“I’m sorry, I thought I was in The Land!” Halsey shouted to a vibrant crowd at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center on Wednesday.
She was answered by screams from the thousands of audience members (mostly young females) who were looking for a good night before stuffing their faces at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
The show wasn’t sold out, by any means, but there was a decent crowd at the 15,000 seat venue. The Cleveland stop was the last on Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour. Halsey played a few extra songs in order to end on a high note, and she made it clear that she thought Cleveland was the perfect place to close this chapter of her career, proclaiming onstage that nobody parties harder than Clevelanders.
Halsey is still relatively new to the public eye, but after “Closer” with The Chainsmokers proved to be the song of the year, the pop star felt she was ready for an arena tour, and after attending the show, I’d have to agree.
She split the show between songs like “Castle,” “Young God” and “Roman Holiday” off her alternative debut album, 2015’s Badlands, and new songs from June’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom such as “Bad At Love,” “Walls Could Talk” and “100 Letters."
Based on crowd reaction, the two genres meshed well together. People seemed un-phased by Halsey’s crossover into the world of pop, maybe because she did it so smoothly, or maybe because it was the same storyline fans saw in several of their favorite artists.
The crowd looked a bit edgy for a pop show. With the exception of some groups of tween girls, everyone was dressed in club-like attire with dark lipstick and eye shadow painted on. It looked like the same kind of crowd The 1975 would draw these days; a mixture of loyal alternative fans and kids who like pop music. Either way, the majority seemed to know the words to tracks off both records.
Halsey’s voice sounded good and natural, especially when she slowed things down for a piano version of “Sorry,” the most intimate track on her new record.
There was, however, some lip synching that accompanied the more dance-oriented numbers, as in most modern pop shows. The star was spotlighted on stage for most of the show with only one dancer at her side, as the band played from the shadows.
The production was especially fantastic from a visual perspective. The screen flashed images of mouths ingesting pills during “Colors,” a track about an estranged lover of Halsey’s who seemed to be teetering on the edge of an overdose.
“Strangers,” the lesbian love song with Lauren Jauregui that made strides for normalizing same-sex relationships in pop culture, was accompanied by gay love scenes, on the big screen. Fire and dead flowers set an eerie tone throughout most of the show, and the transitions were very well done.
Halsey’s encore was “Gasoline” and “Hurricane,” two old fan favorites. It was a bit odd that she did not end on “New Americana,” Badland’s most successful track, but the exit was effective nonetheless.
Halsey is a great songwriter and even a bit of a visionary in some ways. Her first record was better than her sophomore one, but I remained a fan as she made the leap to pop star status. With a dark side and a knack for a good melody, her career is still on the rise.
Halle Weber is a sophomore studying journalism with a focus in news and information at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Did you listen to Halsey? Let Halle know by tweeting at her @HalleWeber13.