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In the summer of last year, there was one artist who absolutely stole the show at the Canadian Juno Awards. After taking the Canadian pop industry by storm with her debut studio album Phoenix, Charlotte Cardin went on to be nominated for six different awards: Album of the Year, Video of the Year, Single of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Fan Choice Award, and Artist of the Year. She brought home the trophy for three of them: Single of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year. In addition to her big nominations and even bigger wins, she put on a hell of a show performing “Meaningless,” the song she also won Single of the Year for. After seeing her crush it across the board last year at the Junos, Charlotte was high on my list to see live when she made her way down to Southern California. On November 7th, her 99 Nights Tour finally stopped in Los Angeles, California. Let’s hop into it.

Up first was the band New West. The Toronto-based band took to the stage and performed many singles from their debut album “Based On A True Story…”. Charlotte Cardin fans are open minded and positive, and they were very receptive to New West. New West rocked the crowd with singles like “Those Eyes,” “IYKYK,” and “Cold Tea”. By the time New West wrapped up their set, the crowd was warmed up and ready for the main draw.

At 9 PM sharp, the classic red curtains at the El Rey parted and the spotlight found Charlotte Cardin as she strut across in the stage in an all-white outfit. Almost immediately, it was clear why she was nominated for all those Juno’s the year before. From her soulful powerful voice, emotive song-writing and performance, and musical elements of pop, jazz, and electronic music, she had it all. There’s a level of talent that multi-instrumentalist artists have, that other artists cannot even compete with. Cardin strut on beat around the stage with her mic for the majority of her set, but she picked up the guitar and made her way over to the keyboards for a good amount of songs. The most memorable moment for me was when her band took a break, and she sat down at the grand piano on stage for gave us performances for “Meaningless” and “Next To You”. Oh man. The notes she hit in those songs had people in the venue yelling “wooo!” like they just heard the hardest screw-face-inducing house beat “drop” ever. Other notable moments of her set were “Next To You”, “Looping”, and when she got everyone singing along to “Jim Carrey”.

All in all, the multi-talented Charlotte Cardin crushed it at her Los Angeles show. I can’t imagine what her shows are like in places like Istanbul and Munich on this global tour. This is a 40-date tour so she may still be on the way to your hometown market. If tickets aren’t already sold out, cop a few for you and your friends. It’ll be a great time.


Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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