For Lipa and the album’s creators, they certaintly felt a touch of irony — Future Nostalgia was a dance record indebted to the late night tales of the past and the possibilities of the future, and was certainly meant to be enjoyed in a physical, cathartic way.
Of course, things turned out a little differently. Instead, Future Nostalgia became a wish upon a star, an alternate reality in which we were dancing shoulder to shoulder with freedom and release. Dua Lipa was already a major figure in pop, but the relationship that so many fans have cultivated with her music over the last two years has thrust her into untouchable icon territory.
So, when Lipa finally announced her extended “Future Nostalgia” world tour, there was the sense that those dancefloor dreams from lockdown may finally come true, and having attended the Madison Square Garden show in New York City last night (March 1st) myself, they absolutely did. Lipa has improved immensely as a performer, and her perfectly curated evening of music was an outstanding, fun-filled experience.
Since the return of live music last year, many major artists are finally making their way across the country and beyond, and with so many of those dates happening in the first half of 2022, it’s difficult to decide which concerts are unmissable.
If you need any more convincing, here are five reasons why you should see Dua Lipa on tour this year.
It’s a Chance to See a Fully-Formed Pop Star
Dua Lipa mentioned last night that she recognized some faces from her very first NYC show at the 250-capacity Mercury Lounge many years ago. Needless to say, it’s remarkable to see her perform at some of the biggest arenas in the country and set to headline major festivals. Her rise has been truly meteoric, and the show itself reflects that superstardom with pride and joy.
In addition to a full band, many backup dancers and singers, costume changes and dazzling projections, Lipa’s show was a fully choreographed, incredibly detailed event, designed to compete with the biggest pop stars around. Not only that, she couldn’t sound more confident on stage — some of Lipa’s melodies are hard, and with such an extensive tour schedule, it’d be easy for her to get tired or leave a little too much to her background singers. But no matter how challenging, Lipa made it seem effortless, especially throughout the last third of the set for upbeat bangers like “Hallucinate” and “Levitating.”
Caroline Polachek Is Opening
I can’t not mention that Lipa picked one of the best possible openers for her tour: Caroline Polachek. Not only is she still enjoying positive reception from her 2019 LP Pang, Polachek has steadily released some brilliant new tracks including “Bunny Is A Rider,” which made our Top 50 Songs of 2021 list, and her new song, “Billions,” whom Polachek claims is “for all the mermaids out there.”
What’s even more exciting about Polachek is her ethereal, stylized vocals, melodies, and musical choices — there were some moments in the evening where she sounded like Enya or Björk, and others where she called to mind Lady Gaga and her frequent collaborator Charli XCX.
Still, at the end of the day, nobody sounds quite like Caroline Polachek. She is genuinely a pop star of the future, incredibly deliberate and insistent on creating music in her own universe, and it continues to resonate with thousands of listeners.
Girl’s Got Hits
The first Dua Lipa song I ever heard was “Be The One,” over a year after its 2015 release, but it was the success of “New Rules” in 2017 that really captured my attention. From that moment on, Lipa was involved with an ever-evolving flow of hits, and it seems like every six months, there’s a new Lipa song taking the charts by storm. Her tour features so many fan-favorite songs that she actually had to leave some out of the setlist; those who want to hear tracks like “IDGAF” off her first album will only get an acoustic, interlude version.
The Choreo Was On Point
With an artist as big as Dua Lipa, you expect some strong choreography, and the dancers last night absolutely delivered. There were roller skating front flips, jazzercise grooves, chaotic club moshes and moments of infectious personality. It felt like every dance move served a purpose, and each style of dance was specific to the content of the songs. A definite highlight came in Lipa’s performance of “Cool,” where two dancers donned roller skates for some flashy tricks, and “cool” was genuinely an understatement.
“Good In Bed” featured some risqué dance moves, but also some delightful rapport between Lipa and her dancers. Naturally, Lipa’s iconic shoulder dance move made an appearance, but not during “One Kiss”: she saves the moment for the last song, and watching her own the “go girl, give us nothing” dance is amazing.
Dance The Night Away
The best stretch of the set came in the final third, where Dua Lipa and her dancers crowded into the center of the very long stage to perform “One Kiss,” “Electricity,” and “Hallucinate.” It was in these moments that the Future Nostalgia promise was truly delivered, and you couldn’t find a single person in the room who wasn’t grooving along. There was an air of positivity and love that flowed throughout the evening, and it culminated in an unforgettable dance party with some of Lipa’s biggest and best hits to date.
Lipa is asserting her rightful place in pop stardom, and it’ll be interesting to see what the next album era looks like for her—but for now, she’s keen on celebrating the incredible success of Future Nostalgia, and it’s definitely worth celebrating in person. If you’re on the fence about attending a Dua Lipa show, then trust me: the party doesn’t get better than this.
Tickets for the rest of the “Future Nostalgia Tour” are available via Ticketmaster.
Dua Lipa 2022 Tour Dates:
03/02 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena # !
03/04 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center # !
03/05 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center # !
03/08 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center # !
03/09 – Chicago, IL @ United Center # !
03/12 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center # !
03/13 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center # !
03/15 – Denver, CO @ Ball Arena * #
03/17 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center * #
03/20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Footprint Center * #
03/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum # !
03/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena # !
03/27 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center # !
03/29 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center # !
03/31 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena # !
04/01 – Vancouver, BC @ 2 Rogers Arena # !
# = w/ Caroline Polachek
! = w/ Lolo Zouaï
* = w/ Megan Thee Stallion