Halsey put on a solid stadium show at the Air Canada Centre that felt like a music video. As the show started, I could hardly tell that Halsey’s voice was coming from her and not a piped in music track. It sounded flawless.
Her songs were performed perfectly, and she certainly holds the attention of the arena from start to finish. Halsey’s performance matches her songs well, though I was disappointed not to hear Ghost or New Americana, there was a healthy mix of tracks from both albums, and Is There Somewhere from her Room 93 EP. The highlight of the night was a performance on the B stage at the back of the arena floor, where Halsey and her stage dancer gave a powerful performance of Lie theatrically stomping and fighting each other with dance, while splashing and kicking the water-covered stage.
The show went off without a hitch – costume changes, stage smoke and flames all perfectly timed. I’d put good money on her whole tour having the exact same set list – it felt like a well-oiled machine. It’s bold to have little on stage but yourself and occasionally one other dancer. Halsey had the confidence to pull it off, but there was no charisma, no joy, no heart – she felt distant and aloof when addressing her fans, almost too cool.
Perhaps this is a branch of pop lead by Lana del Ray, where you’re just too cool to care. You’ve seen it all and you’re over it. I’m the kind of person that wants to feel like I’m swept along by an artist, let in and included and sharing the night – a community of fans with their favourite performer. But I didn’t get that from Halsey. It’s more like being on the outside looking in, although part of that may be to do with the mood many of her songs evoke – dramatic and dark.
The question is, do you really want to go and see someone live, and witness a flawless performance that sounds just like the album you sing along to in your headphones? From the impressively loud cheers of the crowd throughout the show, it seems like the answer is yes.