15 months after the release of the number one sophomore record, Halsey brought her hopeless fountain kingdom tour to London last weekend.
Saturday 22nd’s sold-out show at the Eventim Apollo had an almost religious fervour about it. Announced as the first, and at the time only, European show of the hopeless fountain kingdom tour, tickets for the evening were snapped up in seconds by fans across the continent. Amongst the hundreds of concert goers queuing hours early, it’s easy to feel like this is more than music to Halsey’s fans, she has a place in their hearts like no other artist.
So many love to reduce her to that indie girl, trying too hard to make it after featuring on The Chainsmoker’s ‘Closer’ two years ago. Halsey compares that song to the annoying voicemail you record then begin to hate, before laughing off that she will probably be singing it for the rest of her life. That song comes halfway through the set but passes in a heartbeat with the singer’s almost teary acknowledgement that this crowd is here “because you love the albums” resonating more. Those albums, Badlands and hopeless fountain kingdom, are escapes for fans and what is clear on this London Saturday night is one thing – Halsey is the number one storyteller out there.
Every moment from the opening of ‘The Prologue’ being followed up with the melodramatic first vocal runs of ‘Eyes Closed’ to the water choreography with stunning backing dancer TeeTee in ‘Lie’ to the final burst of confetti in ‘Bad At Love’, Halsey’s touch is in every minutiae of this show. The 23-year-old’s eye for aesthetics has been plain to see in her career, and that God-given ability to create a new world from her own sound makes for the most stunning show.
It’s music meets theatre meets cinema as Halsey showcases her trademark mic-flips and flies across the steps for the tension-filled ‘Gasoline’ and ‘Castle’, later the visuals to ‘Alone’ turn the stage into a house party. A rendition of recent UK number one ‘Eastside’ is a rare treat for fans, but what they have come for is clear as Halsey plays one her first ever releases, ‘Is There Somewhere’, to a raucous crowd with fans on the stage.
Amongst the artistry and story-telling capabilities, what is striking is the power of Halsey’s voice. There are no backing vocals here as she flows from a raspy powerhouse in ‘Heaven in Hiding’ to an airy delicacy in the likes of ‘Sorry’ in a blink of an eye.
There’s a lot of music critics and music fans that just love to ignore Halsey. The fact is, she’s sold out shows across the globe, selling 341,000 tickets and making $9.2 million from the first 28 shows alone, and has been on tour from September 2017 to September 2018. For the sold-out crowd in London on Saturday however, none of that mattered. Halsey is something special, and those lucky enough to realise it are witnessing an artist of extraordinary talent.