She may have platinum selling songs, number one singles, and even a Grammy award. But 23 year old pop artists Ashely Frangipane, known as Halsey, continues to be under-appreciated. It still feels as if she is a hidden gem, at least in the UK. With her international “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” tour ticking onwards, she performed two sold out shows at London’s Eventim Apollo, treating fans to an evening of relentless and passionate energy.
Finnish electronic-pop artist Alma booted off the proceedings providing an amped up support set, launching the room into the party atmosphere. Reverberating bass and drum beats echoed through the room. She oozed a vibrant, electric sort of energy that was palpable, igniting the room with glee. Hits “Chasing Highs” and “Dye My Hair” particularly went down a treat, as many bounced and swayed along.
Beloved Londoner Raye was up next, raising the temperature up a notch. Funky sassy anthem “Friends” made it difficult to stand still, whilst “You Don’t Know Me” had the entire room screaming to the chorus. Her enigmatic confidence made her set a memorable and joyous experience. She showed a great potential for future stardom, as her smooth suave brand of urban-pop flourished in a live setting.
Halsey made an appropriately theatrical entrance, her profile casting a shadow behind a giant curtain, which dropped to a wall of screams of glee. From the moment the show began, the room was in the palm of her hand. She strutted the stage with prowess. Each song was injected with intense passion and energy, not dipping once. “Gasoline” was tinged with an enticing darkness, whilst empowering anthem “Castle” packed an impactful punch. The set was well balanced with numbers from “Badlands” and recent album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom”, with a few unexpected additions along the way.
What was consistently clear throughout the show was Halsey’s admirable connection with her fanbase. She spoke to empower her fans, and remind them that they do not belong to anybody but themselves before the rousing “Hurricane”.
Whilst it may not have been a vast arena setting, the visuals were impressively executed creating bold and stunning imagery pairing with the themes of each number. It only heightened the live experience, immersing fans into the world of Halsey’s music and creating an incredible spectacle.
Closing on a sentimental note, “Is There Somewhere” rounded up the amazing connection Halsey has with her fanbase as she invited a lucky group of individuals on stage. With beaming smiles, fans swayed singing every single word. Anthem “Bad at Love” closed out the night with a rain of red confetti, as the soaring chorus echoed through the room. It ended the show on a euphoric high.
Whilst Halsey may not be polished pop perfection, her live show encapsulates something refreshingly human. She invests such an intensive, raw energy and made a phenomenal effort to connect with everyone in the room. All the while, paired with distinctive visual production that elevated the atmosphere. She is an artist that delivers an excellent standard, both on record and live, and is likely to be around for a long time. It may be sometime before she is next on UK soil, but you do not want to miss her when she is.
Words: Kieran Raza