The singer goes from strength to strength on the Love and Power Tour.
Images: Vasili Papathanasopoulos
More than two years after the cancellation of their Manic World Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, platinum hitmaker Halsey has returned to the stage for their Love and Power Tour. Taking over the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the singer once again proved why they’re one of the most formidable contemporary artists within the industry.
Opening with The Tradition, the singer was elevated on a runway above the own stage screen, which displayed lyrics from the powerful track, before fireworks erupted during the final chorus. What followed was a carefully curated setlist that showcased the singers acclaimed fourth album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, whilst also bringing their hit tracks and fan favourites. You Should Be Sad, Graveyard and Bad At Love kept even the most casual Halsey fans pleased, whilst Castle, Killing Boys, Honey and Gasoline sent longtime friends into a frenzy.
From the moment they stepped on stage, Halsey’s flawless vocal performance captivated the audience. Their biting performance of Easier Than Lying was juxtaposed by the intimacy of 100 Letters, whilst 3am brought some nostalgic punk rock. The singer also treated fans to a live-painting session, producing a one-of-a-kind artwork during Be Kind, which will be available for auction following the tours conclusion. Their energy was matched by the packed out Hollywood Bowl audience, screaming along to every word, dancing and thrashing about in the pit and their seats, creating what felt like a safe environment for self-expression where you could immerse yourself within art with no fear of judgement.
The production quality of the Love and Power Tour is an immaculate feast for the eyes. Pyrotechnics, lighting, staging and visuals all fed into the cohesive presentation of the tour. The performances’ inclusion of pre-filmed interludes, which included original poetry from Halsey, further delved into the singers latest albums exploration of body horror, and feeling trapped within yourself whilst attempting to find some self-love. Building on If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’s comprehensive anatomy of the dichotomy of impending motherhood, the singer explores life postpartum and rediscovering your body.
There’s an undeniable authenticity to a Halsey set. Between recognising fans in the crowd and inspirational talking breaks, the Love and Power Tour exuded an aura of friends reunited to share stories. The singer told fans “I have a feeling over the course of the night we’re gonna transform a bit together”, and you couldn’t help but feel that was true as Ya’burnee played over closing credits. Between the fun, head banging and dancing, thought-provoking lyricism and imagery were carefully woven throughout, present in tracks like 1121, Lillith, Whispers and The Lighthouse.
There was a consistent theme of acknowledging your own power and autonomy, with the singer reminding the audience that “you don't belong to anybody but yourself” before diving into Hurricane. During fan-favourite Nightmare, the screens displayed facts surrounding abortion related healthcare, and the impending Roe v Wade decision from the Supreme Court. The pairing of the imagery, text and Halsey’s urgent performance created a powerful and moving moment within the set. Earlier, they spoke of the power and importance of trusting your gut and not giving up, referencing the battle to release their latest single So Good.
Returning to the stage for an encore, the singer treated their audience to a cover of Kate Bush’s reemerging hit, Running Up That Hill (Deal With God), before asking their audience who was in a happy relationship. They then told those fans to pretend for the next few minutes that that wasn’t the case, before playing their hit single Without Me. Fireworks erupted once more during the closing track I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God,
Offering moments of strength, paired with moments of intimacy, the mesmerising performance once again proved why Halsey is one of the 21st centuries most innovative artists. Commanding the attention of their audience and owning the stage as they stomped, danced and sauntered across it, Halsey had their audience eating out of the palm of their hand, and leaving them wanting more.