It takes a special kind of popstar to open with two of their biggest hits. But here we are, Dua Lipa‘s second sold-out show at London’s O2, and within the first ten minutes, she’s played both the bubbling ’80s anthem ‘Physical’ and her swaggering breakout banger ‘New Rules’. The energy inside the venue and on stage is incredible – Dua backed by a 10-piece dance troupe (all introduced during the show’s opening moments) while the crowd react with the ravenous excitement of a group of people who’ve been waiting almost two years for this. There’s a sense of making up for lost time as everyone involved throws themselves fully into this pop spectacle.
And we’ll be honest, after that opening (all synchronised dance routines and shout-a-long lyrics), we need a bit of a breather. Dua, however, has no time to waste. What follows is 90 minutes of over-the-top pop extravagance soundtracked by a never-ending stream of feisty, radio-friendly smashes. Speeches are kept to a minimum (though Dua does say tonight is a dream come true at least 5 times), and while the songs are massive and the production is grand, there’s still a friendly relatability between Dua and her crowd. No mean feat when at times you’re soaring over them in a sparkly platform that would make Muse jealous.
Despite all the polish, Dua’s personality shines through every aspect of this show. She waves a pride flag during the swaying ‘Cold Heart’, covers the crowd in glitter for ‘Levitating’ (which looks amazing, but hopefully no one has an important business meeting in the morning) and performs in front of a giant lobster for the swaying ‘We’re Good’. After dominating her support slot, Angèle returns to the stage for ‘Fever’, and the two look like they’re genuinely having the most fun. That glee is infectious.
The energy never dips, but it somehow finds another level during a mashup of ‘One Kiss’ and ‘Electricity’ that looks like the coolest school disco around, complete with balloon drop. By the end of the tracks, Dua and her dancers are skipping in a circle, hand in hand.
Dua Lipa’s come a long way from crying in her kitchen at the start of lockdown, worried about releasing an upbeat pop album like ‘Future Nostalgia’ during COVID. The album clearly means a lot to Dua, and that same level of care and respect is poured into the tour. Over the past few years, those songs have been a much-needed joyful escape from the crushing repetition (and occasional horror) of everyday life. Tonight is a celebration of that, as Dua Lipa underlines her status as one of the most exciting, passionate and fearless popstars around.