Photo by Janine Van Oostrom (Mod Club, 2017)
Thousands of fans stood shoulder to shoulder on Wednesday night to welcome Dua Lipa back to Toronto. It had been a year, since we last saw her at REBEL as the opener for Troye Sivan… but this was a different story. Over the last year fans have watched Dua rise to the stardom she most definitely deserves.
With a general admission venue, fans began queuing as early as 9am to see the London-born pop star up close. You could feel the dedication and admiration as soon as you walked through the doors. I’ve been to my fair share of concerts over the years and it takes a certain type of musician to draw the high-spirited crowds that Dua does. It was such an incredible feeling to be surrounded by so many individuals who were not only as excited as you were, but shared the same level of passion.
Dua kicked things off with “Hotter Than Hell”, and with her very first step from behind the shadows and onto the stage the crowd’s energy turned up tenfold. With stunning visuals displayed behind her, Dua Lipa did not come to play on this Self-Titled Tour. When it was finally time for her to take a breath and say hello to Toronto, you could tell she was spellbound. She made it clear that talking in-between songs was not really her thing but she took a minute to take everything in and thank every single person for the constant love and support.
While most of Lipa’s songs make you want to dance the night away, she created a section of her set list to strip things down and show off her incredible range. Backed by one guitarist, Dua took center stage for “Thinking of You”, and for a few moments the crowd was silent as everyone was completely captivated by her vocals. She also stripped down “New Love”, which Dua released as her first single back in 2015.
Dua had some of the most aesthetically appealing and incredible background visuals. The giant video screen behind her displayed various imagery throughout each song. One of the most Instagrammable moments was during “IDGAF” which took a moment to let everyone know there was some explicit language within the lyrics ahead. Between the lyrics of the song and a moving image of Dua with her middle finger in the air, it was an added level that added to her incredible artistry this early in the game.
There was something truly magical about hearing “New Rules” in person. Like many in the crowd who have been there since the beginning, to watch the success and growth in popularity for this Billboard Hit song has been incredible. Dua Lipa radiates so much love and positivity, that it is impossible not to fall in love with her. She is such a breath of fresh air in today’s music industry, and with her fan base continuously growing; one can only hope that her next step in the North American music scene is an arena tour.