Last time when I played in LA, I had to beg my friends to come see my show,” FLETCHER said to a sold-out crowd at the El Rey Theatre.
Cari Fletcher, who goes by her stage name FLETCHER, is Capitol Records’ biggest up-and-coming female pop artist, and her performance at the El Rey was electrifying and uplifting. After a short prelude to begin her set, she stormed the stage with “If You’re Gonna Lie,” a single off her latest EP, you ruined new york city for me. Her stage presence was empowering, and what took her performance to an elevated and interactive level was when the entire theatre yelled “You say you’re out with friends, but you’re with her tonight. I checked your location, good f—in’ try” during the bridge of the song. What makes FLETCHER FLETCHER is not merely her unique sound of groovy pop, but more notably, her relatability and storytelling prowess. You ruined new york city for me expressed the unspoken emotions and routines of heartbreak and loneliness, a narrative that this generation relates to well and experiences too regularly.
I believe it is this very reason that FLETCHER‘s fans were berserk during the show, in the best way possible, making “You guys are f—ing insane” her most said phrase of the night. Some fans at the front held up a colorful sign that said “FLETCHDADDY,” while others handed her impressively creative gifts such as a custom-patched denim jacket that read “you ruined new york city for me” on the back. But what shocked me and probably her the most were the countless sex toys and boob-shaped balloons that were thrown at her during the set, which I suppose is the type of enthusiasm she only could have hoped for at her first ever sold-out show.
While her fans are passionate, to say the least, FLETCHER also demonstrated her passion and uniqueness in her set curation, which incorporated multiple covers, a decision that is generally frowned upon in the industry. However, her unconventionality paid off as fans continued to sing along, regardless of the song she was singing. She blended her song “You Should Talk” with Khalid’s “Talk” in a creative mash-up, invited a full string quartet to join her in performing a rendition of Post Malone’s “I Fall Apart,” and covered Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” with Capaldi being present in the audience. Capaldi even posted that moment on his Instagram story, captioning “Thank you [for] … the incredible cover and for the PRS royalties,” a reflection of the strong support system amongst Capitol artists.
I am proud to say that I have listened to FLETCHER since July 2016, and it was truly an honor to experience her first sold-out show. I am happy to see how far her career has gotten and cannot wait to see where she goes from here.
Words and photos by Enoch Chuang