Carly Rae Jepsen’s greatest gift as a live performer is the sense of abandon she brings to it. When she’s out there with a crowd that’s absolutely losing it, she starts losing it too, and this great thing happens where crowd and performer keep pushing each other into giddier new energy-zones. That can’t really happen on a late-night show, where the crowd isn’t really there to see her and she can’t achieve full symbiosis. But a Carly Rae Jepsen performance on a late-night show still works, since she still brings a certain showmanship and since she starts to cut loose more and more as the song goes on.
Last week, Jepsen came back with the glittery singalong jam “Party For One,” the first single from an album that will, God willing, arrive next year. It’s a great song. And last night, Jepsen was the musical guest on The Tonight Show, where she sang “Party For One” on TV for the first time.
Early on in the performance, it seems like just another rote late-night performance. The song is good, Jepsen sings it well, and there’s a fun bit where all the people in the band lead a clap-along on the first part of the chorus. But as the song goes on, Jepsen gets more and more into it, and it finally achieves liftoff. Watch it all happen below.
“Party For One” is out now on the streaming services. It makes for a predictably great workout song.