CAMILA CABELLO KICKS OFF HER VERY FIRST EUROPEAN HEADLINE TOUR AT GLASGOW'S O2 ACADEMY
Nearly two years ago the girl group Fifth Harmony - who made their name on the music reality TV show The X Factor USA - announced in a tweet that Camila Cabello would leave the band to pursue a solo career as an artist. The band’s fan base also known as Harmonizers were dubbed and left with teary-eyed and unsure of what was in store for Cabello, and the remaining Fifth Harmony members of the band. Now, Fifth Harmony is on hiatus after an unsuccessful album, while Cabello has shaken the charts with her hit song “Havana” and has embarked on her first headlining tour as a solo artist.
As she hit the stage in Glasgow for her first ever Europe headline show on the ‘Never Be The Same Tour', Cabello was performing in front of thousands of so-called 'Camilizers' who packed the room like sardines. Expectations for her tour were high, with weeks spent promoting it on late night talk shows and performing her best-known solo songs, “Never Be The Same” and “Havana” at international music festivals.
Despite this, Cabello's performance on stage in Glasgow actually fell flat. Her stage presence was very notably hindered by the restricted size of the O2 Academy venue in Glasgow, lost among the sea of dancers who rushed onto a platform which was already too small for Cabello and her four-person band. After spending nearly four years performing to very upbeat pop songs with her previous band Fifth Harmony, Cabello seemed very out of place on stage next to her dancers who performed somewhat too aggressively for her music style.
After each song during he set, pre-recorded videos of Cabello were aired of her looking at herself in the mirror, eating on a bed and throwing pillows at the camera played in the background. Her voice in the videos - muffled by the shrieking teens in the audience - told her audience that “everyone has a story.” Rather than enhancing her performance as intended, the videos somewhat interrupted the concert’s flow. Her dark, lingerie-esque attire also did not fit the occasion, as she performed songs like “Inside Out” - inviting her young audience and the smattering of parents in attendance to sing along.
Cabello also took the time during her set to performed a stripped cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The song felt out of place and abrupt, especially performed in front of a sea of teenagers whose music tastes are far more contemporary.
Cabello re-framed her track “Something’s Gotta Give,” which gave many fans the impression that the track was about her departure from Fifth Harmony, also referring to gun violence in her country. As she started singing the lyrics like “If it doesn’t hurt me, why do I still cry?/If it didn’t kill me, then I’m half alive,” images from the March for Our Lives movement materialized on screen. The increased bass levels and Cabello’s emotional singing evoked a sense of urgency as her fans belted out the lyrics and some wiped away tears.
The first half of Cabello’s performance on stage was redeemed by the second half, which featured two of the best songs on her self-titled debut record: “In The Dark” and “Into It.” With fewer dancers involved in the performance, Cabello focused on singing and engaging with the audience, setting these two songs apart from previous tracks which were just plagued by excessive choreography.
Cabello left the stage upon concluding the main set and returned for an encore, appearing back on stage to perform her unreleased song titled “Sangria Wine,” which stood out as one of her best of the night. The pop beats and Spanish lyrics, paired with Latino-inspired dance moves made for a worthy second-to-last song before she concluded the show with a bang with global hit “Havana.”
While Cabello’s album proved to be a surprisingly successful comeback after leaving Fifth Harmony, her solo performing still needs improvement. Cabello still has not solidified her style or identity — her album cover saw her in a flowery dress, but her tour took on a darker portrayal. Only when Cabello finds a middle-ground between being a chart-topping performer and a moody lyricist, can she fully prove herself as a force to be reckoned with.
SETLIST - | CAMILA CABELLO - O2 ACADEMY, GLASGOW - 05.06.2018
- You'll Never Be The Same (Interlude)
- Never Be The Same
- She Loves Control
- Inside Out
- Bad Things (Interlude)
- Bad Things (Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello cover)
- Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)
- All These Years
- Something's Gotta Give
- Scar Tissue
- In the Dark (Interlude)
- In the Dark
- Real Friends
- Know No Better (Major Lazer cover)
- Crown (Camila Cabello & Grey cover)
- Into It
- Sangria Wine