Bonnaroo 2013: Charli XCX Rocks Out, Flips Her Hair, Covers Backstreet Boys (PHOTOS)

Sam Lansky | June 15, 2013 8:02 am

The lineup at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee is light on pop and heavy on, well, Serious Rock Artists, so pop chanteuse Charli XCX was a welcome injection of good vibes and high energy when she took The Other Tent (just go with it) on a sweaty summer afternoon.

Rocking a camouflage crop top, tartan miniskirt and a tangle of hair that she flipped liberally through the set, her affably grungy look marked a contrast to the crystalline pop melodies that she turned out — not only in her own songs (she performed all the highlights from True Romance), but in a pair of covers: Icona Pop‘s summer smash “I Love It” (which she she co-wrote and “features” on, so she has some ownership there), and what’s rapidly becoming her signature cover, Backstreet Boys’ iconic “I Want It That Way.”

“Make some noise for the fucking Backstreet Boys!” she cried before launching into the song. It felt like a near-perfect encapsulation of the Charli experience: A little bit punk but very pop, and really, really good.

See the photos up top.