The powerhouse pop rebel might have charmed Singapore once before during her maiden performance at 2016’s Singapore Grand Prix, but on Halsey’s first recent headlining concert tour here, she proves that she’s a definite mainstay in today’s music climate.
You’ll know when you’re at a Halsey concert. On the list of things to look out for: dyed hair (preferably in a shade of blue), oversized streetwear and rainbow flags; and those trademark items were on full display at The Star Performing Arts Theatre, proudly adorned by the many young fans buzzing in anticipation of their queen. But those signature fan honours are also a testament to the kind of celebrity Halsey is: influential, inspirational and unapologetically honest.
Following opener Niki’s short but sweet set of R&B-tinged tracks, it was the spoken-word introduction of Halsey’s ‘The Prologue’ that echoed throughout the venue in response to deafening screams, before she promptly followed with the hard-hitting ‘Eyes Closed’ as a mini-mosh pit furiously formed near the front of the stage.
True to her appeal of being a shapeshifting chameleon with her style, Halsey opted for a yellow crop top and baggy jeans combination complete with a chain linked on her pockets – reminiscent of early 2000s Avril Lavigne, coupled with the occasional Britney-esque gyrating dance moves and her signature mic flips in between verses. The main lady herself referenced the throwback theme, proudly announcing that “this show’s gonna be dirty and punk as f***. We are doing it old school!” before belting out ‘Roman Holiday’, off her Tumblr-beloved debut album Badlands.
Both older and newer songs in her catalogue played relentlessly during the next 90 minutes, with Halsey ensuring to drop in a couple of personal anecdotes with her legion of followers along the way. Whether it was shouting out the LGBT community on ‘Strangers’ (“We are safe here so let’s dance!”), advocating self-love on ‘Hurricane’ (“This song is a reminder that you don’t belong to anybody but yourself”) or admitting to not having everything figured out in her life before a stripped-back rendition of her #1 hit ‘Closer’ (“I’m 23 and I still don’t know what I’m doing, but it feels like we grew up with each other”), every moment felt refreshingly unrehearsed and added to the overall concert experience.
Between rushing down to the crowd during ‘Colors’ and showcasing a more vulnerable side on ‘Sorry’ – that elicited a sea of swaying phone lights – Halsey proved that she’s truly got the mettle of a bona fide pop star in the 21st century. And by the time she re-appeared on stage for her encore of the belty ‘Bad At Love’, she had every audience member in the palm of her hand singing loudly along, with the backdrop of flame bursts, cinematic smoke and her backing band closing the night while she waved her byes and bade farewell (for now).
As Halsey sings on ‘Heaven in Hiding’, “I can put on a show”. And trust us when we say she can and will however she wants to.
Image credits: Peter Donaghy
Special thanks to Hype Records and Universal Music Singapore for the invites!