Pop brilliance exploding with independent female empowerment, writes Deputy Music Editor Yasmin Duggal
Tuesday 10th October at Manchester Academy
Saturated in pop stardom, backed by a live band and clad in the sassiest of double denim, Dua Lipa took Manchester Academy for her own. ‘New Rules’ immediately set her brazen and independent-woman tone. From her bold struts from stage-left to right, to each sultry hair flick, and to the thought-provoking interruption prompting a moment of reflection on Mental Health Awareness Day.
‘Hotter Than Hell’ set the precedent for the gig, though be aware of calling Dua just a pretty face. A firework of an opener, the track saw the young singer dominate the stage as a mature performer, and mark her territory as an artist to watch, not only vocally, but stylistically and aesthetically.
The gig undulated through Lipa’s self-titled debut album — her feature on ‘No Lie’ added as a crowd pleaser at the start of the set – flowing with ease through heartbreaker to dance ballad. ‘Lost In Your Light’ followed by ‘Garden’ and ‘Last Dance’ elegantly demonstrated Dua Lipa’s vocal strength and theatrical prowess, as each note carried the academy on the wave of her emotion.
‘No Goodbyes’ was a stand out tune in the set list, Lipa illuminated in a moon-shine spotlight appropriate for her star quality. She shone with confidence, at the same time exposing a stark vulnerability. This is the root of her best break-up tracks, and she was clearly overwhelmed with emotion her during the performance.
Stomping ‘middle fingers to the sky’ track ‘IDGAF’ was met with solidarity even Lipa seemed taken aback at. A festival atmosphere then erupted at ‘Scared To Be Lonely’ and ‘New Rules’, and this closed the show with a bang. Maybe that’s what makes Dua Lipa gigs so enchanting — the unity in the crowd is electrifying, whether it’s a celebration of womanhood or a tear jerking ballad.
Pop princess extraordinaire; there’s no doubt she’s a master of the art.