On Tuesday, after months of waiting and planning, I finally saw Halsey. I discovered Halsey via the internet last summer, and despite her only having a five track EP out at the time, I instantly fell in love. Every song on the Room 93 EP resonated with me in various
us ways, and even outside of her music, her personal views and brand of feminism lined up with mine. In a world where bisexuals are cast aside and are rarely explicitly acknowledged and allowed to take up space, much less bisexual people of colour (Halsey is biracial also) and those who are mentally ill, it meant a lot that there was someone who was doing exactly that, and unapologetically so.
Her first full-length release, Badlands, came out just as I moved into my new flat in London, not far off starting my final year of university. I could fill this with clichés about new beginnings, but I won’t. Badlands was everything I hoped it would be and more, and although I wasn’t able to get tickets to her first two shows in London in September, I did manage to get tickets to the London show during the European leg of the Badlands tour.
Much like the album that this tour was promoting, the show at O2 Academy Brixton on Tuesday was everything I hoped it would be and more. My friend and I didn’t arrive until just before the end of the first support’s set, and although we didn’t know anything of BORNS before he came on stage, he was awesome as well. But it didn’t compare to the moment the first few notes of Gasoline played.
It’s worth noting at this point that Halsey actually fell and hurt her ankle during the very first song, but I had no idea until I saw about it on Instagram once I got home. Aimee noticed though, and when we talked about it said she just carried on. What a trooper.
Every song she played (which was every song off Badlands minus one, plus a song off that very first EP) was electric, and Halsey’s stage presence and vocal ability are both truly astounding, in the very best way. The visuals throughout the show really added to the feel of each song and the atmosphere of the show as a whole, rather than detracting from the vocals and artist’s performance, as can be the case sometimes.
My personal highlights of the show were, and I’m trying really hard not to say ‘the whole damn thing,’ were Ghost, which is arguably my favourite Halsey track, Is There Somewhere (which I totally misnamed as Let This Go the day of because I suck), and Young God, a triumphant, smoke-cannon and confetti-blasting end to what essentially felt like a spiritual experience throughout.
Right from the get-go, Halsey’s performance was exciting and memorable, and her appreciation for the people that got her to where she is was evident throughout. I’m already excited for what she does next and when she comes back this way.