On Monday, the 18th of April 2022, American superstar Madison Beer took to the stage at Dublin’s 3Olympia Theatre for her highly anticipated Irish return, performing to a sold-out crowd as part of her ‘Life Support’ tour, celebrating her debut 2021 album of the same name.
The day itself had wind, rain, and hailstones, but that didn’t stop eager fans queuing outside of the venue, with some there since early morning, in what was the longest queue I’ve ever seen for this Dame Street venue.
The night kicked off at 8 pm as the large LED screen lit up the name Leah Kate, as she came on stage, along with her drummer and guitarist, to her song ‘Boyfriend’. This started the night off with high energy and set the mood for the 10-song set played by Leah.
“This is my first ever concert in Ireland”, said Leah after the first song, “I was here like five years ago for St. Patrick’s Day, but this feels special”.
Leah’s set consisted of songs that she described as “an accurate representation” of her dating history, as she called out exes, and “put their asses on blast”, with one example being her song ‘Dear Denny’, a song putting a “pretty toxic”, “loser, poser” on blast, for an affair he was having.
A clear fan favourite was her song ’10 Things I Hate About You’ which, as the title may suggest, features a list of things she hates about her ex, with number one being the fact the ex made Leah love him. This song, even from just the pre-show anecdote and introduction, was one of the loudest cheers I’ve heard for a support act, as fans rushed forward jumping, shouting, and recording.
After her song ‘Shitshow’, she introduced her band, Chris Geller on drums, and Leonardo Bomeny on guitar, whose birthday it happened to be. She also showed love to her parents, who had travelled all the way from LA to be sat proudly in a guest box to the side of the venue. This introduction, especially for the parents, caused huge screams in the venue, as fans showed their love.
“Everyone was not kidding about these Irish crowds, you guys are fricking insane”, she said, before closing out her 30-minute set with her song ‘Fuck Up The Friendship’, a song about hooking up with your friends and risking the friendship, a dilemma she asked the crowd about, to which many had agreed to have experienced.
I think Leah Kate is one of the best support acts I’ve seen and could easily see her performing many of her own sold-out headliners in Dublin, a statement backed up by the many fans in the crowd with signs dedicated to her, rather than the headliner Madison Beer. I guess time will tell.
Despite a supposed 9 pm stage time for Beer, the 23-year-old arrived onstage at 9:15 in a short frilled white dress after a video of an alien abduction was played on-screen accompanied by Life Support’s introduction ‘The Beginning’, to a room full of cheers and screams, pushed out on stage by her two dancers, while she stood smiling on top of a neon box.
Her first song ‘Baby’ was mostly performed on top of this neon box, apart from brief moments where she’d stand down and come up to the front of the stage encouraging fans to sing along, with dancers Justine Lutz and Angel Mammoliti joining her onstage.
She then went on to perform ‘Good In Goodbye’, ‘Stay Numb and Carry On’, and ‘Emotional Bruises’, before leaving the stage while an introduction to one of her biggest songs ‘Reckless’ played, which she then came out to, showing an outfit change into a darker dress.
Next came her song ‘Homesick’, a song that sees Madison’s longing to find a place where she belongs. This song caused Madison, who was now sitting on a swing at the side of the stage, to choke on her words, almost tearful, due to a fan project resulting in everyone holding signs saying, “Dublin is where you’re meant to be”. There was a chill in the room where you could see how emotional and excited the Dublin fans were to welcome Madison back, due to her not being here since an Academy Green Room performance in 2018.
After the Rick and Morty closing of ‘Homesick’ came a brief moment of quiet, before ‘Stained Glass’ played out, with powerful lines, kicks onstage, and high energy in every part of the venue, as fans shouted such metaphorical lines as “I might just break”.
There were no conversations or anecdotes, in between songs from Beer, and instead just ran from one song to the next, or sometimes the setlist was split up by a video playing on stage before she reappeared on stage, either in a different outfit or with dancers holding different props, such as neon tube lights, as was the case in one song.
The clear fan favourite of the show, as was expected, was ‘Selfish’, Beer’s most played song on Spotify with over 260 million plays. This song saw Madison sitting on a black box for the most part, before getting to her knees, and eventually standing for the final “look the other way” riff, a challenge that went around on TikTok last year. This song was definitely the loudest the crowd was all night, with many singing along, recording the song, and shining their phone lights.
‘Selfish’ really saw the show at an all-new level of high and excitement, which then quickly went down as fans who seemed to be there mainly for that song then decided to go for their drinks, or toilet breaks, after this song, which was clear, especially the further back you were in the standing section as it seemed the floodgates were open for movement.
The excitement levels continued throughout the set, and then came ‘Follow the White Rabbit’, a song that was introduced by a video of Beer on the large screen questioning “has anyone seen a white rabbit?”. However, it seemed the song only got one verse in, before fans noticed something was up, a fan had fainted in the standing section. Beer stopped the show, and this was the first time she spoke to the crowd, “can someone stick their thumb up when she’s ok? I’ll wait until then.” When everything was ok, she restarted this section, going back offstage for the video to play again before the song.
‘Follow the White Rabbit’ ended in a “Thank you so much Dublin”, as Madison, along with her dancers, ran offstage, before the famous Irish crowd ‘Olé’ chant, as fans awaited an encore. This wait was short, as only a minute later a video was on the screen introducing ‘Everything Happens for A Reason’, a song that, near the end, caused for two confetti canons to go off sprinkling white confetti all over the crowd, as Beer and her dancers thanked the crowd before taking a bow and walking offstage.
Now that the show was seemingly over, fans started to exit the venue, before Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ played, with Madison reappearing on stage, wrapped in an Irish flag, for one last dance. No microphone, no backing dancers, just herself for a dance and the end the show on a high. Can’t say I’ve been to many shows where the artist returns onstage after the closing song for the sole purpose of dancing around the stage, but I can’t say I was against this new unique ending.
Seeing Madison Beer announced for the 3Olympia Theatre was a shock, as it seems she could have done a much bigger venue, but I think the venue was perfect for this show, giving the fans possibly a last bit of intimacy before Beer, embarks on an arena tour for the next album.