Photos + Review: Bleachers & Charli XCX at The Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA)

Charli XCX (UK) and Bleachers (NY)
July 21st, 2015
The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA

Bleachers and Charli XCX kicked off their summer co-headlining tour right here at the beautiful North Park Observatory in San Diego.  This was my first time seeing Bleachers live.  They had played San Diego just a few months back alongside Joywave but I was unfortunately unable to attend.   This show came as a highly anticipated followup to the release of debut album Strange Desire which quickly made its way to to the top of my playlists.

The band came out in full force with double the drum power opening their set to “ Like a River Runs” sliding right into their mega hit “ Shadows” setting that harmonious balance of tumultuous intimate regrets and newly found hope that seems to set the tone of Antonoff’s writing.  There is something just so comfortable about his lyrics, he possesses the strange ability to take a painful intimate memory and somehow turn it into a liberating moment of self acceptance.  Despite his fame he is so perpetually the guy next door, the guy who sings out loud what we keep bottled up inside….and then helps you let it all out as if “standing on the overpass, screaming at the cars.”

And don’t think for one second that all of this introspection serves as backdrop to an overcast Emo night because you are in for one hell of a party.  One that finds the entire audience jumping to every beat, dancing as much as Antonoff himself on stage thanks to the powerful guitar riffs and the intoxicating synthesizers that allow us to almost indulge in an early Depeche Mode nostalgia, where upbeat notes ever so lightly cover up darker lyrics creating this unique mixture of emotions.

If Bleachers rocked to underlining tones that resembled the 80’s power anthems Charli XCX definitely catapulted the audience back into the early 90’s with their fun and upbeat setlist which included Icona Pop’s “I like it” (song which Front Gal Aitchison co – wrote) and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”  Quirky and sassy in her stage persona Aitchison embodies to the fullest what a pop icon should be.  While Bleachers and Charli XCX seem to have very little in common when it comes down to their music, the two bands seem to compliment each other perfectly on stage.  If you haven’t purchased your tickets to the tour I recommend you go ahead and grab them because you will be in for a night of fun!  

Bleachers Setlist:
Like A River Runs
Shadow
Wild Heart
Wake Me
Reckless Love
Dreams
Rollercoaster
Shadow of the City
Mystery
I Wanna Get Better

Charli XCX Setlist:
Sucker
I Love It (Icona Pop cover)
Famous
SuperLove
Doing It
Need Ur Love
Allergic to Love
Mow the Lawn
Body of My Own
London Queen
Break the Rules
Gold Coins
Grins
Fancy (Iggy Azalea cover)
Boom Clap

Thoughts?