We first laid eyes on Ashley Frangipane at SXSW back in March. At the time, the artist more commonly known at Halsey was slowly beginning to build her brand based around her debut release Room 93. Her performance was quick, and although we saw the potential in her music, her live show was typical of SXSW: too quick to get a good feel for the artist we were seeing for the very first time, unsure of what to expect in the upcoming months.
Here we are, nearly nine months later, and Halsey has become the queen of the scene. With over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, Halsey's full-length debut Badlands landed in the #2 position on the Billboard charts during it's debut just a few weeks ago, but that sits at the bottom of an already impressive resumé. After being signed based on the success of one single, Halsey secured a coveted position opening for Imagine Dragons during their summer 2015 arena tour. Her feature on Justin Bieber's upcoming record, not to mention selling out her first headlining US tour without issue, are only continuing to move her forward. A whirlwind six months to say the least, this young pop artist has been making major waves, and we don't see it stopping anytime soon.
Her show here in Denver this past Friday was edgy, dynamic, beautiful, and perfect for her fan base. Fans arrived as early as 10:30am to sit and wait in the parking lot of The Gothic, and by our judgement? They were not let down. Her dark lyrics were complimented beautifully by the stage's dark, enticing lighting. LED panels surrounding her on stage played a variety of images, slideshows, and patterns, bringing the music to live. Moving from side to side of the stage, you could watch the audience mirror her movements as she went. Her genre of grungy, glittery, sugar-coated sadness is unique, different, but fills a void we didn't even knew existed in the music world. She may be young, but Halsey's grasp on her artistic vision is defined. Her lyrics are uniquely poetic, bringing to life the dark, and sometimes heartbreaking stories she chooses to tell. Taking a moment before breaking into the song "Roman Holiday", Halsey shared a moment with her fans to remind both them and herself that "damn Ashley, it's not that serious", bringing a new light to the show.
Nine months certainly seemed to be enough time for Halsey's live show to grow as strong as her lyrics. Her vocal control and command of the stage was that of a tenured performer, not a 21-year old who released her first EP barely a year ago. So much has changed for this young star in 2015, and it seems that her hair color isn't the only thing continually getting brighter. Halsey will close out 2015 with the end of her Badlands tour, and continue on to Australia and Japan at the beginning of 2015. We don't know when we expect to see her back in Denver, but we can promise it will not be a performance you want to miss.