Halsey at The Allstate Arena
The Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL, USA, October 19, 2017
Halsey took the stage admist smoke and fire, light and darkness, good and evil, translucent spanx and oversized sweatshirts. The theme is duality, she says.
There was no harem of backup dancers: just Halsey expertly twirling her microphone as she glided like a panther around the stage, occasionally accompanied by her humble pianist Greg Spero and a lone spritely dancer, Tee Tee, who manifested throughout the concert as a visual representation of the themes that tend to come up in songs about Malignant Love. Yknow. Anger. Madness. Sadness. Longing. Abuse. Sex. Delusion. And The Rest.
Halsey jokes to the audience at Allstate Arena, that if you’re listening to her music then you must be going through a breakup. And while the running theme of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Badlands and Room 93 is the inevitable misery of loving anyone other than yourself, you need not be obsessively checking Missed Connections to appreciate the magic of Halsey: the poetress’s deeper-than-pop-music-pop-music makes even the Recovered vicariously re-visit the addictive sadness of their own long dead love.
And let me tell you: it is way more fun to romanticize the now painless pain to an electro-pop beat than it is to search for catharsis through a Halsey lyric, no matter how acutely aware of the female human condition the young star may be.
At one point Halsey, sitting on the edge of the stage having a heart-to-hearts with the sold-out arena, seemed to throw a little shade at the song “Closer“. Though she only made light of the first song she ever had on the radio being played over and over to the point of becoming annoying, I can’t help but wonder if she thinks that, in becoming radio friendly, she’ll have to give up the rawness that makes her so unique.
Plus, I’m also reminded that the doughy half of the duo she collaborated with on “Closer” insulted her on Twitter after she praised a female artist he’d unabashedly trashed. Ah yes, mediocre men tossing gendered slurs at far more talented women is one life’s universal truths. And Halsey knows! Girl knows.
“Mutherfucker don’t PLAY with me!” she yells, as she and Tee Tee stomp-splash water into the audience from a makeshift pool erected in the middle of the room.
“You do not need a significant other to be a whole person” she tells us before launching into “Is there Somewhere“, a song about unintentionally falling in love with a man cheating on his girlfriend with her.
But rather than sing the chorus, she leaps from the stage and runs through the aisles to connect with her adoring fans.
What can I say?
I’m sorry Halsey, but we fell in love tonight.