Miss Ashley Frangipane, better known as pop superstar Halsey kicked off the first show of the Australian leg at a sold out Melbourne on Saturday night. Before treating Sydney to the first of two shows,the second being sold out later in the week at the same venue. The line was well wrapped around Moore Park before gates open with blue haired fans ready to see their girl! Although she may have visited us to party and join friends, she hasn’t performed since 2016 on the Badlands tour. It’s safe to say we have missed her dearly.
Joining her for the tour is singer Kehlani who most would know from her track Gangsta on the Suicide Squad soundtrack. After only catching one song before she stopped to speak with the crowd, I was soon to find out who she was. “For those of you who don’t know me, I am a queer woman of colour from California, and my 23rd birthday is on Tuesday!” before treating the crowd to a rendition of Fabolous’s 2003 nostalgic track So Into You. In the lead up to tonights performance I had noticed large amount of attention for Kehlani, the crowd made her feel extremely welcome and she gave back a great performance to get everyone ready for the headliner.
As the lights go down a white curtain remains draped across the stage painting the silhouette of 23 year old Halsey dancing seductively as the first song of the night kicks off. The curtain drops to the roar of the crowd almost drowning out the chorus of Eyes Closed. Halsey marches across the tiered platform constructed for tonight’s show in a crystal bodysuit and hood with boots to match, like a veteran. The control this girl has at such a young age while maintaining vocal consistency shows why she is a leader of the pop world.
We’re taken back to her Badlands record with crowd favourites Hold Me Down and Castle which was used as a single for The Huntsman Winter’s War. Along with her draped dancer, Halsey commands the crowd to get off their feet for the chorus, which they were more than happy to do just as they were asked.
Halsey has a quick chat to the crowd, being very thankful that we returned to see her on a much bigger scale as her last Australian tour she played at the 1350 capacity Metro Theatre. Compared to the 5,500 Hordern Pavilion it’s safe to say in her 2 year absence her popularity has sky rocketed. Although incredibly humble she was here to show you what she can do, as quoted in the next song Heaven in Hiding “I can put on a show”, damn right you can! Tracks off the new album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom such as Bad at Love and new single Alone ignite the crowd into a dancing and singing frenzy. Just as Kehlani did, she showed her love for the LGBTI community to screaming praises from the crowd. Creating an even greater connection between her and those in attendance before launching into my personal favourite, Strangers.
The piano is brought out for a slower, heart wrenching version of the Chainsmokers track Closer. Even Halsey admits that song was absolutely everywhere and that after hearing that rendition, now you’ll want to cry! She has not let go of our heart strings just yet. Through all of the thank you’s, it’s time for her to say Sorry alongside the piano I saw a few tear wipes (I’m going to be honest, one of them was me) through the lights in the air.
The emotions are all shook off as she marches into the middle of the stage to stomp through water with her dancer during Don’t Play drenching the front rows of fans, before treating us to a shortened version of the romantic track she shares with her other half G-Eazy, Him & I.
The Halsey machine continues to pummel through hit after hit including a powerful acapella version of Is There Somewhere from her 2015 EP, before climbing into the crowd to sing the full version, making those in attendance fall deeper in love.
A crowd mash up video paints the stage of Halsey with fans and live performances before Gasoline creeps through the speakers. A feeling of sadness falls over the crowd as we all know the set is soon to come to an end. With one final question “Do you call yourself a fucking hurricane like me?” the smash hit Hurricane ends an incredible evening.
As a relatively new fan I never could quite put my finger on why I liked Halsey so much. Her unmistakable and emotive voice drew me, and yet her catchy songs held me in. Watching her commit to a heartfelt and strong performance from start to finish tonight she has more than cemented a new fan in me.
Review Contributed by Megan Milner