sat 13/07/2024

Sza, BST Hyde Park review - R&B superstar gives apocalyptic bug vibes | reviews, news & interviews

Sza, BST Hyde Park review - R&B superstar gives apocalyptic bug vibes

Sza, BST Hyde Park review - R&B superstar gives apocalyptic bug vibes

Sza and her tribe of dancers warm up the UK

Sza onstage at BST, Hyde ParkCass Meyers

If the holiday season has been lacking in sun so far in the UK, Sza bought the heat to the first Saturday of the iconic London summerfest in Hyde Park, set up by a strong afternoon of support acts from Sampha, Snoh Aalegra, Elmiene and No Guidnce.

On a stage smattered with rather phallic looking stalagmites, stalactites and huge silver crystals as if the set were her very own fortress of solitude, the boundary pushing R&B singer showcased songs from both her 2017 album Ctrl and 2022’s SOS, teasing to her brand new collection Lana, asking the crowd “New album, are you ready?”

Opening with “PSA” to a backdrop of blazing orange, we are introduced to a powerful troupe of dancers who line, surround and support Sza with some seriously strong choreography and warrior spirit. The moon shines and glow worms come out for “All The Stars”, before she mounts a giant ant for “Prom”. Joined by a goddess-like electric guitarist, the background becomes verdant green grass and giant dragonflies abound in a vision of red earthcore for “Drew Barrymore”.

The crowd in front the Great Oak stage are in a frenzy by the time “F2F” is sung on a platform amidst fans screaming the lyrics so loud you can hardly hear Sza herself. The giant screens get increasingly apocalyptic as we dance our way through “The Weekend”, “Blind” and the 80s infused pop-fave “Kiss Me More”, originally performed with Doja Cat and finishing with a flourish of Prince’s “Kiss”.

The place goes up in digital flames for “I Hate U” before a much anticipated “Kill Bill” complete with knife-wielding choreography by way of Tarantino tribute, as a dystopian building in the background gives way to a green circuit board for “Low”. Things get evermore Avatar for “Supermodel”, “Special”, “Nobody Gets Me” and “Saturn” as we watch sparkling forests, fireflies, butterflies and giant bugs, and Sza climbs a huge tree trunk to regale us with songs. There’s some particularly impressive reverse-twerking down the tree to “Rich Baby Daddy” – definitely the crowd favourite of the evening.

As the sun sets, the stage becomes a haze of blue for “The Weekend”, and a huge moon glows for “Good Days”, with the singer rising up on a platform and a Hollywood script spells out The End. A finale of “20 Something” satisfies the crowds beseeching “one more song!” as Sza closes the show to head off to Glastonbury for the festival’s final performance. While she admits to being nervous about performing with the new set, this Saturday night proved Sza has absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes delivering a wild ride of a show.

We watch sparkling forests, fireflies, butterflies and giant bugs, and Sza climbs a huge tree trunk to regale us with songs

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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