Carly Rae Jepsen and Hot Chelle Rae at Wolf Trap by Derek Mong

I might not have gotten any phone numbers from the Carly Rae Jepsen concert last night at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, but I sure did have a blast jamming (with hundreds of fellow teen/tween-boppers) to the iconic “Call Me Maybe” singer and her energetic opening act Hot Chelle Rae.

Summer might be drawing to a close and school might have just started for many in the DC Metro area, but that didn’t stop the kids from coming out in droves to Wolf Trap’s Filene Center for an evening of feel-good, up-tempo music that got everyone on their feet dancing and shaking their hips to Carly Rae Jepsen and Hot Chelle Rae’s summer classics. Although the audience was primarily (and predictably) pre-teen and teenaged girls, the show truly had something to offer everyone. With an audience that ranged in age from the single-digits to the triple-digits, Wolf Trap’s gorgeous outdoor venue provided a scenic and breathtaking backdrop for two incredible artists who both climbed the US Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Hot Chelle Rae. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
Hot Chelle Rae. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.

The combination of Carly Rae Jepsen’s amazing stage presence, the crisp acoustics of the Filene Center, and the impressive lighting arrangements coalesced for a truly remarkable concert experience. Opening with her new single “This Kiss,” Carly Rae Jepsen energized the crowd as she danced around the stage in syncopated step without missing a beat.  True to her fan base, she told stories about her previous love interests and break-ups—without ever getting too serious for huge inflatable balloons, colorful streamers, and confetti showering the audience.

Carly Rae Jepsen. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
Carly Rae Jepsen. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.

Although she is known for her iconic single “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen also performed a number of her other hits including “Good Time” featuring Owl City and “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” featuring Nicki Minaj. Catching her breath, Jepsen calmed the crowd by performing a couple of her ballads including “Your Heart is a Muscle” and “Almost Said It”—both showcasing her chilling vibrato and demonstrating that she isn’t just a one-genre artist. After hearing her perform live, it’s no surprise to me that she has won a Teen Choice Award, multiple Billboard Music Awards, an American Music Award, and a MTV Europe Music Award, as well as two Grammy nominations for her music.

The caliber of her opening act, Hot Chelle Rae, is also not to be understated. The powerhouse band, with hits including Top 40 single “Tonight Tonight,” rocked out to screaming fans just as the sun was setting over the Filene Center, pumping the audience up for the main act.  For the many Hot Chelle Rae fans in the audience, the band also played their hits “Beautiful Freaks” and “Downtown Girl.” Hot Chelle Rae really set itself apart from typical pop/punk-rock/alternative-type bands with their lead vocalist Ryan Follesé, whose stage presence ignited the crowd with the electrifying range of his vocals in belting out their guitar-heavy dance anthems. It was no surprise to me to learn that they, too, had taken home an American Music Award as Sprint ‘s New Artist of the Year.

The evening ended with Carly Rae Jepsen performing her iconic hit, of course, “Call Me Maybe.” Surprisingly, Jepsen brought out an audience member to the stage to start the song, beginning with a slow acoustic cover before exploding into the exhilarating chorus. The song has sold more than 9.1 million singles worldwide, spent a record breaking 9 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, and has inspired countless parodies, starring everyone from Olympic athletes to the Cookie Monster.

There’s still time to check out a concert at Wolf Trap before the summer is over, so be sure to check their calendar of events for the latest information!

Running Time: Approximately two hours, with one intermission.

Carly Rae Jepsen and Hot Chelle Rae played on August 28, 2013 for one night only at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap—1551 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and information, check their calendar of events.

Carly Rae Jepsen website.
Hot Chelle Rae website.

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Derek Mong
Derek is a DC-native and a graduate of Duke University (B.A Political Science). During his junior/senior year at Duke, Derek served as a Marketing and Public Relations intern at the Nederlander-operated Durham Performing Arts Center. At his internship, Derek developed marketing campaigns and assisted press in coverage of the four major Broadway engagements that season: Memphis, The Addams Family, Bring It On, and Wicked. Upon graduating from Duke in 2012, Derek joined a tech and management consulting firm in Arlington, VA, where he currently works. Derek enjoys frequenting the DC-NYC theatre scene; when not in the theatre, Derek can probably be found running outdoors, blogging, playing the piano, traveling the country, and, of course, tweeting (@derekmong). Derek is currently obsessed with Disney's 'Newsies' on Broadway.


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