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21st June 2022

Live Review: Rebecca Black Was Here (in Manchester!)

Jessica Hamilton reviews Rebecca Black at Manchester’s Deaf Institute as she paves herself a brand new path to pop stardom.
Live Review: Rebecca Black Was Here (in Manchester!)
Rebecca Black at the Bowery Ballroom in January. Photo Found5dollar @ Wikimedia Commons

Words by Jessica Hamilton.

Rebecca Black’s first overseas tour in Manchester was a success to say the least. Playing at the Deaf Institute park to a sold out crowd; it was a night of pure entertainment and queer bliss.

The support act Amara ctk100 began her set before a slightly rowdy crowd all moving between the bar and the stage. But it wasn’t long before the crowd quietened, becoming entranced by the quiet intensity of her performance. 

In the brief wait for Rebecca Black, I wondered what the audience expected from the show. After her 2011 catapult to fame with the song ‘Friday’, I realised she’s had one of the most successful rebrands in history. Only a few audience members I spoke to knew of her solely from ‘Friday’. The rest described her as ‘iconic’ and were excited to hear her recent releases. 

None of us were disappointed when Rebecca Black burst onto the stage. She had enough energy to fuel the Monday night crowd and interact with a few hecklers (I will admit I was one of them). She somehow maintained the liveliness throughout the set. I’m still wondering how she managed to do so many high kicks and sing at the same time.

Her set was quite experimental, it included a mixture of upbeat pop songs and explored the uniqueness of hyperpop. It was a kind of controlled chaos – an embracement of uncertainty that was reflected in her lyrics. Although it seemed she was still finding her sound, she sang with a self-assured passion. Her love for performance was apparent throughout the entire show but especially during ‘NGL’, which was my favourite song of the night. 

She knew exactly what type of audience she was playing for which showed as she brought out a bedazzled silver chainsaw for her song ‘Personal’. I don’t think the show would have been the same without it and I hope she continues to bring random glittered objects out at future events. 

Of course the show wouldn’t have been complete without ‘Friday’. It was expected and she definitely delivered. Although treated as a joke by both the audience and Rebecca, I admire how she’s reclaimed the song, she hasn’t ignored the past but instead used it in her favour. And of course it ended the night on a high. 

Though she’s been around for more than a decade, it’s clear her career is only just beginning. A night with Rebecca Black is not one to miss. 

Curious to find out what’s changed since 2011? You can listen to Black’s latest single here on Spotify.

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