Dancing through the night with Carly Rae Jepsen and Bleachers

Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers share stage and bill with Canadian hitmaker

Who: Carly Rae Jepsen, Bleachers
Where: Budweiser Stage, Toronto
When: Thurs., Sept. 22
Vibe: A disco dance party that you never want to end
Highlight: Jepsen’s triumphant sword moment during the encore
Next: Sat., Sept. 24, Montreal (MTTELUS); Sat., Oct. 29, Vancouver, (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)


There are sax solos galore at the Bleachers show. They wail away into the night for the first half of the So Nice Tour, coheadlined by Bleachers and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers explains that the night is a special show because Jepsen was the first person to let him work on a song together. They met in 2012, around the time that he started the band. He continues to tell a story about a noise in his head that came and went, like a sound of hope, which eventually led him to writing the keyboard melody to Rollercoaster.

Bleachers bring out Jepsen twice during their set: to sing a duet on Hate That You Know Me So Well and an acoustic version of Shadow together.

At the stage changeover, a white streetlight and stage risers are swapped over for a dreamy sky with glowing clouds and glittery stars. Jepsen’s show is introduced by the host — a talking moon on a large, circular screen. The host pops back in occasionally throughout the show to talk about the show, encouraging fans to make the most of the night: “More than anything, this night is for you.”

Jepsen plays a comprehensive setlist that includes song mashups of Emotion and ˆFavourite Colour, and Boy Problems and Fake Mona Lisa, as well as new songs from her upcoming album, The Loneliest Time: Talking To Yourself, Western Wind, Beach House and an unnamed acoustic country-influenced track.

It’s a disco dance party all night, with delightful but light choreography. You can hear the crowd singing loudly, even over the music — especially during crowd pleasers like Call Me Maybe and I Really Like You.

Even pop stars have dating troubles, Jepsen explains before launching into Beach House and Boy Problems. She wrote the former about her experience on dating apps and poking fun at the realization that going on all these dates would probably just amount to getting her feelings hurt or worse. During the song, each of the male members of the band gets a moment to play the role of her bad dates by singing a line from the bridge.

For the finale, Jepsen recreates her viral sword moment when a fan from the crowd passes her a toy sword to sing and dance with during her performance of Cut To The Feeling. You can tell she’s having so much fun on stage, and the audience can feel it too. Everyone’s all smiles as the night ends with bursts of confetti.

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