Dua Lipa tour of Future Nostalgia proves to be Britain’s best pop star
“This is a wonderful reception at home,” said Dua Lipa, a few songs from the first UK show on her international tour.
“We have been waiting for a long time to install this program. We have removed it and postponed it and finally we have arrived.”
Minutes ago, the 26-year-old walked down the aisle of his main stage. Raising his hands slowly in the air as he entertained the 21,000 fans. Who had been waiting for two years to see him at Manchester’s AO Arena.
This was not just a pop concert – it was a reunion.
In context, we need to slow down a bit. Future Nostalgia tour was first announced in December 2019. As reports of a new, potentially fatal virus began to emerge in China.
By the time Dua’s second album (also called Future Nostalgia) arrived the following March. The world was closed and the tour was on ice.
The singer is worried about releasing an upbeat dance-pop album while people are suffering.
“I’m not sure if I did the right thing,” she told her Instagram followers in tears, “but I think the thing we need most right now is music. And we need happiness and we need to try to see the light.”
His natural instincts were right.
Instead of reminding us of the loss, the album moved on to a time when we would be overwhelmed again. Singing these songs and sweating profusely. Or, to use Dua’s own words, he had a “prediction that we fell into a rhythm where music did not stop for a lifetime” – and Future Nostalgia became the most popular album in 2020.
However, Covid’s restrictions played poorly on his journey. It was rehearsed and re-arranged three times. Forcing Dua to find ways to keep his music alive – a remix album. Live streaming and endless songs of new songs, including Elton John’s hit song Cold Heart.
Anticipation for the concerts grew
All the while, anticipation for the concerts grew. And the cheers that greeted the star on Friday night were a mixture of curiosity and excitement.
Dua opened the show by playing Hot Streak’s 1980s breakdance classic Body Work (“music make you lose control”). Showing his intention to celebrate the abandonment of dancefloor.
She stepped off the stage wearing a lightweight Balenciaga corset bodice to the Physical flowing area. Throwing shapes into the ballet space, before rolling down the catwalk and embarking on some 80s-inspired aerobics movements.
The energy levels did not diminish in the next 40 minutes. As the star exploded his major songs – New Rules, Break My Heart, Love Again, Be The One. Accompanied by 12 incinerators.
Fun way on the pop show
The stage was set in a fun way on the pop show. Forcing it to focus on the impressive sound of the Dua. And allowing the band to expand their songs to have a greater impact on the dancefloor.
Even the women’s development ballad, Boys Will Be Boys, has entered a remix of the carnival, featuring Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl sample.
The Dua strategy borrowed from Madonna – putting his music directly into the pop canon – paid taxes at the same time confirming his dominance. In small hands, it could be the work of hubris but the platinum-clad hits of Future Nostalgia are resistant to comparisons.
Choreography was equally brilliant, drawing on decades of dance history. The New Laws won the umbrella system inspired by Gene Kelly, while Cool saw the Dua surrounded by two roller-disco swimmers.
Singer-songwriter Charm La’Donna, who worked on this year’s half-time Super Bowl show, climbed down and fell on Bob Fosse’s steps in the chair during Hallucinate, and brought New York Warehouse films to the Electricity dance. At one point, he even threw a little hokey-cokey.
But masterstroke came to an end, when Dua again created an unpleasant, hip-jerk move that introduced the meme “Dua can’t dance” in 2019. (“I like her weakness,” remarked one observer. “Go girl, don’t give us anything”).
Dua Lipa gave the extra oomph
In this case, Dua Lipa gave the extra oomph, proving that he not only refined his stage, but also his sense of humor.
The program would do with that joke.
But the Future Nostalgia journey is not made for jokes. It’s about marking the time Dua Lipa found himself as a pop star.
Since 2019, he has turned into a controlling, confident player, who can throw a fun song like New rules two songs on his set, safe knowing that he has twelve other tracks that the audience knows as well.
When he came back down, he angrily brushed his hair and went to the title track of Future Nostalgia, before taking the winning episode of the disco-funk Don’t Start Now.
Not for the first time, the fans drowned him … almost as if they had spent time locked up reading words and finally getting a chance to achieve their dreams. On stage, Dua was facing the same thing.
He made a full 180, baby. And look where he ended up.