If I had to picture what joy looks like, it would look identical to a Carly Rae Jepsen show.

Taking the stage at Auckland's Town Hall last night in a fluorescent yellow body-con dress with silver stars, Jepsen proved why her fans love her so much.

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The Canadian pop singer has cultivated an interesting pop career, becoming a household name with her viral 2012 hit Call Me Maybe. In the years following, she shook her one-hit-wonder status with cultural, albeit not commercial success. Her devoted fans know her as a pop genius, in part from her 2015 album Emotion. It's the album that made me a Carly fan.

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She was here in support of her latest album Dedicated, her first full-length release in four years. It was her first ever show in New Zealand.

My impression, as she raced through the beginning of her set, was that she sounded like a modern-day Madonna. Her vocals from the get-go were flawless, and she pranced around the stage with an impossible level of energy.

I had expected that Jepsen would save her early hits for last, but she chose to perform Run Away With Me and Call Me Maybe very early on in the set, which took the half-hyped crowd by surprise. The artist seemed more focused on her new material, and the unconventional move grew on me as the show progressed.

Carly Rae Jepsen sang her hits, but the concert showcased her new material. Photo / Some Bizarre Monkey / Reuben Raj
Carly Rae Jepsen sang her hits, but the concert showcased her new material. Photo / Some Bizarre Monkey / Reuben Raj

The crowd had an even gender split, in part due to Jepsen's popularity with the LGBTQ+ community. They knew every word and sang back every lyric. The enthusiasm was infectious.

Jepsen came across as relatable and quirky. She framed her show in confessions, whether it be the time she stole her ex-boyfriend's bike or dedicated a love song to her cats. It was a jolly kind of intimacy - akin to Jepsen inviting the crowd to her house for a sleepover.

Carly Rae Jepsen showed her admiration for Auckland's Town Hall on her Instagram stories. Photo / Instagram
Carly Rae Jepsen showed her admiration for Auckland's Town Hall on her Instagram stories. Photo / Instagram

One of the most joyous moments of the show was when she sang her hit I Really Like You and the first single off her new album Party For One. She dashed off stage for the inevitable encore, and I wondered what hits she possibly had left to perform.

She closed the show with a three-pronged encore of her songs Real Love, Let's Get Lost and her 2017 single Cut To The Feeling. The crowd grasped on to every last euphoric second.

To her biggest fans, every Carly Rae Jepsen song is a hit. The more I thought about the show, the more I realised they were absolutely right.

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