rising star makes deft step up to arenas

“This is the biggest show I’ve ever played”, says PinkPantheress, draped in leopard print, to a huge roaring crowd of mostly Gen Z music fans. They’ve packed out the 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace venue for her sold-out London show, following a breakthrough year for the BRIT-nominated act.

PinkPantheress is right to acknowledge this latest achievement – it was only 2021 when the singer began to gain prominence on TikTok after posting a string viral hits while at university. By 2024, she boasts a global Top 10 smash (‘Boy’s A Liar pt.2’), has amassed millions of followers on multiple social platforms, and notched herself an inclusion on the blockbuster Barbie soundtrack. In November, NME called her debut album ‘Heaven Knows‘ the “blueprint for the future of British pop” and in the coming months she’ll be supporting Olivia Rodrigo on her massive world tour.

For her headline London show, the 22-year-old singer chooses to launch her 21-track setlist with her 2021 hit ‘Break It Off’, with its high octane D&B sound making for an energetic show opener. She then segues into some of her more low-key tracks like ‘Pain’ and ‘Passion’ which the audience know word-for-word.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: PinkPantheress performs at Alexandra Palace on February 23, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Fan favourite ‘Attracted to You’, with its Just Jack sample, provides one of the biggest audience responses of the night. The crowd barely gets a chance to breathe before they’re treated to a surprise appearance from Shygirl, who arrives on stage to perform ’Coochie (a bedtime story)’ and ‘bbycakes’. It is a relentless extravaganza.

The diehards remain pumped up throughout the entire show, but for casuals, it’s hard not to notice PinkPantheress’ minimal movement, with the singer mostly pacing up and down a sparse set-up. The efforts made to disguise this, like bringing on a burlesque dancer in a feather headdress to dance on stage, feels mildly distracting, even if a live drummer adds extra heft to her tracks. A troupe of Irish dancers went down well in Dublin last week, mind.

The singer has previously admitted struggles with stage anxiety as her music thrust her into fame with very little live experience – something which has affected many social media turned music stars. But she’s visibly more confident, and makes a conscious effort to engage with her young audience throughout the show, at one point even taking a BeReal with fans while on stage.

Ending with her biggest hit to date, ‘Boys a Liar Pt 2’ the singer finishes her show on a high note, though many fans have already started fighting their way through to Ally Pally’s cloakroom before an encore begins, leaving the singer to perform ‘Internet Baby’ and ‘Nice To Meet You’, to a quickly emptying venue. A final element of confusion from a show that’s already had its fair share of random moments.

Despite this, it’s show that acts as a big step-up since the harsh reaction to some of her festival performances last summer. She uses the evening as a launchpad to showcase her newfound confidence on stage – the response from the crowd should encourage her to continue coming out of her shell.

PinkPantheress played:

‘Break It Off’
‘I Must Apologise’
‘Just For Me’
‘Where You Are’
‘Capable Of love’
‘The Aisle’
‘Take Me Home’
‘Attracted to You’
Feel Complete’
‘Coochie (A Bedtime Story)’ (with Shygirl)
‘bbycakes’ (with Shygirl)
‘Bury Me’
‘Another Life’
‘True Romance’
‘Picture In My Mind’
‘Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2”
‘Internet Baby (interlude)’
‘Nice To Meet You’

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