Dua Lipa brought ‘Future Nostalgia’ to Madison Square Garden with Caroline Polachek (pics, review)
It's been almost exactly two years since Dua Lipa released Future Nostalgia, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to begin her North American Future Nostalgia tour until last month. In our fast-paced, fickle society, it'd be reasonable to fear that people wouldn't be as excited about Future Nostalgia today as they would have been if Dua could have toured it in 2020, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Dua kept the momentum going with a remix album and a deluxe edition, and the songs have proven to be some of the most enduring pop songs of the past two years. That was reinforced on Tuesday night (3/1) at Dua's packed show at Madison Square Garden -- her second of three NYC-area shows on this tour -- where Dua's songs already felt like classics, and also felt as fresh as they did the day they were released. Future nostalgia indeed.
Dua and her ace band played every song on the album, really proving that she's an album-oriented pop artist. Six of the album's 11 songs were released as singles, and the other five never felt overshadowed. The crowd went just as nuts for her Top 10 hits as they did for her deep cuts. It also speaks to how powerful Future Nostalgia is that she was able to carry almost her entire set with songs from that album. She reached back to her breakthrough 2015 single "Be the One" and her 2017 chart-topper "New Rules," and played other tracks, like her Calvin Harris collab "One Kiss," her Silk City collab "Electricity," her Elton John collab "Cold Heart" (with Elton projected on screen), and her Angèle collab "Fever" (with a guest appearance from Angèle herself), but she skipped over most of the tracks from her 2017 debut. As popular as her debut was, Future Nostalgia has always felt like the moment where Dua Lipa fully came into her own, and her MSG show was a testament to that.
She opened the show with "Physical," following a video on screen that introduced her dancers, and she was operating at full force from the get go. No warm-up time was needed; it was like the crowd was dropped right into the middle of a high-energy pop show as soon as she began. Dua, her dancers, and her band were as professional as they come. Everything was carefully choreographed, no one missed a beat, and Dua's voice soared the entire time. And there was almost never a moment of silence. Songs were peppered with danceable interludes that recalled the club-ready style of her remix album (including a medley of tracks from that album), and she worked in bits of classic songs by artists like Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott (who both appear on her remix album), which kept the crowd engaged any time she needed to leave the stage for a wardrobe change. Every moment was meticulously crafted, and the whole set provided roughly 90 minutes of some of the most enjoyable music in recent memory.
Direct support came from Caroline Polachek, who was a perfect match for Dua Lipa. Her indie-friendly pop went over great with the crowd, and Caroline -- who's relatively fresh off headlining her own NYC show at Terminal 5 -- came prepared with the stage presence and powerhouse pipes needed to dominate an arena stage. Before Caroline, Lolo Zouaï played, though we missed her set. More pictures of Dua and Caroline's sets (by Amanda Hatfield), a few fan-shot videos, and the setlist below.
Dua Lipa @ MSG - 3/1/22 Setlist (via)
Introduction (video introduction; contains elements of "Physical")
Break My Heart (extended; contains elements of "Love Again" and Justice's "D.A.N.C.E.")
Be the One (extended)
IDGAF (dance interlude)
The Lobster Attack (video interlude; contains elements of "We're Good")
Good in Bed
Fever (with Angèle)
Boys Will Be Boys
Boys Will Be Boys (Zach Witness Remix) / Cool (Jayda G Remix) / Levitating (The Blessed Madonna Remix) (Club Future Nostalgia Medley)
One Kiss (Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa cover) (with snippet of the Oliver Heldens Remix)
(Silk City & Dua Lipa cover) (contains elements of Modjo's " Lady - Hear Me Tonight")
(contains elements of Together' s "Together" and Daft Punk's "Technologic")
Cold Heart (Elton John cover) (PNAU Remix)
In Space (video interlude)
Don't Start Now (extended; contains elements of Madonna's "Hung Up" and "Future Nostalgia")