As the swelling line expanded past the Brooklyn Barclays Center’s security checkpoints on Friday evening (Oct. 13), the anticipation for Charli XCX’s bubbly Eurodance vibes permeated through four (soon-to-be) packed stadium tiers. Sporting an almost nude windbreaker set, Nike Air Force 1s and a ponytail — the British singer/songwriters’ cozy attire served as her super hero costume for the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour’s kick-off. But, this spectacle wasn’t practice, the electropop princess does this on a nightly basis.
With her hips twirling behind the mic stand, the bite-sized songstress’ searing hit “Boom Clap” set the crowd alight. “Let me hear you sing, c’mon,” she yelled at the eclectic audience, and they obliged. Her teeny-bopper-favorite, the Lil Yatchy assisted record “After The Afterparty” was the climax of it all. Her unapologetically cheeky single, “Boys,” had women shouting: “Head is spinning thinking ‘bout boys/ In every city, I got one with different ringtone.”
Quickly after Charli’s set a trippy pyramid began glowing in the arena, and out danced OVO Sound’s dread-headed playboy PARTYNEXTDOOR (PND) to center stage. His Drake-assisted song “Recognize” clamored alongside the crazed crowd — while its lyrics spotlighted how monogamy is a fading concept amongst millennials. Soon, a familiar voice rang out as “Break From Toronto” exploded from the speakers. Flashing his pearly white teeth, PARTYNEXTDOOR proceeded to finesse the women below him. He performed his lusty anthems “Right Now” and “Persian Rugs” next — despite his sound faltering a bit under the band’s instrumentation. Wearing black garments head-to-toe, it was easy to spot his footwork on the flushed ruby red floor for songs “Wus Good/ Curious” and the hotel plotted “SLS.”
Clearly proud of his Jamaican and Trinidadian bloodline, PND showcased his best moves when the riddim of “Not Nice” dropped. The tune echoed Vybz Kartel’s hit, “Girl You Too Bad.” Then, the Barclays Centers’ man of the hour returned to what he is known for… feels. When the beat dropped for “Come & See Me,” PARTY had the Brooklyn mob singing off-key — which created an emo atmosphere for headliner, Halsey.
If the idiom, “The stars can’t shine without the dark,” is true — Halsey’s illustrious concert entrance can attest to it. The self-proclaimed tri-bi (bipolar, bisexual, and biracial) synth-pop diva played with the onlookers emotions. Barclays’ main attraction seductively swayed her silhouette from behind a massive gleaming curtain, while the melody to her smash, “Eyes Closed,” circled about. Her New York City devotees were delirious from impatience as the curtain aggressively snatched back above their heads. She dropped her assets low on the towering stage steps — creating even more feverishness.
Donning a sheer white sequin embellished crop top, matching biker shorts and a high-hip white thong, Halsey, and her wig got everyone together. As dancer in a complimenting all-white ensemble emerged, she heard the spectators’ deafening applause and vogued away. Next, the slim-figured musician unleashed a mean strut over BADLANDS tracks, “Hold Me Down,” and “Castle.” This was right before she returned to her (recent album) Hopeless Fountain Kingdom‘s songs, “Heaven In Hiding” and “Strangers.” “Barclays I need to see what kind of show this is going to be. I need to see you bounce, okay,” she barked to her concert-goers.
“How many of you bought my album? How many of you downloaded that sh-t illegally,” she asked, as the arena rolled in the aisles. “I appreciate the honesty. [I’m okay] as long as you are listening,” she finished. Flames and confetti erupted as Halsey reappeared dressed in a tropical print bodysuit and thigh-high red boots. She then sang her most recent single, “Bad At Love,” while parading up and down her nearly aerial platform with ease. Once front-and-center, Halsey accompanied a piano soloist to serenade her featured verses on The Chainsmokers’ Billboard Hot 100 No.1, “Closer.”
An unannounced guest brought the night’s’ energy to its’ peak — her lover/rapper, G-Eazy. Hasley spit the lyrics to the Bay Area rapper’s new Cardi B, and A$AP Rocky collaborative track, “No Limit,” at the side of him. “Brooklyn, give it up for the most beautiful woman alive,” the rapper yelled. Posthaste, he vanished as his lady sang one of her most recognizable hits “Ghost.” For an hour and a half, the vocalist entertained the city, even launching herself into the crowd a couple times. However, the ultimatum of her smash, “Now Or Never,” left the audience visibly winded.
The Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour attendees witnessed three major music players bring their A-game. To have a connection of blended genres on a world tour like this is a rarity. Through revolving stages, dance breaks, wardrobe changes, and solid showmanship — fans remained enthralled.