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17th May 2022

Live Review: O2 Ritz fell in love with girl in red

Mixing emotional honesty with empowering anthems, girl in red played a sold-out show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz
Live Review: O2 Ritz fell in love with girl in red
Photo: Michal Wasilewski @ The Mancunion

Norwegian indie sensation Marie Ulven Ringheim, known as girl in red, came to Manchester’s O2 Ritz with her 2021 album If I Could Make It Go Quiet as part of her World in Red tour. Expressing at the start of the long-postponed show that her doctor had just advised her against going on tour again, she calmed the cheering crowd that she didn’t want to postpone the concert any further. However, in order to take care of her damaged vocal cords, she could not perform some of the more demanding songs.

Unfortunately, in a statement released only two days after the Manchester concert, she wrote that after seeing another throat specialist she is forced to postpone the remaining part of the European tour. Marie will go back home to see a speech therapist and she’ll “essentially relearn the way she speaks and uses her voice” in order to avoid having to undergo surgery. This made the Manchester show possibly one of the last girl in red shows for the upcoming weeks. Regardless, the vocal cord damage was nowhere to be heard in her passionate singing on the Manchester night.

Opening with one of her more upbeat songs, ‘You Stupid Bitch’, she instantly spread her passionate energy across the sold-out venue. In the mostly teenage crowd, it was more than evident that almost everyone is a huge fan. Indeed, being an openly queer artist and arguably the most acknowledged lesbian singer of her generation, girl in red recognises her role in “normalising queerness” and providing an inclusive safe space for her audience.

With the themes of her songs dramatically switching between desire and pain or love and heartbreak, the atmosphere among the crowd was also changing within moments. There is, after all, not much similarity in tone between the tenderness and raw emotional honesty of ‘we fell in love in october’ and the empowering, lively nature of ‘girls’.

Although the faster songs in girl in red’s repertoire are fuelled with passion and energy, it still came as a surprise to see it reflected to such a degree in the live performances and the crowd’s reactions. The people were there for every second of every song, singing along to every line and jumping to any remotely up-beat sound.

With massive moshpits forming to most of the faster songs (and being encouraged by the singer), the security was non-stop delivering water to those in the front rows. It was hot indeed, with the temperature reflecting the emotions that girl in red’s music is formed around.

Finishing the concert with crowd-surfing to the extended version of ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ was a memorable ending to an evening full of emotional honesty and empowering passion, leaving no fan disappointed. Giving her best despite the health problems that would soon force her to postpone the upcoming concerts, girl in red proved that she is not only a talented singer but, most of all, an artist who truly cares about those who look up to her.

Listen to girl in red’s album on Spotify:

Michal Wasilewski

Michal Wasilewski

Managing Editor of Culture for The Mancunion.

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