By Danie B
High energy, bright colors, and a whole bunch of wow encompassed the Amway Center’s atmosphere for Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour.
The show kicked off with Charli XCX gracing the stage with “Dreamer,” before bumping the party into high gear with fan favorite, “I Don’t Care.” The song literally had the whole arena singing and jumping along!
By the time Charli made it to “Fancy” the mood was electric. Charli even jumped off the stage and ran into the crowd! Next, she took the energy level even higher with “Boom Clap,” her monster hit. The crowd sang every word, and then she was gone.
After a brief set change, PartyNextDoor was the next to grace the stage. Visuals for his set included a big screen behind him and a smaller pyramid screen in front of that one, with images of palm trees on it.
With a full band, he kicked things off with “Recognize.” His show was completely different from Charli’s. With PartyNextDoor, you almost felt like you were in a private studio session watching him create music with his band. In fact, there was no conversation with the crowd until his fourth song, “Wus Good/Curious.” His artistry, however, was the key to drawing the crowd in.
Before “Freak In You,” Party addressed the crowd saying, “I think I speak for everybody when I say we appreciate the crowd tonight.” The crowd cheered as he went right into his next songs, “Persian Rugs” and “Best Friends.”
You can definitely tell that even though his name is Party, he’s an introvert who’s really all about the music.
His fans know that and by the time he performed “Not Nice” people were up dancing, singing along. His set ended with “Come and See Me,” with phones lighting the arena and the crowd swaying back and forth.
As headliner Halsey appeared, the stage was surrounded with white sheets on all three sides. The music for “The Prologue” started and the crowd cheered as various images were projected onto the sheets. Then Halsey’s voice emerged as she started to sing “Eyes Closed.”
You could see her petite silhouette projected onto the sheets, and just as she arrived at the chorus of the song, the sheets fell, the music crescendoed and you saw Halsey at the top of a two-tiered staircase with a huge screen behind her complete with lights, smoke…the whole nine. The drama of it all was breathtaking.
Making her way down the staircase for “Hold Me Down,” she joined a dancer dressed in all white like an angelic devil. The juxtaposition of such a pretty stage, with Halsey’s white mesh jeweled crop top and bottoms along with the white outfit of the dancer moving in such a choppy and demented way gave the feeling that the dancer was really trying to hold Halsey down. All of it was amazing to watch. A great deal of thought definitely went into visual symbolism.
Her conversation with the crowd the whole night gave the show an intimate feel rarely experienced at arena shows. When she performed “Castles,” the entire arena bounced up and down with her.
Halsey reflected on her life and how certain breakups may have been her fault before jumping into the song “Bad at Love,” and her remarkable vocal ability was showcased on songs like “Closer” and “Sorry.” In both songs, she was accompanied solely by a piano. Every note, including her falsetto, were perfect.
Additionally, her vulnerability on stage gives you chills. Toward the end of “Closer” you could clearly see a tear fall down her cheek. By the end of “Sorry” she admitted that the song was difficult to finish because she was fighting back even more tears.
Another standout moment of the evening was Halsey’s shout out the LGBT community. “This is a safe space for you and this song is all f***ing yours!” she declared before launching into “Strangers.” As she performed the song, the screen behind her showed intimate images of same sex couples, interracial couples, heterosexual couples, etc. Her message was clear … love is love.
Halsey didn’t stay on the main stage the whole time though. Moving to a smaller stage toward the center of the arena, she began “Lie,” performing a cool fight-inspired dance routine with her dance partner, complete with fog and a pool of water.
She remained there for “Don’t Play.” As she completed the number, she ran back to the main stage urging the crowd to sing along with her, “Women don’t play no games!” Another musical message made crystal clear.
Keeping the show intimate, Halsey allowed the crowd to pick the next song. They choose “100 letters.” After she finished the song, she gave the backstory of how her ex used to leave love letters in her pants pockets. They eventually broke up because he wanted her to be someone she was not, but after the break up she continued to be “tortured” by the split because she kept finding his letters in her pockets. Her solution was to wash all her pants at once and let all the letters drown.
In addition to the personal stories and crowd interaction, Halsey took the intimacy up a notch by running through the crowd to hug her fans as she performed “In There Somewhere.” It was a sweet moment which proved she really longs to stay connected with her supporters and doesn’t take them for granted.
While performing “Now Or Never,” she introduced her band as well as her amazing dancer, TeTe, who was out dancing in the crowd.
Halsey ended the show with “Hurricane.” “Orlando, this song is a reminder that you do not belong to anybody but yourself,” she said. Her presentation and imagery on the song was mind blowing. The huge screen behind her showed a storm complete with clouds, lightning, and a dark sky. The the fog and C02 cannons made it look like Halsey was standing in the middle of storm clouds, with her voice roaring above all this commotion, commanding her make shift storm. Confetti started to fall and it looked just like rain. She thanked the audience for coming out, the lights fell, and she was gone.
Her connection to her fans is real and her talent, unparalleled. Halsey is a legend in the making.