It’s a Saturday night, and amongst the pomp of Eurovision, the chaos of The Great Escape and the usual weekend partiers is the immediate calm of Arlo Parks’ spotlight show at Brighton Dome.
A Great Escape graduate herself, this show comes two triumphant years after her debut ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, and before her second ‘My Soft Machine’ drops. Stepping out to an unreleased track from the latter, ‘Bruiseless’, her voice is flawless and never falters. With a stage setup minus all the bells and whistles, Arlo’s voice stands front and centre, making for an intimate show despite the size of the venue.
Arlo performs like she’s feeling every lyric she’s ever written; the rest of the room is feeling them too. Before playing the emotional ‘Black Dog’, she encourages the crowd to give into its catharsis, letting them know they should cry if they need to. It’s almost impossible not to.
Pulling from every corner of her discography, she performs 2019 single ‘Sophie’ and gives her debut performance of Phoebe Bridgers collaboration ‘Pegasus’, showing how far she’s come in the last four years, but reminding us she’s always had something special. Even those really early tracks had that magical ASMR brain-melting quality.
Much like at Maisie Peters’ show the night before, Arlo recounts Brighton moments from her career, noting that this comes as a full circle moment after playing her first festival show here at 17, running from college to make it to the beach stage for her set.
Before she undoubtedly levels up again, it’s really special to see Arlo in a venue like this. After closing the set with one of her boppier singles, ‘Softly’, everyone waits desperately for an encore that never comes. “All I can say is look forward to that one,” Arlo says after playing an unreleased track mid-way through the set. We absolutely will.