Review: Dua Lipa blew minds at Toronto headlining debut

(By: Angela McLean)

If you have not heard of her yet, Dua Lipa is an artist you are definitely going to be hearing a lot from in 2017 – for good reason.

The 21-year-old London-based singer-songwriter headlined the Mod Club in Toronto on Feb. 27 and performed to a sold-out crowd eager to hear music off her upcoming self-titled debut album, due out June 2.

American rapper Ro Ransom opened the show with a promise to the crowd: “I just spoke to Dua and she has one rule – she ain’t coming out unless you turn up with me.” Despite being the supporting act, Ransom shined bright all on his own, performing a mix of released and unreleased songs that the crowd vibed with immediately. “Stop The World,” “Synthesizer” and new single “Doppelgänger” covered the three stages of love – from being at the club and meeting that showstopper girl, down to realizing the relationship was not meant to be after all. Before taking off, Ransom admitted that he was ready to end his set, but wanted to perform one last song – his biggest hit “See Me Fall” – for the killer Toronto crowd.

Demanding attention in a super sparkly mini dress and standing in front of a neon sign with her name on it, Lipa opened her set with her upbeat release “Last Dance.” Although it was not mentioned on stage, Lipa wrote “Last Dance” in Toronto with producer Talay Riley, who you may recognize for his work with Jess Glynne and Chris Brown. So, maybe it was no coincidence that Lipa chose the 6 to be the first city where she performed her recent collab with Martin Garrix, “Scared to Be Lonely.” She also sang “No Lie,” her 2016 collab with Sean Paul that was one of the three songs (“Scared to Be Lonely” and “Be The One” being the other two) she had in the top 15 of the U.K. Singles chart last month.

Lipa treated fans to several tracks off the upcoming album, including “Want To,” “Thinkin ‘Bout You” and “Bad Together.” The soulful and soon-to-be-released “Genesis” was a fan favourite, having been featured in a mini-documentary Lipa filmed in collaboration last year with The FADER and YouTube Music. But, of course, the show would not be complete without the hits, and that is where Lipa and her receptive crowd did things best.

“Hotter Than Hell,” which has amassed over 73 million plays on Spotify, was a highlight. With Lipa’s powerhouse vocals, the song carries itself like an anthem. It is no wonder that this is the song that caught Warner Music’s attention in 2015, ultimately leading to her getting signed.

Before performing her biggest international hit “Be The One,” Lipa told the crowd that, while some personal events recently brought her spirits down, “you guys tonight are making me feel so special.” She also said that she knows performing and being on stage is where she is meant to be.

After a short intermission and plenty of “Dua! Dua! Dua!” chants from the crowd, Lipa returned to the stage with her smash “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).” Blow the crowd’s mind, she did (mwah).

Lipa and Ransom will be touring the United States until Mar. 17 when they will wrap up this leg of dates in San Francisco. Afterwards, Lipa will be touring Europe in April with pop-punk trio Off Bloom before releasing her album in June.

Scroll through our full set of photos from Dua Lipa and Ro Ransom’s Toronto show below.

Are you seeing Dua Lipa on tour? Are you excited for her debut album release? Share your excitement with us on Twitter @RUtvNews!

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