REVIEW: Dua Lipa struts to victory at the Masonic

Dua Lipa

Photos: Paige K. Parsons

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been quite a year already for rising pop superstar Dua Lipa. The London-born songstress scored her first No. 1 hit in the U.S. with the viral single “New Rules.” She heads into next week’s BRIT Awards with five nominations, and is in the midst of a world tour taking her to the far reaches of the globe.

Tuesday night’s gig at the Masonic was sandwiched between two Los Angeles TV performances, on The Ellen Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Lipa said before her set Tuesday evening that the brief three-day break she’d get at home for next week’s BRIT Awards would be her first of the year. Tuesday night’s show was one of last on the singer’s Self-Titled Tour, her first high-profile headlining tour following her recent success with “New Rules” and her 2017 self-titled album Despite all these accolades, the 22-year-old was still taken aback by the welcome she received from the frenzied Bay Area crowd.

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa performs at the Masonic in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2018.

Lipa’s ample three-piece band took the stage following a brief opening set by Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis with a soaring instrumental leading into a fiery rendition of the opening song, “Hotter Than Hell.” Taking the state to a sea of raised cell phones, she followed up with “Dreams” and the sensual, upbeat “Lost In Your Light.”

The show reached fever pitch when the singer snagged a rainbow flag from an audience member and strutted the stage during the bouncy anthem “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).”

Lipa slowed down the pace, flanked only by a guitarist for the soulful “Thinking ‘Bout You” and “New Love.” As she introduced the latter, she thanked fans for supporting her music and making her dream come true to a sustained deafening roar of approval–so much so that the singer had to take a moment to compose herself before continuing. Lipa’s vocals were as advertised, delivering an album-quality version of her deep and smoky voice.

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa performs at the Masonic in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2018.

Lipa has a unique stage presence, attacking with a combination of punk rock swagger and runway model allure, stalking the stage, spinning and jumping all throughout the tight 15-song set. She possessed a quiet confidence that makes gives her a mysterious, yet accessible, personality.

Tickets to Tuesday’s night’s show sold out in mere minutes when they went on sale months ago, and the diverse crowd voiced its appreciation for Dua Lipa from start to finish.

She played the majority of her stellar debut album, while mixing in some deeper cuts,. Lipa closed out her encore leading the crowd to singalong of the bouncy “Be The One,” before stirring fans into a frenzy for the female-empowerment megahit “New Rules.” It’s clear that, despite her trademark rules, fans won’t be getting over her anytime soon.

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