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In Review: Dua Lipa, Manchester Academy

The dark pop princess dominated the stage and delivered an overwhelming performance on Tuesday night at Manchester Academy.

In Review: Dua Lipa, Manchester Academy

Dua Lipa, the rising dark pop princess, feminist icon, and my (and about million others’) crush. Currently mid way through her self-titled tour in support of her first full album, and I got the chance to see her perform at the Manchester Academy on Tuesday night.

I knew that whoever Dua Lipa would have as her support act would have to have the lungs to match her, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed when a timid Grace Carter, clad in an elegant red suit, walked out on stage. Despite her seemingly shy persona, as soon as the music hit she let loose, her powerful voice ringing out across the hall and enticing everyone in.

It can be a hit-and-miss game with support acts, but Grace was indisputably a hit - if you have yet to hear of her I very much recommend you download her track ‘Heal You’, as that is exactly the song that caught me and had me downloading it as soon as I got home.

After Grace finished there was that usual buzz of tension in the air, waiting for the main event to start. People were caught up in their own conversations, mumbling along as Katy Perry and Lorde played over the speakers, reacting to every movement on stage as sound check took place. Finally, it was 9pm, the lights dimmed, smoke billowed out, and red shot forth from behind a huge drum kit.

Slowly the band took their place, each going for it on their instruments as the pressure built more, and more, and more. “Manchester!” she yelled as she burst onto stage, diving headfirst into a rendition of ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and the whole crowd exploded.

Dua Lipa glided across the stage, belting out some of her best songs like ‘Garden’ and ‘Last Dance’, as well as a mash-up of ‘Dreams’ and ‘No Lie’. Behind her beautiful visuals were thumping along to the beat, ready for the whole crowd to sing along to ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’.

During ‘Blow Your Mind’, Dua Lipa did something that nearly brought a tear to my eye - she held up the Pride flag. This of course comes following her hometown of Kosovo holding their first ever LGBT Pride parade in Albania, and seeing her address that, using her platform to talk about the issues in our world today warms my heart.

But it wasn’t the only thing Dua Lipa took time to address, because Tuesday was also World Mental Health Day. After everyone had sung their hearts out to one of her slower songs ‘Thinking Bout’ You’, she turned to the crowd and gave a speech about the importance of taking mental health seriously. “I’m here for you, I love you, You’re special”, words that many in that crowd probably needed to hear, so thank you, thank you so much Dua Lipa.

After those more sombre messages, she delved right back into her performance, belting out ‘New Love’ and ‘Genesis’ before making way for one of my personal favourites - ‘IDGAF’. The room darkened, Dua Lipa moved to the side of the stage, and a message appeared on screen:

“WARNING. You are about to experience some explicit language and behaviour. This is a song for all the f***boys who have done you wrong. If you would like to participate in the next activity please put your middle fingers up. Thank You.”

A classy way to deal with the epidemic that is sweeping our planet, and an even better way for everyone to get their frustrations out with the subject matter, as everybody threw their all into dancing away to an iconic masterpiece. It was at this point I realised why I felt so comfortable here, a unique quality that Dua Lipa has.

Dressed in her comfy shorts and hoodie combo, singing these songs about lost relationships and the betterment of others, even just the way she swung her hair about on stage - Dua Lipa can make it feel like the world’s biggest (and best) slumber party. I said it about the ‘New Rules’ video the same holds true for her live gigs, she can make everyone feel like her friend, like this is something we can do together all the time, and it’s wonderful.

Of course now time was closing in for the headlining song, what everyone had to be waiting for, the chart-topping, female anthem, ‘New Rules’. After building the room with an unreal performance of ‘Be The One’ (yes she does hit that note, perfectly I might add), it. was. time.

The room honestly went crazy with action as everyone was singing in unison, dancing along to in my humble opinion, one of the best songs of the summer. I’m almost sure I heard boy’s phone numbers getting deleted around me as the chorus went in, everybody getting low and jumping on Dua Lipa’s command.

From start to finish it was a truly amazing show, and Dua Lipa blew me away. I already had high expectations and she shattered them, going even further, so if you’ve not already got tickets to one of her next gigs I wholeheartedly recommend you do. If you can't make the end of her self-titled tour, there’s no rush because she’ll be back bigger and better next April. Find & compare all tickets for Dua Lipa down below, and compare ticket sellers with TickX to get the cheapest prices available!

Written by
Kestra Walker
12th October 2017

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