Review: Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia tour, OVO Hydro, Glasgow

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It has been a bit of a wait for Glasgow fans of pop disco queen Dua Lipa due to circumstances out of all of our control in the last couple of years but, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait - and what a party it was.

The 26-year-old’s Future Nostalgia tour came two years after the release of her second studio album of the same name which, incidentally, was the most-streamed album in a day by a British female artist globally in Spotify history - with some five billion streams to date.

A jam-packed OVO Hydro waited with bated breath as an energetic video introduction containing all the essential elements of an 80s-themed disco party set the mood. The word ‘PHYSICAL’ sent the crowd into a frenzy.

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The singer’s silhouette emerged out of the dark to the pulsating synth-pop beat of her 2020 top ten hit Physical. Flanked by a troupe group of dancers, it was a rousing start. Slick choreography reminiscent of Olivia Newton John’s 1981 uptempo hit, Dua was perfect in a skin-tight, hot pink catsuit. Mid-song, she acknowledged the crowd: “Glasgow, clap your hands!”

Dua Lipa played in Glasgow this month.Dua Lipa played in Glasgow this month.
Dua Lipa played in Glasgow this month.

“Glasgow, what the f*** is up? Make some noise!” If there’s one place you can get away with greeting a packed room like this, it’s Glasgow. Fans in the standing area went wild and started to belt out New Rules right from the get-go as the singer and her dancers wielded umbrellas, moving out into the runway in the middle of the crowd.

There was definitely no rest for the wicked as Dua dabbed her face with a towel and launched into the pounding electropop Love Again before yelling to the audience: “Glasgow, how you feeling tonight? Thank you for being here, I love you guys!” With a massive disco ball on the screen behind her, two dancers on rollerskates pulled off some impressive choreography as the party ramped up a notch.

Pretty Please saw the dancers lift the singer up followed by some suggestive dancing with a mic stand, both of which went down a storm with fans.

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Hundreds of glowing orbs descended from above to welcome in the Donna Summeresque Break My Heart. Again, the crowd sang along to every word, proof of her meteoric rise and loyal fanbase considering she released her first album just five years ago to become the fourth most popular artist on Spotify.

“We’re so, so happy to be back”

Before launching into Be the One, it was great to finally hear Dua interact with her audience with some substance: “Glasgow, how the f*** are you tonight? We’re so, so happy to be back. We’ve been dying to put this show together for two years.”

She went on to acknowledge the reasons behind the delay - no explanation needed - as she revealed she last sang this song in Glasgow four years ago.

By now, even the seated fans got to their feet for this 2015 number which went global after being re-released the following year. Probably the most well-received of all the songs so far, the high-energy first act came to an end.

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Act two opened with a bizarre mix of an American diner-themed IDGAF dance interlude with skating dancers followed by Lobster Attack, an ‘Under the Sea’, graphic novel-themed video after which a huge red lobster prop appeared on stage - you couldn’t make it up.

It was a quick costume change for Dua who sprawled herself out in front of the lobster in a dazzling silver-and-white sequin bodysuit for the mellow We’re Good, showing off her strong vocals that boomed around the arena.

“You there, in the white top and glasses, you look like you’ve been having a great time tonight,” she said, pointing to one lucky fan at the foot of the stage. “I’ve been watching you all night so this goes out to you,” she declared, getting on her knees and then lying down on her front for Good in Bed.

Quick second act

Boys Will Be Boys, a personal favourite, started off with just Dua on the stage in the spotlight belting the feminist anthem at the top of her lungs, more than making up for the lack of dancers. However, the troupe returns as the energy ramps up to close what’s been a quick second act.

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If the night was to be an escape from the current rising cost of living crisis, the audience was undoubtedly left bitterly disappointed - even this gig was touched by it as, during One Kiss, just a handful of standard party balloons fell from above, quickly being swallowed up by the size of the crowd and venue - anti-climax much?

Another silly, childlike moment came at the end of Electricity when Dua and her dancers joined hands and jumped around in a circle, Ring a Ring o’ Roses-style. However, it had been an overall energetic act three so it can be forgiven.

Guest appearance

The PNAU remix of Elton John’s Cold Heart meant only one thing: it was time for everyone to get their phones out and torches on as Elton appeared on a massive screen in a virtual duet melding together nostalgia with modern day.

The final act now saw the crowd be transported - very, very slowly - into space in yet another interlude. We had quite the mix of themes; disco, American diner, graphic novel and now space. Giant disco balls and stars took their time to descend from the heavens along with a platform, its lights looking like a spaceship set to land. Dua finally emerged for the aptly-named Levitating as the platform hovered around the centre of the arena before Future Nostalgia and Don’t Start Now brought the night to an explosive end.

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An overall well-paced show that saw a confident young woman exercise power and control over her mighty vocals and body, Dua is here to make - and leave - her mark having only been on the scene for a handful of years. All hail the queen of pop disco?

Verdict: ****

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia tour continues around the UK. View more dates and buy tickets on Ticketmaster.

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