Photos provided by Pandora Live.
As the year comes to a close there has been an outpouring of new music, and at that start of the new year an album by the chart topping popstar Halsey. In the rapid churning of social media, it can be difficult for artists to maintain relevance and continue expanding their creative envelope. An area which Halsey does effortlessly, with her soon to be released album Manic she dives deep into herself and rediscovers Ashley. A shift from her previous concept albums, Badlands and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. The former two she revisited earlier in the year to perform two sold out nights of them in full at Webster Hall. In felt like we were transported back, into the days were everyone wanted her style on we heart it. Her then trademark blue hair and tennis skirt, she may have been seen as a sort of manic pixie dream girl but she was more than just a fantasy. She was an artist who poured her heart out on the stage who channeled herself onto the page in a constant state of rediscovery, and in those nights at Webster Hall we all felt like it was the first time the albums had been played. Is There Somewhere to the heartbreaking single Without Me, she tells an incredible story. She’s constantly changing as an artist, her recent collaboration with BTS, and her performance at the CMA’s shows her tremendous growth in recent years paving her own way to stardom. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch her three times this year, including just yesterday at the Avant Gardner presented by Pandora Live.
She performed old and new favorites in Brooklyn, and fans waited for hours to get their coveted spot in front of the singer. The show was broadcast to Times Square and over five hundred fans participated in a silent disco while watching the show from the “megazilla” screen. Halsey performed an array of hits such as Nightmare, Castle, Eyes Closed, Colors, Bad at Love, Graveyard, and her smash hit Without Me (which she dedicated to Juice Wrld). Pandora also presented Halsey with a Pandora Billionaire plaque for grossed 2.5 billion streams on Pandora. She has amassed a dedicated following for her artistry, in one of my favorites 100 letters she spoke of a past flame who left as she described, “ Existential fortune cookie in your pocket” In the jeans she would wear and would often find them in her pockets, and she washed them away when it was time for them to part ways. Halsey has always been very honest about her struggles with her mental health, which she is very candid about in her upcoming album Manic. “There’s a 100 different versions of me that could be the real one,” she’s constantly like many of us a work in progress and she doesn’t shy away from the hardships which makes her most recent work so honest. She’s giving a small sliver of herself in her most recent work from Manic, and her fans adore her for it. Finally // beautiful stranger is one of my favorites off of Manic, she does a great job of immersing you into her world with her music videos and her recent recaps of The Road to Manic a peak behind the scenes of her life. The genuine connection she has built with her fans is always evident but even more so tonight as everyone sang along word for word throughout the show. We’re looking forward to release of Manic and hopefully catching her live again soon.