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What You Missed: Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter brought the second leg of the Emails I Can't Send Tour to a sold out Sylvee on Friday night with Blu DeTiger. Check out our full recap and photo gallery below!

Blu DeTiger

Blu DeTiger has been a musician far before her virality. The 25-year-old bass-player and singer runs out to a sold-out audience mostly consisting of younger girls and starts her set with total ease.

The daughter of a painter and a sculptor in Manhattan, Blu has been playing bass since age 7 and performing since she was 19. She was a DJ originally, even opening up for artists like The Knocks and Caroline Polacheck before writing her own originals.

It wouldn't be until just before the pandemic when Blu picked up TikTok and began posting videos of her playing bass along to viral sounds. She quickly developed a large following that would help her to eventually unleash, "Figure It Out," and "Cotton Candy Lemonade," two original songs that went viral as well.

On stage, Blu carries a charisma that shows off her history of live shows. She's nonchalant yet energetic, and she's a strong opener. After a few of her own songs, she gives us a cover of "Style" by Taylor Swift, which the crowd roars over.

Sabrina Carpenter

Speaking of Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter knows her fanbase well. Before coming on stage, her team switches on the fog machines, cranks the volume and plays the 10-minute version of "All Too Well." From the front row to the balcony, fans are belting out every word. It's not the most cheery pre-show song, but it's fitting: the next couple of hours will have some heavy hitters.

emails i can't send came straight off of a tough year for Sabrina. After Olivia Rodrigo's debut and rumors around a quiet romance with Joshua Bassett, Sabrina Carpenter got dragged by early "driver's license" fans who accused her of stealing Joshua away from Olivia. In the album, Sabrina takes on these rumors: "Now I'm a homewrecker, I'm a slut/I got death threats filling up semi trucks/Tell me who I am, guess I don't have a choice/ All because I liked a boy." She winds between songs like "Nonsense" that show the butterfly-stages of romance to heavy-hitters like "Tornado Warnings."

It's that kind of vulnerability that she begins the show with. Atop a Romeo-and-Juliet style balcony, she walks to the piano and begins the title track of the album. The crowd is yelling the lyrics back at her, both excitedly and empathetically. Much like with the album, she's beginning to set up a narrative for the night. She finishes, walks down to her giant heart-shaped mirror and instantly changes the energy by entering full pop princess mode. We hear "Read Your Mind" then "Feather" then "Vicious."

She's well-trained on the stage having both consistent vocals and almost-theatrical expressions to match her lyrics. But it's not an in-genuine performance by any means; she's having fun on the stage, matching the bouncy energy of her songs and the buzz of the crowd. Throughout the night, she'll acknowledges mistakes, laughs at herself and brings real personality to her performance. In the back, she's selling a trucker hat that says "DIPSHIT" in rhinestones and a t-shirt that boasts, "i'm a homewrecker." Even with the gen-z sprinkled humor, its when she pulls out an acoustic guitar to pour her heart when we feel even closer to her. It's hard not to be teary-eyed as she sings, "If you wanted brown eyes/I coulda got contacts."

She apologizes for the sad songs before going around the crowd and ask if anyone has a breakup story. It reminds me of the moments Harry Styles takes to read signs during his shows. It's timed into the performance, sure, but it gives us a moment of real interaction between fan and pop star. The story, by the way, is kind of crazy: the audience member named Simone tells us about a boy who wrote and (poorly) performed a song for her. As it turns out, the boy already had a girlfriend. The other audience members went wild over the reveal.

Straight after, Sabrina heads into a "A Thousand Miles" cover which also goes over well with everyone in the room--even the handful of parents who were kindly chaperoning their teens. Before her false exit, we hear the only three songs of the night not from emails i can't send and straight into "Decode," a song that finishes off the album.

Oddly, it's one of the best crowds I've experienced in a while. The room is dominated by younger girls that range from middle school to college. I hear girls complimenting each others' outfits and everyone is genuinely overjoyed to be here. With the nature of Sabrina's music, it's not hard to tell why: there is space for catharsis here. In a packed room of 2500 people, there is safety and community for the fangirl for three hours tonight. In her songwriting, Sabrina balances humor and honesty in a way that is so vulnerable it's scary. But it pays off, because this crowd sings every word like it's their own.

For the encore, Sabrina runs back out to give us her biggest hit, "Nonsense." Once she's done, she thanks the crowd and gives us the real outro, "because i liked a boy," before disappearing into heart-shaped balloons and confetti.

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