Jepsen Evokes Musical Love

Phuc Pham/New University

Who knew how much 140 characters or less could accelerate the velocity of your career?

Carly Rae Jepsen probably had no idea what was in store for her when her fellow musical Canadian and pop idol Justin Bieber tweeted about “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen’s song that had already achieved mainstream airplay on Canadian radio stations in January 2012 on a visit back home. Since then, “Call Me Maybe” has enjoyed critical praise, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jepsen herself has captured nationwide attention in America, sealed a deal with Schoolboy Records (the same record label as Bieber) and garnered a fanbase whom undoubtedly belong to the camps of pop giants like Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and the boy who recently became a man, Bieber himself.

On Saturday, April 14 at 5 Towers in Universal CityWalk, those fans were precisely the crowd observed from within the black, waist-high fencing — which without a doubt would have been trampled over if Bieber himself graced the venue with a surprise appearance — designating the allotted area in front of the stage as a part of CityWalk’s Music Spotlight Series. Highlighting new musical talent, the outdoors concert was free and open to the public.

Jepsen’s appearance on stage marked the crowning moment of the evening for three die-hard fans whose 12-hour wait had finally come to fruition. Extending their arms over the front-row railing into the press pit, the three girls competed with professional videographers and photographers in order to capture Jepsen as she hopped around the stage in her leopard print Oxford flats, emerald green v-neck, American Eagle skinny jeans and a navy crop blazer which revealed a pair of suspenders underneath.

Opening with “Bucket,” the lead single from her debut album “Tug of War,” Jepsen chose to begin her set with a song that her recently initiated American fans may have not yet been familiar with if they hadn’t delved into her debut Canadian release. Paying tribute to one of her favorite artists, the singer proceeded to sing a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” one of the tracks off Jepsen’s latest EP, “Curiosity.” It is not rare to hear covers that fail to live up to the original; however, with “Both Sides Now,” Jepsen not only paid homage to Mitchell, but proved that her live vocal abilities match that of her studio recordings.

Taking a departure from her slower songs, Jepsen began to channel her enthusiasm and energy as she introduced her band, noting with special emphasis which of them were single. She then transitioned into “Curiosity,” the lead track off of her EP.

Short stature and youthful exuberance belie her actual age (she’s 26 years old) as Jepsen playfully skipped over stage equipment during her performance of “Tug of War,” the third single off of her debut album with the same name. In true concert fashion, Jepsen’s devoted fans sang along to songs expressing qualms about her seemingly perfect boyfriend and the kind of antics he may be up to on his boys’ night out.

Jepsen closed out her set with a slow and unfamiliar introduction that left the audience thinking she was performing an unreleased song. Addressing the subject of her song about the nervousness with which she approached him with the lead words to her song, “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number,” Jepsen transitioned into her final song and hit single “Call Me Maybe.” Jepsen reminded the audience of her sultriness as she swayed her hips during the chorus and made shy eye contact with her fans. Stepping down into the press pit, Jepsen reached out to her audience, eliciting screams that punctuated their enthusiastic sing-a-long.

Jepsen blew a final kiss to the audience as she walked offstage, 400 fans waiting outside in the cold to get a picture taken with their newfound musical love.