Concert Experience: Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia

by Emily Smith

Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia

Manchester, UK


I would have never have dreamt that I would be going to my first concert so late in my teenage years – but here I am mid-way through 2022 wishing I could go to them all.

The show was the opening night of the European part of the Future Nostalgia tour.

Like many artists, Dua never got to go on tour after the album was released because we all went into a lockdown because of the pandemic. Dua kept herself busy with releasing music videos from the album, her brand new podcast and collaborating with the legend Sir Elton John on the album The Lockdown Sessions with Cold Heart.

Nothing could stop her now from performing in front of millions of people, singing and dancing along to her songs. As a fan, you could see how happy she was to be performing back in front of a large crowd.

I had to get a picture before the show started – it’s the law, right?

During the two-hour drive, I had made a plan (maybe not a very good one looking back) to listen to the setlist that my friend had found on Twitter so I would know exactly what the lyrics would be. Let’s just say when you don’t have control of the music, my plan really just went sideways and we ended up listening to the whole of the Hannah Montana soundtrack because, in my opinion, the soundtrack is still good even if it’s a few years old.

When we arrived in Manchester, our first destination had to be the only place a picky eater and someone gluten-free could eat… NANDO’S!! Whilst walking to the arena, as we were so early we actually managed to see all the dancers coming off the tour bus which if you were me and my friend was so exciting because it was all starting to become real. We both wanted to make sure that we would get some merch from the tour so we got to the arena one hour early.

To our surprise, when we arrived we were so close to the front of the line that we were the 2nd group of people to buy merch. I didn’t know how expensive tour merch or any merch for an artist would be so when I saw the price for a Future Nostalgia hoodie- I gasped. I never knew a hoodie could be that expensive. Even writing this I am like Why Emily? Why did you do it? But, let me tell you something, it’s the comfiest hoodie I have and I don’t regret buying it.

The opener for this part of the tour was singer-songwriter Griff. I really enjoyed Griff and would love to go and see her on tour in the UK. She performed songs like “Black Hole” and “Head on Fire” but what was so sad to see was how empty the arena was. Griff, on the other hand, didn’t let an empty arena stop her and still performed like it was to a full audience.

A tip for all you first-time concertgoers is to arrive later than what we did because we got to the arena at 6:30pm when the concert itself didn’t start until 8pm. Thank god for my portable charger because most of my percentage was already gone before the concert had started.

The clock struck 8pm on my phone and all I could hear was an instrumental version of “Physical” being played. All of a sudden, Dua and her backup dancers appeared on the screen. The show kicked off with ‘Physical’ which was a good crowd pleaser as I couldn’t stop dancing. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those people who record the whole concert on their phone yet all the footage I got proves it wrong. I just wanted a way to still enjoy the concert.

Even from the start, you could see how much Dua was influenced by the 80s when making this album and you could see that on stage with all the graphics and costumes she wore. The costumes oh my god, I wanted to wear them so bad, all of the jumpsuits really suited her. The amount of stamina an artist needs to have is beyond me. All I wanted to say to Dua was ‘breathe, just breathe’.

Even the lighting decorations used later in the performance were 80s inspired. (I just love the 80s if you can’t tell.)

Dua performed some of her old songs throughout the night such as ‘New Rules’ and ‘IDGAF’. Both of these songs are my favorites so I really liked them when she performed them because I wasn’t expecting it. During the performance, especially during these songs, she spent her time hyping the audience up. Nothing got them that hyped up until the last song…the crowd favorite ‘Cold Heart’. An image of Elton John was projected on the screen like Elton did with Dua when he performed the song on tour.

I will put it in simple words for you, I was in awe of Dua, the whole concert experience, and this song. You could tell when looking around how happy people were and I think that’s the best thing you could witness at a concert. I remember seeing a girl who mentioned that this was her first concert, she was all decked out in glitter galore with a sign that she made on her own with no help from the parents – I remember her mum saying that.

All I think is the best thing when experiencing a concert is seeing how happy other people are and watching the videos back reliving those memories. I can’t wait to go and watch more artists perform live.

Find more information on the Future Nostalgia shows here

Listen to Future Nostalgia on Spotify or Apple Music

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