Singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin serenaded audiences at Lincoln Hall with an intimate performance of her latest album “99 Nights.”
One Night Wasn’t Enough For Charlotte Cardin’s ‘99 Nights’ At Lincoln Hall
Cued by the last beat of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” coming from overhead speakers, singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin danced onto the Lincoln Hall stage for her Oct. 3o stop of her 99 Nights Tour.
Cardin, an indie-pop artist, captivated the crowd throughout her Chicago performance, featuring works primarily from her August album “99 Nights.”
Her opener, Canadian indie band New West, started the night with a sound reminiscent of classic British rock. The band played works off of their debut EP “Based On A True Story…” released in October. They concluded their set with their single “Those Eyes” — which originally released in 2019 but was rereleased Oct. 20 as their EP’s concluding track.
Pink lights flashed as Cardin came onto the stage. Guitar in hand, she grinned at the cheering crowd.
Cardin began the show with “Looping,” a track featuring a funk beat and display of her impressive vocal range. The upbeat song prepared fans for an entertaining and danceable set list.
As the show continued, the singer paused to introduce “Puppy.” Cardin said it was a song about being happy “when everything else in your life is pure fucking chaos.”
“But it’s alright / I’m in a good state of mind / Like a puppy out the window / I just want to feel the wind blow,” Cardin sang.
Relaxed and subdued tracks “Passive Aggressive” and “Enfer” followed. Featuring a laid-back beat, the room was filled with a carefree climate.
Her stage setup included three microphones, one positioned in the middle where she was able to play guitar and sing, and the other two on opposite sides of the stage so Cardin could switch between a synth keyboard and a piano.
The concert maintained an intimate feel — partially due to the smaller venue, but also because of Cardin’s seemingly effortless ability to connect with the audience.
Halfway through the set, Cardin asked the audience for a tissue so she could blow her nose, causing an eruption of laughter. The simple request added to the atmosphere of familiarity, as it broke the wall between performer and fan.
Cardin opted to introduce her song “Next To You” without a microphone. This made the venue feel as small as a living room. Listeners fell into a collective silence as the singer’s voice took the forefront. Cardin said she wanted to introduce this track in an intimate way because it is the “most personal” off the album. The crowd remained silent as they listened to the singer explain the song was about needing to leave things behind.
“I’m just looking for a better me / I can’t be those things next to you,” Cardin crooned.
The singer quickly brought the energy back up as she transitioned into the title track “99 Nights.” The song seemed to summarize the album’s theme of self-discovery and reflection, utilizing breathy vocals juxtaposed with steady drums.
Instead of going directly into the next song, Cardin paused the show to teach the audience the chorus of “Jim Carrey.” She said the chorus was simple, so she wanted fans to scream it with her.
“Goodbye my worthless ego / Without you I’m finally free, oh” Lincoln Hall sang.
Setting aside her guitar, Cardin’s band began to play “Sex To Me.” Fans cheered as she danced to the seductive beat while the audience moved suggestively together on the floor.
Cardin kept the energy high with her performance of “Confetti,” one of her most popular tracks. The audience seemed to know every word as they shouted the lyrics of the anti-party anthem back to her.
“I feel like a zombie / I’ll die at the party / Yeah, you’ll find my body fully covered in confetti,” the crowd sang with Cardin.
As the song ended, Cardin ran off the stage, leaving the audience applauding her performance. Before fans could request an encore, she reentered the stage for two more songs.
She introduced the penultimate track as a song about feeling “really good,” which fans then anticipated to be Cardin’s latest single “Feel Good.” She effortlessly switched back and forth between English and French lyrics.
“You make me feel good / Ta main sur ma taille / Ensemble dans le taxi / C’est vraiment super sexy,” Cardin sang.
Cardin ended the night with “Main Girl,” an earlier work from 2016. While some fans knew the song, there seemed to be a drastic energy shift as many fans didn’t know the words, bringing an awkward ending to the set. Despite the abrupt ending, Cardin demonstrated a striking ability to engage the audience, as the crowd continued to dance without knowing the lyrics.
Featured image by Bri Guntz / The Phoenix