As far as pop in the UK goes, Maisie Peters is certainly one of the most exciting talents currently rising to stardom. Touring her UK Number One sophomore album The Good Witch and writing music which is both fit for the mainstream and loved by her dedicated fanbase, Peters has created a live show which combines excellent sound, engaging lyrics, and an emotionally cleansing atmosphere.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Peters defined the people who she makes music for as including those who have been ghosted, dumped by someone who they can’t really call an ex, or have hilarious red flag stories to tell. The singer said, “I just think there’s such validity in those relationships, and sometimes they mean more to you than the ones you can define because you never quite had it, or you could never quite explain it.” Her songs about situationships, never-quite-made-its, and annoying exes were received joyfully by a packed-out crowd at Manchester’s O2 Apollo for a gig which felt both upbeat and cathartic.
The set began with a trio of songs from Peter’s latest album The Good Witch, released in June 2023. ‘The Good Witch’, ‘Coming Of Age’, and ‘Body Better’ set the tone of singalong hits as Peters danced around the stage in front of the name of her album in huge letters. ‘Body Better’ was a particular standout as a song which is emblematic of Peters’ music more generally, combining emotionally vulnerable lyrics with an upbeat sound. She later heralded the crowd as “the most unstable night of tour,” yet it seemed as though songs from the second album allowed fans to feel seen and healed.
Other tracks from The Good Witch included ‘Run’, ‘You’re Just A Boy (And I’m Kinda The Man)’, and ‘Watch’, which were all met with great crowd reception. Repeated refrains such as “run!” in the track of the same name were fun moments for the audience and emphasised the feel-good atmosphere amongst fans in the Apollo.
The crowd were also treated to an unreleased track from Peters’ upcoming deluxe edition of The Good Witch, released October 27, called ‘Holy Revival’. The track was dedicated to “anyone here who has an ex who’s a middle child,” and was powerfully performed – a good sign for the other tracks on the deluxe album.
As well as showcasing her latest music, there was plenty of time for older tracks, such as singles ‘Not Another Rockstar’, and ‘Blonde’. Songs like ‘I’m Trying (Not Friends)’ from Peters’ debut album You Signed Up For This proved that the artist has been accumulating a dedicated audience for her music since she first released a single in 2017. ‘I’m Trying’ has one of Peters’ best bridges and the singing to lyrics “You’re awful and I miss you / And I killed you in my dream last night” was some of the loudest of the night.
Peters also played ‘John Hughes Movie’, another song from her debut album, which she told the crowd she wrote at just 17 “about being weird at a party.” Peters’ gratitude at being able to play to such large, loud crowds was evident and she made frequent reference to having first played live in Manchester at the Deaf Institute, a venue with over 3000 fewer people than the Apollo.
One of the highlights of the show was the choice to follow ‘BSC’ with ‘There It Goes’. In ‘BSC’, Peters laments that “Mister ‘I don’t want a label’ / You made me little miss unstable,” and the song is filled with satisfying anger at being mistreated by someone who “broke” you. However, by the time she reaches ‘There It Goes’, Peters has reached a place of healing and moving on, singing “I’m doing better / I made it to September / I can finally breathe.” Peters’ lyrics and performance manage not to be bitter, and her latest album is powerful rather than petty. As she said in an interview with Dork Magazine, “The songs that do make it [onto the album] tell the right story. That’s a story I’m proud to tell, and I think I will be – I think it will age well.”
One song which has already aged well is ‘Cate’s Brother’, the 2022 single which was a hit for Peters across social media platforms. The upbeat track came before the first song of the encore, ‘History Of Man’, performed with Peters’ support act and close friend Gretta Ray. The set finished with ‘Lost The Breakup’, as a final, freeing message to any audience members who have experienced a sour relationship. The emphasis on both “feeling” and “dealing” could have been a mantra for the set as a whole, whilst the loud cheers at the end of the concert proved that Peters had “won the breakup” as well as winning over her audience.
Maisie Peters put on a performance which was triumphant in its sound, cathartic to sing along to, and proved that she has cemented herself as one of pop’s most exciting artists. You can get tickets to the rest of The Good Witch Tour here.