “Queen of communism!”
While some in the back of the crowd may have left after Jepsen’s midperformance romp of “Call Me Maybe,” the fans in the front rows stuck around to sing every word to every song off 2015’s Emotion that Jepsen performed. Jepsen pointed to members of the audience as she sang, “You could be the one,” in “Let’s Get Lost,” giving due time to every section of the audience. Her performance style was undeniably affable and charming as she shimmied across the stage, her sparkly blue eye shadow glittering in the stage lights.
Jepsen embraces her status as an icon for the LGBTQ+ community, and she demonstrated this even beyond vintage photos of straight and queer couples kissing as the background to her performance of “Gimmie Love.” The pop princess closed her set by reminding the crowd that it was, in fact, Friday, before bringing Mark Kanemura onstage to perform as she sang “Cut to the Feeling,” which Kanemura dances to on his Instagram every Friday. The “So You Think You Can Dance” performer’s most rainbow-filled dance was shared by Jepsen back in June in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Removing wigs of every hue of the rainbow one by one and then shaking out explosions of rainbow confetti from more places in his costume than seemingly possible, Kanemura exuded the spirit of both “Cut to the Feeling” and Jepsen’s LGBTQ+ fan base at large — spirited, upbeat and ready to party.
Beyond Jepsen’s talents, vocally and performance-wise, her entire set was a tribute to her most devoted fans, entirely filled with subtle nods and winks. Even at 5 in the evening, Jepsen made the most of the night.
Caroline Smith is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].