Sporting a red Armani dinner jacket that “cost more than her soul,” the ever unpredictable Caroline Rose delivered an electric set to fans at Underground Arts Friday night. Standing on a stage that was a total explosion of red – her signature – she kicked off the night with four songs from her newest LP, Loner, in the original order that she intended them to appear on the tracklisting. She promised us all the hits “since we paid good money to be there,” so she gave us “To Die Today,” “More of the Same,” “Cry!” and “Jeannie Becomes a Mom” one after the other.
Rose’s voice is overtly youthful, her tone humorous, and her lyrics ranging from outright sarcastic to self-deprecating. She gets straight to the point when introducing songs. Before “Jeannie Becomes a Mom,” she said “this is about my friend who… accidentally got pregnant. Don’t let that happen to you okay here we go!” She knows just how to toe the line between sort of insulting and absolutely hilarious, and she read a rowdy Philly crowd well, pushing those limits for us.
The set was full of Rose’s go-to synth pop and dreamy, harmonized lyrics, peppered with aggressive shouts of elation and jokes between the band and the crowd. She didn’t slow down for “Getting to Me,” and jumped right into the poppy radio hit, “Soul No. 5,” and the eccentric, off the wall track “Money.” The crowd was packed together, shoulder to shoulder, but everyone was still dancing. Rose’s energy and enthusiasm is so infectious, her music won’t let you stand still.
Once we thought “Money” was over, Rose pulled out a kazoo and showed us something new that she’s been working on…which only turned out to be Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achey Breaky Heart”…and then immediately jumped back into “Money”‘s heavy garage-guitar. She’s really just all over the place in the best way, because as if that wasn’t enough, she also covered Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” which she said is truly her favorite song to play.
The show flew by, and before I could even blink, my first experience with Loner live was over. After nearly a solid year of nonstop touring, Caroline Rose and her band finally wrapped up 2018 Saturday night at Washington DC’s Miracle Theatre. She’ll hit the road again in February, and if you have the chance to see you, you should. She will personally guarantee you an unforgettable night, or something like that.
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