It’s no secret that Dua Lipa’s music is irresistibly catchy. Songs from her critically acclaimed second album “Future Nostalgia” such as “Levitating,” “Don’t Start Now,” and “Break My Heart” are culturally ubiquitous, almost to the point of oversaturation. However, Lipa’s Feb. 18 concert at TD Garden was a far cry from tired, with the artist delivering a dynamic, technicolor spectacle of artistry and escapist joy. Everything from the vibrant costumes to the innovative set design and stacked setlist created an atmosphere that was equal parts classic and futuristic, paying perfect tribute to her namesake album.
Following a stylized video introduction of Lipa and her dancers made to look like the opening credits to a retro television show, the Grammy-winning singer began the show with “Physical,” one of her biggest hits in recent years. Her neon yellow bodysuit and dance moves, inspired by ’80s exercise videos, made it clear that this show would be a high energy romp.
Giant disco balls, underwater scenes, and cartoon space sequences illuminated the stage throughout. Lipa’s vibrant surroundings did not stop there, as a massive cubic structure made up of hundreds of light-up spheres descended upon the stage later in the show. While secondary to Lipa’s pop vocals, this detail made all the difference in ensuring that concertgoers remained engaged and energetic throughout the performance.
As for Lipa’s vocal talent, the impressive breadth of her musical expertise was on full display. Her trademark playfulness and upbeat tone were most effectively conveyed when singing “Good in Bed,” which she briefly interrupted to point out a fan and adlib a few sarcastic laughs. Moments later, Lipa completely shifted gears, belting out the lyrics to her slower ballad “Boys Will Be Boys” with just as much ease as any of her pop anthems.
The show was not exclusively limited to songs off of “Future Nostalgia,” as Lipa performed some of her earliest hits including “New Rules,” “One Kiss,” and “Electricity.” There was even a surprise guest appearance from a pre-recorded Elton John, who sang along with her to their recent collaboration “Cold Heart,” one of the show's more tender moments.
Throughout the entire show, the energy in TD Garden was palpable. After exploding with screams and applause upon her entrance, fans’ energy only grew. Even when Lipa was absent to change costumes between acts, this energy was maintained by roller skating dancers, club remixes of Lipa’s most popular songs, and an especially well-received interlude of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.”
All this good energy reached its peak during the concert’s encore, which Lipa began with an edgier version of the song “Future Nostalgia,” swinging around her mic stand while powerfully singing about being a “female alpha.” The night then concluded with a showstopping performance of “Don’t Start Now,” which saw Dua Lipa strutting along the stage as multi-color confetti cannons erupted in every direction, creating a fantasy-like atmosphere in the venue. This final track, arguably Lipa’s best, sounded absolutely phenomenal and celebrated the carefree, disco aesthetic of the “Future Nostalgia” era in a way that would excite even the most lukewarm fans.