Fletcher steals the show at London’s O2

Fletcher will soon be headlining venues like this.
Photo credit: Frances Beach

We appreciate the fact you’re busy people, so in the interest of getting to the point, we’ll tell it to you straight. Fletcher will soon be headlining venues like London’s O2 arena. 

We know, it seems a statement so painfully obvious that it almost doesn’t need saying but hear us out. On Tuesday night, Fletcher played the 20,000-capacity venue as the opening act to Panic! At The Disco’s farewell tour and smashed it in every way possible.

The brilliant set starts with Perry Como’s classic rendition of Girl Of My Dreams before the Hollywood majesty is replaced by a churning rumble of electronic fury. Fletcher and her band march out onto the stage and launch straight into the snotty rock and roll of ‘Guess We Lied’. Crunching riffs sit perfectly under soaring vocals and before the track is over, Fletcher has the entirety of the busy venue bouncing along. That energy and connection remain for the duration of her time onstage. Every song ends with a genuine roar. 

Fletcher released her first single in 2015 and, over the past few years, has been growing up alongside a fiercely dedicated fanbase. Her confessional pop bangers were always #relatable but recently, there’s been a newfound fearlessness to Fletcher’s music. Breakout track ‘Undrunk’ came in 2019 (“serious question, do you ever wish you could unfuck someone,” she asks before the pulsating pop song tonight), while 2022’s ‘Girl Of Your Dreams’ was a bold, ballsy debut album. Tonight, she’s largely without her Fletchlights but she refuses to let that hold her back. Instead, she relishes the reintroduction. 

‘Sting’ is a slow-burning breakup anthem with a big, theatrical ending that’s perfect for gigantic venues, while the bombastic ‘All Love’ takes nods from vintage stadium rockers Queen. Elsewhere ‘Serial Heartbreaker’ has more than a hint of ‘00s electro-punk to it, ‘Girl Of My Dream’ flirts comfortably with epic and a glorious mash-up of her own ‘Sex (With My Ex)’ and SZA’s ‘Kill Bill’ is suitably dramatic.

As she explains at the start of the night, her songs are mostly about “shitty exes, girls who have broken my heart, hearts I’ve broken, tequila, drama and being the main character.” There’s a confidence to every pointed chorus and wailing guitar solo.

It’s not all showy rock tunes, though. Fletcher spends the majority of the set prowling the edges of the stage, trying to make the gig feel as intimate as possible, while a stripped back ‘Better Version’ is dedicated to “all the healing kings and queens”. Sitting down on the very edge of the imposing stage, Fletcher explains that tonight’s show was really intimidating. “I was crying, I was freaking out, this is scary as fuck,” she admits. “I’ve always struggled with performance anxiety but I promise you, if you run towards the thing that scares you the most, there’s so much magic in that.”

“Don’t let that little voice in your head win. Fuck your anxiety, it’s lying to you,” she continues. “You are that bitch.” 

Ending with the giddy ‘Becky’s So Hot’ and the ‘Ironic’-influenced ‘Bitter’, tonight feels like the rest of the world is finally catching up with Fletcher. At the same time, she’s found a way to bring vulnerability, self-empowerment and her own excitable personality to the biggest of stages without losing that edge. We’ll see you back at The O2 soon, yeah?

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