Halsey in Sydney January 2016 / Photo by Maria Boyadgis

Halsey + Oh Wonder – Metro Theatre, Sydney 7/1/16

After wowing the crowds at Falls Festival, electro-pop singer-songwriter Halsey kicked off the first of her two-night run of Sydney sideshows at the Metro last night, and rocked the house down.

Supporting act Oh Wonder played a decently chill opening set, doing an admiral job of stirring the already pumped crowd into an absolute frenzy by the time the main lady of the night took to the stage. The four-piece group hailing from London, play up some deep bass and heavy percussion, and with repetitively catchy lyrics, they’re an easy gang to groove with.

The punters, admittedly mostly teenage girls, were at fever pitch by the time Halsey danced her way on stage, and the whole theatre sang along, top volume, to her opening number Gasoline.

The 21-year-old New York gal forwent the usual glam look most starlets choose, donning a baseball cap and white tee for the evening – with no pretention, she exudes an “I know I’m hot” vibe.

Weed being one of her primary lyrical subject matters, her songs are anything but the clichéd millennial malaise – she arguably put out some of the catchiest tunes of 2015, and there wasn’t a flat number all night with majority of the crowd joining in with her entire set. Roman Holiday and Drive particularly went off with sing-alongs and a couple of stray lighters swaying in the air.

In the spectrum of music, Halsey obviously falls into the younger side of the industry – yet she is surprisingly insightful in what she has to say. “It’s very easy to go to a concert and feel like you’re at a movie,” she told the crowd, “but I want you to know I’m ALIVE and I’m looking right at you.”

Highlight of the night was definitely Halsey’s freaking majestic stroll out onto the shoulders of the crowd during Is There Somewhere. Next level crowd surfing – talk about a regal beast.

She spent most of her between-song time (and a little in-song time) making a decent dent in a bottle of red wine – which may or may not have accounted for her totally emotional and gushy, but super cute thanks to the fans before her last number. She seemed genuinely grateful for the fact she even has fans, let alone selling out two gigs plus her festival circuit.

Even if she hadn’t had an encore planned, the crowd absolutely wouldn’t have let her get away without one. There is an exhilarating shrillness about several thousand teenagers chanting for one more song, and Halsey smashed Young God before a final goodbye.

Start to finish Halsey is a high-energy performer, and one of the most engaging acts playing right now.

Gallery: Halsey + Oh Wonder / Pics by Maria Boyadgis

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