Friday, September 2, 2016

Halsey - BADLANDS | Concert Review, photographed by Rajalaxmi Watkinson

We (myself and Rajalaxmi Watkinson) started off the day by checking we had the right directions written down on our phones, all the right trains to get on and a vague idea of what way to go when we got there, thankfully Rajalaxmi remembered the way from the last time we went there and all the memories started flooding back from the last time we went to O2 Brixton Academy.
Once we got to the arena, after praising that Rajalaxmi had remembered the way; we had to go to the back of one of the longest queues we had ever seen, it just never ended, it went round and round, and around the building and then to other buildings. Giving us the heads up that the show is “SOLD OUT”, even though we already walked past that sign. We finally made it to the end, where we would wait until it was time for doors to open, and if the line already wasn’t long enough; people started queuing up behind us, reminding us just how big the arena is. Rachael got the tickets out of her bag for us to keep hold of, ready to be scanned when we did eventually get to the doors, there was still plenty of time for selfies to take for ‘Snapchat’ to send around.

Skipping to the moment the queue actually started moving, we got past the side of the building which had gates to only show the other side of the queue, still yet to go in themselves. There were these big posters of her on the walls with the labels “SOLD OUT”, there was always that feeling of relief, remembering we have our tickets already in our pockets. I almost forgot all about them having to check our bags, which meant I was a bit disorganised, trying to open up my bag as soon as I could, assuring the security guards that we just had big cases for our professional cameras. This was where I said my goodbyes to my water-bottle, and a guard made the comment “don’t take her sandwiches, that’s just cruel.”… and leaving me to dehydrate isn’t cruel? Overjoyed and excited for the night to begin, we had a quick look at the merch stand, then remembered how poor we are and decided we could easily find something on eBay later on, we ran to our seats on the higher balcony, and then the radio started playing; where we only recognised one song which happened to be by ‘twenty øne piløts’ which we sang and danced along to, still awaiting the concert to begin. 

We won’t mention names of the special guests, considering they-well.-to put it blunt, they were awful. The base was fine, but we couldn’t hear a word of any of the songs, there were these bright, blinding lights. The two bands played about six songs each, which we just about survived through, with little help from Rachael’s earplugs (playing ‘Panic! At the Disco’ and ‘Bethan Leadley’ / MusicalBethan on YouTube). We had that small moment of thinking Halsey was next, considering the whole arena had blacked out, which usually means the next act is up but it was just the second band. Soon enough, after making sure not too much time had passed, it was definitely running later than what it had said on the ticket; this time, we knew Halsey was next. Well, thanks to the small hint when the people checking the instruments and lighting had shown the logos of the two bands that had just been up and then Halsey’s on the screen. We waited a little more, and then we recognised the start of her music being played.

Trying to contain all our excitement, there she was, on stage; taking our breath away. We just couldn’t believe that the girl we had been listening to non-stop was in the same room as us and performing those songs we love, live. Witnessing another beauty to add to our list of god(esses) that make us question our sexualities. I just loved how she didn’t sing those songs the exact same way as on her album, otherwise what would be the point? She sang some notes higher and with just more emotion, it just had more atmosphere to remembering that this was happening live, and we were there to witness. It was like she was really bringing herself to the stage.
We did find ourselves wishing she had an intro sort of trailer to welcome us into the Badlands, or at least use the trailer for the album here but to ease the audience into it (not that they needed it) and give a better sign that she was up next, something we could scream in excitement at. But the space being played on the screens behind her when she was bringing herself to the stage was just so aesthetic. I mean look at it. Space is beautiful and we were just so glad it wasn't some pixelated low quality kind.

I love how she was just so genuine, she called us her friends that were too cool for her, if we knew her in real life. She was so comfortable with us, she even took her bra off at the start of ‘Castle’; hiding it up by twerking. I really couldn’t believe it, that there was this point where in-between the song break, she told us that she was taking off her bra. “I bet you all didn't notice I was taking my bra off at the start of the song”.

There were times she couldn’t keep herself away from the crowd, she would go back and forth to stand on the bars and she would reach out to some of us who were reaching back to her. There was even hand movements she was getting us to do with the song that looked silly but she still got us to move our hands up and down to the beat; like we were all dancing as good friends. As well as dancing, she pointed the microphone towards the crowd when she noticed us singing the words back in sync. Almost like karaoke where we would sing the chorus back to her. 

When it came to the break or sometimes in the middle of song, she would stop it all, just to say how much she appreciates us all, give a round of applause for the special acts beforehand and her band helping her out or try to get as close to the crowd as she could. She swore in almost every sentence when she wasn’t singing (including her song, ‘Strange Love’), yet it didn’t sound like she was actually swearing, more like talking to us as good friends and she didn’t mean for the swearing to be harmful, to not be taken seriously. “I love all your f**king faces”. Before we knew it, it came to the last song ‘Colors’ and there was confetti everywhere, she sang songs from her old EP “Room 93″ and every song from her album, “Badlands” except for ‘I walk the line’. Throughout all the songs, the crowd was just so enthusiastic to be singing every word with her, dancing along. We just didn’t want the night to end. Sadly, it had to, otherwise we would miss our train back, and the college days after that.
Now came the time to endure that after-concert-depression, until Friday (26th February), where another concert will add on to all the emotions Halsey left us with.

Written by Rachael Cook, photographed by Rajalaxmi Watkinson.You can find more photography of this concert here.

No comments:

Post a Comment