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Review: Dua Lipa takes the pop crown with Future Nostalgia tour

Dua Lipa began the UK leg of her Future Nostalgia tour in Manchester on 15 April.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Shirlaine Forrest

When Future Nostalgia dropped weeks into the pandemic, it became the tonic to the anxiety of an uncertain world. When we were all trapped indoors, Dua had us dancing in the kitchen to a tracklist that far surpasses other dancefloor-ready releases of the time such as Gaga’s overrated Chromatica and Kylie’s DISCO.

Two years later, Dua pulls us out of our pandemic-era pop-up kitchen discos and brings her songs to exhilarating life on stage for a show that firmly places her at the head of the pop music table.

‘Physical’ makes for a high-energy show opener, and what follows is camp, fun, and electric from start to finish. Those with seats rarely used them.

Along with a selection of her earlier hits (‘Be the One’, ‘IDGAF’ and ‘New Rules’ among them) Dua effortlessly runs through the Future Nostalgia collection serving live renditions we’ve long pined for. ‘Boys will be Boys’ provides a change of tempo – more powerful live and when sung in chorus with the audience.

“This is the best welcome home ever!” exclaimed Dua. In a heartfelt and sincere speech, she thanked her fans for bearing with her through the pandemic and subsequent delays to the tour. “So much has changed,” she added.

When most artists are touring a record mid-release, the last two years have given Dua context to re-evaluate the impact her music has made. With Future Nostalgia Dua has proven she is a fully-fledged globally relevant pop artist and all-around icon. The sheer star power on display is spectacular and an absolute joy.

When she isn’t dancing or throwing her luscious hair around, Dua struts around the stage with a confidence that oozes sex and ownership of her music, body, and attitude.

Gone is the artist who gave us THAT viral dance, here is one who has studied and amalgamated her inspirations into one sensational performance.

Dua gyrates against mic stands, seductively bends, and grinds with her dancers (both male and female-presenting) and has enough solo and group dance breaks to show just how far she’s come just two albums in.

Her since reclaimed dance, which she’s admitted caused her “a lot of grief” through bullying, was lapped up by the crowd. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. I was definitely here for it.

Animations, films, rollerblades, an inflatable lobster, and Dua levitating over the audience during the song of the same name all make for a fully realised spectacle that is sublime as it is slick. Sir Elton John even makes an appearance via a pre-recorded film for a performance of the PNAU remix of ‘Cold Heart’.

From start to finish Dua delivers everything we want and then some. It’ll be hard to find many would have much, if anything, to critique. Rightly so.

Pass the pop crown over to Ms. Lipa now, please.

Rating 5/5

You can buy tickets for the Future Nostalgia tour here.