Live Show Review: Halsey at Webster Hall (Badlands)

Halsey came back home to headline Webster Hall in NYC for two nights last week, four years after she’d done it for the first time ever. As if that wasn’t exciting enough for her day ones, she dedicated the May 8 show entirely to Room 93 and Badlands, while May 9 was for hopeless fountain kingdom.

Come hell, high water, or scalpers (Ticketmaster SUCKS), I had to make it to at least one show. Badlands was a priority. I absolutely adore that album. Honestly, I was concerned that a lot of hardcore fans wouldn’t make it to this show in particular, considering how horrendous the ticketing process was.

The energy in the room that night made it clear that I was worried for nothing.

Although she’s always very transparent about her struggles and trials, one of the many appeals of Halsey as an artist is how very self-assured she can be, especially when performing. It’s hard not to feel a little in awe and the need to pinch yourself while watching.

“Hurricane” and “Gasoline” damn near took Webster Hall’s brand new roof right off, that’s how excited we were as we sang every single lyric back to her. Badlands is an album, but it’s also an experience (like everything she does). With just her presence, a band, and some colorful lighting, she brought us back to the experience we all fell in love with when these songs came into many of our lives in 2015.

One of the best parts of a Halsey concert for me is how she manages to make me fall in love with songs that I’ve always been on the fence about. Listening to those lyrics come alive, as she switches up her tone and raises or lowers her voice at different moments makes me see some of the songs differently. I left that night loving “Young God,” “Control,” and “Strange Love” in a way that I didn’t before. (The same thing happened when I saw her at the hopeless fountain kingdom tour, so clearly this is her superpower.)

She closed the set out with three of the best possible songs to close out on–“Without Me”, “Ghost”, and “Is There Somewhere”. There’s always a point during any live show where I begin to feel the music in my chest and I fully realize that I need to internalize the moment so that I’ll remember it for years afterwards. “Without Me” and “Is There Somewhere” both brought that moment to me.

The latter, in particular, made me smile so hard because it’s hands down one of the most beautiful songs Halsey has ever released and she always dedicates it to us.

Is there somewhere you can meet me? It’s time for a new era.

Halsey’s new single, “Nightmare”, drops May 17, 2019.

 

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