REVIEW: Halsey at Manchester Academy

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MANCHESTER Academy welcomed American artist Halsey to the stage on Monday evening to a bumper sell-out crowd. Quays News entertainment reporter Bethany Halfpenny was there for us…

In the past two years since signing to Astralwerks and releasing her debut EP ‘Room 93‘ in 2014, which was followed up by the full length, ‘Badlands‘, Hasley has exploded onto the music scene.

The American singer-songwriter embarked on her first full-length UK tour this month and selling 15,000 tickets off the back of just two releases is a massive achievement for the newfound musician.

Support for the tour has been cleverly chosen as BØRNS and Flor demonstrate genre similarities to Halsey.

First on for the evening was Flor. The American band consists of four members – Zach Grace, Mckinley Kitts, Kyle Hill and Dylan William. Their style consists of pop melodies with indie undertones taken straight from their first EP, ‘Sounds‘, which is freely available in full on the band’s sound cloud page.

The quartet may be small now but it is abundantly clear that these guys are set for bigger and better things in the future. Their music makes it almost impossible to not have a boogie and afterwards they were happy to chat and grab a drink with fans. Flor served up a great start for a very excited and sold out Academy crowd.

Garrett Borns, who goes by the stage name of BØRNS,  was the second support to perform. He’s an American indie artist who boasts an electronic and pop feel to his music released his first studio album, Dopamine in October of 2015.

Despite being fairly new to the scene as well, he is also building a good backing of followers very quickly. The elegant looking singer took the stage by storm, the dance-like beats of songs such as “Electric Love” and “Fool” are similar to that found in Halsey’s style of music and are exactly the sort of vibe that the crowd want to hear before the lead act herself.

He played an energetic filled set that cultivated a buzz in the atmosphere and, much like Flor, afterwards he met with fans after his set concluded. Between the two support acts they provided a well-thought out prelude to the star of the show…

Halsey’s set was a clear exhibition of why her rise to fame has been so instant and so great. The very seconds the lights were dimmed in preparation for her, there was mass screaming, cheering and all round fan hysteria.

She delivered her set with every bit of attitude that can be found within her songs. With nothing but a devoted reaction coming back to her the sold-out venue, with a capacity of 2,600, sang back every word to every single song in harmonised unison.

Halsey played a bulked-up setlist of 13 songs featuring tracks off of both ‘Room 93′ and ‘Badlands‘, as she opened with ‘Gasoline‘ before following on with ‘Colours‘, ‘Hurricane‘, ‘Hold Me Down‘ and ‘Castle‘.

As well as those records she went on to encore with ‘Young God‘ after chants of her name from the crowd, whom I’m sure will never tire of reliving this show, judging by their loyal reaction. Every song was a reminder that the 21-year-olds ever-growing popularity is well earnt.

It’s clear that Halsey is so successful because she speaks to an entire generation, her songs always relate back to personal situations and troubling times. There is a clear passion shown from her as she sings boldly and tells the crowd before “Hurricane” that it is “a reminder that you don’t belong to anyone but yourself.”

She delivered her original sound with a fierce performance for which she did not stop bouncing from one end of the stage to the other. The crowd encouraged this athleticism throughout as they screamed ferociously in between each song as well as letting out an uproar every time Halsey stepped down from the stage and onto the barrier.

The atmosphere in a nutshell was nothing but love for what was going on and it was refreshing to watch an artist receive such an amazing crowd response.

By Bethany Halfpenny
@bethhalfpenny

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