THUNDER BAY -- Seven years ago, Carly Rae Jepsen burst onto the global music stage, topping charts around the world with her infectious hit, Call Me Maybe.
The song sums up the Canadian songstress in a nutshell – she’s all about relationships, the good, the bad and the ugly.
The 33-year-old British Columbia native, touring in support of her fourth album, Dedicated, stormed the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium stage on Tuesday night, taking the 800 or so fans in attendance on a wild musical ride through her relationship history.
Jepsen, who first rose to fame after a third-place finish on Canadian Idol in 2007, doled out 22 songs in her 90-minute show and delivered just what the audience was looking for, a pop-filled extravaganza filled with heartbreak and love.
It didn’t take her long to shed the Auditorium norm and get the crowd out of their seats and onto their feet, though it did take a little coaxing before she burst into Run Away With Me, the lead song from her 2015 album, Emotion.
“I don’t know if you’re allowed to stand on your feet in this theatre, but I think you should,” she exclaimed, her fans quickly following suit.
They remained on their feet dancing the rest of the night, about 50 or so rushing to the front of the stage to take in the moment, shake her hand as she romped around the stage, dressed in a pale body suit covered by a grey skirt, her short blond hair tied in a tight ponytail.
A group of older fans, mostly male, set up a dance party of their own on the left side of the stage.
Six songs in, she gave the crowd what it wanted, breaking her teen-pop anthem Call Me Maybe, offering up her microphone to the fans at the front of the stage to help her sing the song’s universally known chorus line, ‘Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.”
Not surprisingly, Jepsen’s set list leaned heavily on her latest release, which hit store shelves and online earlier this year.
She opened with No Drug Like Me and worked Julien, the lead song on the record, into the first four songs of her set.
Other songs from the album, Now That I Found You and Too Much, Happy Not Knowing, Want You in My Room and Everything He Needs also found their way into her Thunder Bay stop.
She also delved heavily into Emotion and its companion EP, Emotion: Side B, offering up 10 songs from the two releases.
If there was one complaint about her show, Jepsen’s interactions with her fans from the stage could use a little polishing.
“Are you having a good time so far? I really, really, really, really like you,” she teased, introducing her song I Really Like You. Others were a little more awkward.
But hey, songs about puppy love and boys and falling in and out of love should probably come with a little awkwardness; after all, they do in real life.
Tuesday night proved there is still plenty of music fans willing to listen to just that kind of message.