Live Review: Dua Lipa – First Direct Arena, Leeds 18.04.2022

It’s been a long time coming.

3 postponements due to the pandemic, but finally the Future Nostalgia Tour arrived in Leeds in style. As Dua Lipa said to the adoring audience, she was “so grateful to be sharing the evening” with us all and “sharing the stage with these amazing people”.

Beginning a set in 4 acts, Dua arrived on stage to the sound of Physical rising to centre stage, flanked by 5 dancers on each side. Wearing a bright pink Balenciaga outfit, she commanded the stage from the off, powerful and connected to every person in the arena.

Moving into New Rules shows the strength of the Dua Lipa canon already, as hit after hit powered out in a 90 minute, 19-song set. It’s a real testament to the artist and her writing teams. Such is the level of consistency and quality, that even just 2 albums into her career, this feels like a greatest hits tour.
The performance and production were highly polished, yet not full of tricks and gimmickry. This was a picture of an artist on top of her game, confident in the ability of the songs and strong choreography do the work.

That’s not to say it was devoid of humour. Mid-set, we are taken to The Yours Truly Seafood and Cocktail Bar, with Lipa Bisque on the menu. A comic strip style animation shows our heroine under threat from a giant lobster, but she escapes…..this time! The giant lobster appears upstage, while Dua dangled her feet in a cut out ‘pool’ centre stage singing We’re Good.

One of the standout moments was Boys Will Be Boys, rounding out Act 2…its themes of feminism and how society applies a different set of societal conventions to men and women had one of the strongest and most defiant singalongs of the entire set. Proof, were it needed, that Dua Lipa transcends the pop world and maintains her place of significance in the wider global / political conversation. 

Act 3 takes us to the club…huge hits, One Kiss, Electricity, Hallucinate and 2021s duet with Elton John Cold Heart keep the energy stoked, before we hit the final act.
Levitating closes the set, with a space-themed flight over the audience for Dua, smashing out yet another hit for the adoring crowd.

It’s a relentless 90 minutes of hits, songs that already sound like classics in their own right. So is that what Future Nostalgia is….looking forward? Looking back? Maybe. 

But right now, there’s no-one more here and now than Dua Lipa.

Set List:

Act One: Physical / New Rules / Love Again / Cool / Pretty Please / Break My Heart / Be The One

Act Two: We’re Good / Good in Bed / Fever / Boys Will Be Boys

Act Three: Club Future Nostalgia / One Kiss / Electricity / Hallucinate / Cold Heart

Act Four: Levitating

Encore: Future Nostalgia / Don’t Start Now

Previous Live Review: Duda Beat - Opium, Dublin 18,04,2022
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