‘ Manic’ World Tour by Halsey; 15 February 20 Ziggo Dome Amsterdam; Supported by Pale Waves
‘Oh, ’cause I keep diggin’ myself down deeper’
Pale Waves as supporting act was a pleasurable surprise for me. This band is a project of Dirty Hit, which is the producing company of The 1975. Halsey dated Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975, for a while, so Pale Waves as support act has found this way. I have seen Pale Waves as supporting act for The 1975 in July 2017. Since then, I have been listening to this indie/alternative band from time to time.
Sadly, it turned out that I was the only one in this audience that knew songs of the band besides ‘Television Romance’. This band makes good music, but that they are still touring as a supporting act is due to their live performance. There is still a place for improvement in the way they present themselves. The remarkable voice of singer Heather is not right in the live setting and the instrumentals do not seem to fit right either.
Starting with ‘Nightmare’, Halsey brings a big energetic ball of fire (partly literally due to the fire shooters) into the Ziggo Dome. A good and surprising way of opening, the whole audience is immediately pumped up. She tries to hold this energy high with keeping the audience engaged in the next songs, but unfortunately, this dies more and more every note she sings.
Her new album does not vibe like her other music. ‘Manic’ is as album more personal than ever, as she states in various interviews. Her personal songwriting is actually what I loved in her music, songs as ‘Haunting’ and ‘Colors’ as example. These songs still do well in her live performance. Her new songs as ‘I Hate Everybody’ and ‘Forever… (Is a Long Time) feel live as a mood killer.
The live performance is separated in a couple of parts, including outfit changes. Indeed, it does add something more to the performance. Still, it is not enough to make it a good live concert. There is a drummer, guitarist and bass player on stage, but hidden away in the back. The focus is too much on Halsey herself, and this big role as an entertainer she can not fulfill. She keeps on dancing with sexualized visuals flashing behind her, and still, it is not enough to keep the audience entertained.
It was clear from the beginning that this ‘Manic’ world tour did not turn out as expected for the pop singer from New Jersey. The podium is placed halfway in the venue, and the second ring of seating places is not used. The encore of four songs feels unnecessary, only ‘Without Me’ seems to awake the audience.
Sad to see that another potential pop singer is not able to keep up the expectations once they have reached the big audience. Maybe, in a later phase in her career, she is back with the pure and not forced personal songwriting what was her unique style.
Setlist Pale Waves:
- Television Romance
- The Tide
- My Obsession
- One More Time
- There’s a Honey
- Heaven in Hiding
- Eyes Closed / Die For Me
- You Should Be Sad
- Forever… (Is a Long Time)
- Dominic’s Interlude
- I Hate Everybody
- Colors pt. II
- Walls Could Talk
- Bad at Love
- Finally // Beautiful Stranger
- 100 Letters
- Is There Somewhere
- Killing Boys
- Hold Me Down
- Without Me