Sabrina Carpenter at the Orpheum

Mackenzie Camp, Staff Writer

Mackenzie Camp

On March 20, Sabrina Carpenter stopped at the Orpheum Theater on her “emails i can’t send” tour. Once a Disney Channel starlet, Carpenter has shed the shell of corporate pop and emerged as an artist with her dance-pop discography and winning persona. 

Opening up for Carpenter, Claire Chicha, known by her stage name, spill tab, took the stage. spill tab danced around, using every inch available to shake her mane of hair or shred her guitar in a battle with the bass player. The two of them sank to their knees on stage and threw their bodies flat onto the ground, committed to their lo-fi bedroom pop sound. 

At times, spill tab’s voice got lost under the heavy instrumentals. Either the acoustics of the Orpheum or bass and drum levels were a tad too high to hear the delicate beauty of her voice. When switching to the acoustic version of her set, her vocal range came to light during a cover of Usher’sYeah!” played on the ukulele. Her bass player joined in, ad-libbing, but the beauty of the song was the stripped-down talent spill tab possesses. 

After her first two EPs, there is potential in both where her sound can go and how her stage presence takes shape. Songs like “Cotton Candy” and “CRÉME BRÛLÉE!” showcase her songwriting skill and genre-blending sound, situating her in a Gen Z era of pop music. 

In between sets, Taylor Swift’sAll Too Well (Ten Minute Version)(Taylor’s Version)(From the Vault) played as a countdown to Carpenter’s entrance. The choice emphasized part of Carpenter’s appeal of taking sad concepts and morphing them into hits. Carpenter’s latest album, “emails i can’t send,” thrives as she takes public criticism and heartbreak to unite her fans with her wide smile and catchy choruses. 

The crowd exploded with Carpenter’s entrance. A shining white light dimmed to reveal the 23-year-old playing her keyboard, singing a ballad in her denim mini-dress like a pop-star edition Polly Pocket. The set looked like a stylized 1950s match-making show with sparkles and a pink heart-shaped mirror, which reflected a crowded pit full of ecstatic faces and light-up cowboy hats. The set provided a runway and a bedazzled tower for Carpenter to take advantage of during her cover of “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” She scurried to her platform, hoping to achieve drama in honor of a heartbroken fan in the crowd. 

During the show, Carpenter confessed that she loved to chat, and she proved it through lengthy introductions to songs. Charming, she beamed at the crowd and danced across the stage, whipping her glorious blonde hair around. With her TV show roots, Carpenter mirrors pop princesses with the likes of Ariana Grande. Carpenter radiated ease to her performance, familiar with the attention and hitting high notes effortlessly. In response, the crowd held up printer paper signs reading the same message: “We love you, Sabrina.”

During the encore, Carpenter sang one of her latest hits, “Nonsense,” where she implements an outro unique to each city, pulling people to witness it first hand rather than see TikToks the next day. She delivered everything a pop concert should be: a fun set complete with recognizable songs — “Fast Times‘” is a favorite — and an irresistible performance. With her fifth studio album, she continues building her fan base, amassing more than 22 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Now, dating rumors, red carpets and internet drama all swirl around her, promising the continued rise of the natural performer and pop darling.

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