Halsey, Ryan Playground & Sasha Sloan @ MTelus Concert Review
You could definitely feel the anticipation of every Halsey fan in the venue as we waited for the show to start. Halsey had attempted to perform at the Bell Centre last year, but was forced to cancel due to agreement complications. Since then she had promised her fans in Montreal that she would come back and give us a show to remember. And my goodness did she deliver.
The night started off with a half hour set performed by Ryan Playground. A musical artist known for her electronic dance music. Her first song shook everyone to their core with an intense bass that sent vibrations up everyones legs. She played songs off her album “Elle”, along with remixes she had composed. Her groovy beats and minimalistic lyrics made for a comforting vibe, moving the crowd to dance along with her.
Next up was Sasha Sloan. The second opener had a completely different genre from the first: A refreshing pop-rock vibe. Her set consisted of songs from her album “Sad Girl”, including an unreleased song that she performed for us. Sasha explained to the audience at the beginning of her set that her music was all about heartbreak, and the mixed emotions she feels towards a certain guy that she’s no longer in a relationship with. Her lovely vocals paired well alongside her very mellow tone of music.
After watching two amazing openers, everyone was ready for the artist they were all there for; Halsey. Once the lights dimmed and the interlude music faded away, screams filled the air, and the anticipation only continued to build up once “The Prologue” from Halsey’s newest album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” set the mood. As the first few seconds of “Eyes Closed” were introduced, a bright white light flashed from stage, projecting a very familiar silhouette onto a curtain that hid the stage. The crowd went absolutely wild when the curtain dropped, revealing Halsey to the Montreal crowd.
She continued to hype the crowd by performing two more songs from her first album “Badlands.” One of which is a personal favourite off that album. Afterwards she showed off her amazing vocal abilities by switching back and forth from her two released albums, all the while climbing up and dancing on her giant LED stairs. A screen wall showing breathtaking visuals of all the songs paired perfectly with the light show and occasional flamethrowers she had on stage.
Eventually she took a moment to sit back, look at the crowd, and have a conversation with us. She spoke to us in French, greeting us and introducing herself. Switching back to english, Halsey told her audience that it had been a while since she performed in such a small venue. And that she was happy to share this intimate show with Montreal because she had missed out on performing last year. Everyone was very happy to hear that, and let her know by screaming and cheering for a good minute.
She then started to sing her cover of “Closer” by The Chainsmokers. It was calm, and both the crowd and Halsey’s voice could be easily heard. After the cover, she revealed that she had cried two nights prior during the next song she would sing for us. She cried because of a very recent breakup, and she explained that the song reminded her a great deal of what happened. Then she promised that she wouldn’t cry, and the introduction piano chords to her song “Sorry” could be heard. Again, the song was sung very calmly, the crowd very in sync. I’m proud to write that she did keep her promise, and didn’t cry.
She brought the hype back up again with a few more songs off her albums and EP. She then finished off her show with a powerful performance of “Young God.” Once she left the stage, the entire venue shouted for an encore at a deafening volume. That was one of the loudest encore requests I’ve ever heard.
So of course, Halsey hopped back on stage, and ended off the night with flamethrowers that paired with her song “Gasoline,” which flawlessly faded into “Hurricane.” Red and white confetti was shot into the air, and rained down on us as we cheered on for the ever talented and beautiful Halsey.
I cannot wait to see how much further her career will stretch, and I surely will not be missing her next Montreal performance.
Review- Jamie Siddall
Photos – Peter Donaghy