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27th April 2022

Live Review: Dua Lipa confirms her star power at a sold-out Manchester Arena show

Bringing some of the catchiest pop tunes of recent years to the Manchester Arena, Dua Lipa proved to be one of the leading pop stars in the music world.
Live Review: Dua Lipa confirms her star power at a sold-out Manchester Arena show
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest.

International pop star Dua Lipa played to a sold-out crowd at Manchester’s AO Arena. The first stop on a repeatedly postponed European tour for her album Future Nostalgia, released back in 2020, featured great and carefully planned stagings and choreography. 

While the vast majority of the crowd were still getting their drinks, the supporting act Griff came on the stage. Although Spotify statistics suggest she is a popular artist with over 4.5 million monthly listeners, the crowd did not necessarily seem to know her repertoire. Regardless, she put on a good show to a slowly filling up arena. Some of the songs featured impressive visuals, which captured the lyrics and their atmosphere, with the performance of ‘Black Hole’ being particularly memorable.

As soon as the stage became reorganised for the night’s main act, every member of Dua Lipa’s team (mostly dancers) was introduced in a video-game fashion, with snapshots appearing on a massive LED screen. Right afterwards Dua emerged on the stage in a pink catsuit, but the outfit would be changed frequently during the following 90 minutes.

Dua Lipa
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest.

She opened with ‘Physical’, one of the anthems of the first coronavirus lockdown and one of Future Nostalgia‘s songs that ironically already have a nostalgic feel. With every performance from ‘Physical’ to the closing ‘Don’t Start Now’ being meticulously staged and choreographed, it was clear that the show had been in the planning for months.

Disco dynamics, glamour, and a ton of sex appeal; the whole show encapsulated exactly what the world’s leading pop stars’ show should be. Although not every element of the puzzle fit in perfectly – such as the questionable decision for ‘Cool’ to feature a dance performance by two roller skaters – the power of Dua Lipa’s music and her stage presence easily overcame it.

Dua Lipa
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest.

Full of memorable moments, such as an inflatable lobster appearing behind the singer for the seaside-themed performance of ‘We’re Good’, or the pre-recorded video from Elton John appearing on the LED screen during ‘Cold Heart’, the undeniable highlight was ‘Levitating.’ 

Just the title of the song promises a lot for a concert performance, and the crowd was not left disappointed. The lyrical themes of the song were elevated as Dua Lipa stepped on a suspended platform, dancing her heart out above the fascinated crowd.

The show on its whole was a much-needed dance party, bringing some of the catchiest pop tunes of recent years to the big stage and delivering them with the energy they deserve. Dua Lipa cemented her place among the most successful pop stars in the music world, and her fans loved every minute she had to offer.

Michal Wasilewski

Michal Wasilewski

Managing Editor of Culture for The Mancunion.

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