Halsey hits SF stage to the joy of screaming fans

18 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Evaluation: Halsey thrills capability crowd at Fillmore.

The 21-year-old New Jersey native, who used YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and other 21st century means to first establish herself in the business, delivered a solid performance on Monday night at the legendary Fillmore. She impressed music fans and critics with her conceptual electro-pop album, Badlands, and was recently introduced to a whole new mainstream audience courtesy of her “The Feeling” collaboration with Justin Bieber. In that time, she’s released an EP, a full-length album (has already begun writing her second), and has hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe. The capacity crowd, which consisted mainly of young females with incredibly loud voices, erupted in joyous displays of approval as Halsey performed songs from her full-length debut, “Badlands,” which debuted at No. 2 on the pop charts back in August.

Her on-line videos have over 20 million views combined, and she’s a musical guest on Justin Beiber‘s song, “The Feeling,” off his new album, Purpose. The “New Americana” singer has been thinking about her follow-up to her debut (which just came out this past August) and has confirmed to MTV News that it will be another conceptual effort. “It started in Room 93 with the EP and moved to Badlands with the album kind of taking you to the world that existed outside the 93, and so my plans for the second record is to take you to the universe outside of the Badlands, so widening the zoom on everything little by little as the records go on,” she told us recently. “I still have more to say, more to explain, especially since the whole concept of Badlands is me escaping the Badlands, so I think there is more to the story.” She continued, “About what happens when I go and where I end up and what that means for me and what that feels like, sonically compared to the really dark and raw landscape that was Badlands.” With the concept nailed down, the MTV Artist To Watch admits she’s been working on new music, but you won’t find it on her next album. The response was so overwhelming that the singer could barely state the name of the city she was in without being interrupted by an avalanche of high-pitched screams. “San Francisco,” said Halsey, whose real name is Ashley Frangipane. “If you are going to scream every time I say your name, you’re making it too easy on me.” It was clear that fans had been eagerly waiting for this heavily hyped singer — who drew attention as the most talked about performer on Twitter during this year’s mammoth South by Southwest music festival in Texas — to finally visit San Francisco. They even sent undergarments flying forward, with a solitary bra dangling from the singer’s microphone stand. “I feel really, really bad about taking so long to come out here,” said Halsey, catching a moment between the barrage of teeth-gnashing screams from the teens and tweens who packed the room. “You don’t seem bitter about it at all.” Halsey is the perfect embodiment of the pop-culture moment: a skillful, slick songwriter who sprinkles radio-friendly glitter on the dark pomp of artists like Lorde and Lana Del Rey. She identifies herself as “tri-bi” — bisexual, bipolar and biracial — and sings about things that are boundlessly relatable (“Raised on Biggie and Nirvana/ We are the new Americana,” goes the chorus of her hit “New Americana”). “Badlands” is an electro-pop concept album about life’s big transitions, full of awkward moments, heartbreak, alienation and just hanging in there. “If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this show is … this next song is a reminder that you do not belong to anybody but yourself,” she said, introducing the skeletal, ominous “Hurricane.” Halsey’s portrayal of an outsider is so convincing that it’s easy to overlook the fact that she has been a major online presence since the days of MySpace, steadily building an empire of followers on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram years before she signed with a label.

I have plans to put out some content in the next year that’s unrelated to the next record, just ’cause I want to put out some stuff that shows off a different side of musicality for me,” she said. “Maybe something in a different genre, like it could be urban, it could be jazz. She returns to the Bay Area as one of the support acts on The Weeknd’s smash tour, which stops Dec. 5 at Oracle Arena in Oakland and Dec. 6 at the SAP Center in San Jose. Her live show, meanwhile, has been honed by a series of high-profile performances, playing support on the summer tour by the platinum-selling rock band Imagine Dragons and appearances on television shows like “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Performing with just a keyboard player and drummer, she confidently stalked the stage in a black tank top and skintight pants, against a panel of lights and video screens that felt arena-ready.

She has a way of making everything feel personal and timely, even when you know that some tunes — such as the agonizing school crush found in the early cut “Ghost” — likely no longer apply to her world. She refers to her fanbase as both “sick” and “unique.” She enjoys hearing her songs sang back to her, sometimes pretending to forget lyrics, just so she can hear them shouted back at the stage, stating “You guys give me a new reason to be excited every night, you’re one hell of a crowd.” She paused briefly to request that the crowd behave, because she hates it when fans get hurt and don’t respect one another (a situation occurred at her show in Houston in October, at which she threatened to stop the show and leave). Halsey brought the main set to a close in fine fashion, twirling through “Hurricane” — originally found on last year’s “Room 93” EP — and then a great version of the single “New Americana,” the catchy celebration/examination of a generation raised on pop culture and diversity, “Biggie and Nirvana.”

She tries to say something new every night prior to her song, “New Americana,” and if you’re familiar with the lyrics, you’ll know why she chose to make a joke. “Seattle, you were raised on Nirvana, right?” Confetti & smoke canons went off and fans jumped, danced, sang, and shouted lyrics into the air. At 21, she may have just begun to make her mark in the music industry, but with what she has achieved thus far, she has great potential to become the next iconic pop star.

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