On Tuesday night, Spectrum Center played host to singer Halsey’s first-ever headlining tour. She’s visited the city in previous years as the opening act for major players like Imagine Dragons, but this was the first chance for diehard Halsey fans to get more than a musical snapshot from the singer. They were treated to a 24-song setlist spanning an already impressive career, some songs of which were voted on by the fans themselves.
Halsey, or Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, got her career start in 2014 after releasing original songs on social media. She was signed by Astralwerks and toured with heavy hitters like The Kooks on the strength of her EP Room 93 and debut album The Badlands. Her young career was rocketed to new heights when she was featured on The Chainsmokers track “Closer” last year.
Ever since, Halsey’s gone from a new kid on the block to a 23-year old superstar who can hold her own in an arena.
Her most recent album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, is meant to be a dystopian concept album pitting two sides against one another a la Romeo and Juliet. Halsey kept the idea front and center throughout the show, purposefully dividing the audience with a barrier and reminding them that they represented the two different ‘houses’ referenced in the album.
Halsey has built her entire aesthetic and sound around the idea of a dark fairytale. She descended a larger-than-life LED staircase with fog nipping at her heels, plowing through songs like “Eyes Closed,” “Castle” and “Hold Me Down” while images of colorful koi, a pair of lovers and larger-than-life landscapes were projected behind her.
There was no line of backup dancers distracting from the singer or the imagery — in fact, Halsey featured only one dancer, even engaging in a dance battle of sorts on a watery B stage for “Lie” and “Don’t Play.” Every moment of the show was playful, sexy and featured Halsey’s trademark aesthetic. She brought the house down with heavy hitters “Gasoline” and “Hurricane,” leaving Spectrum literally screaming for more when the house lights were brought up and the curtain was closed.
Hold Me Down
Heaven in Hiding
Walls Could Talk
Bad at Love
Closer (Chainsmokers cover)
Angel on Fire
Is There Somewhere
Now or Never