O2 INSTITUTE 2
Scandinavian pop star Sigrid rises above the pressure and hype to deliver one of the most promising performances in years.
“It’s freezing outside!, almost like Norway, thank you so much for coming out to see me tonight” declared the ever-upbeat Sigrid. It’s almost poetic that the audience tonight has had to battle through freezing temperatures and snow to be here, what more fitting climate is there to see this rising Norwegian pop star?. Looking around though it’s clear that no one has risked missing out on BBC’s Sound of 2018, especially as it might be the audiences only chance of seeing Sigrid in such intimate surroundings.
‘Go To War’ is the perfect introduction to the evening, a Robyn styled battle cry, that gradually rises in intensity before one of those now trademark, enormous Sigrid choruses. It’s a testament to her captivating stage presence that’s she able to hook everyone in, even during the unreleased material. Whether it be through her powerful melodies, massive choruses or energetic stage routine, she’s constantly finding ways to latch onto your attention and keep it. It helps that each unheard song feels both familiar and an instant hit, ‘High Five’ with its catchy hook of “everybody loves a show” instantly coming to mind, I’ll be very surprised if that doesn’t become a summer smash later this year.
When a familiar track like ‘Plot Twist’ does appears, the reaction is unsurprisingly massive, every word is bellowed back to her at twice the volume and intensity. Her energy is infectious, seemingly powered by the crowd, the more they sing, the more she moves, like a Scandinavian version of Tigger she just never stops bouncing.
It’s not all wall to wall high energy pop though, Sigrid finds a few quieter moments to play a couple slower numbers. Sigrid’s biggest influence has always been Adele, a striking contrast to her upbeat pop you’d think but stripped back piano ballad ‘Dynamite’ would have been a perfect fit on Adele’s own debut record ’19’. despite Sigrid labeling the track “her saddest song” it happens to be one of the highlights, showcasing her most untapped quality, a phenomenal vocal range. Another key moment is during ‘Fake Friends’ when I can feel goosebumps racing up my arm, as she throws control to the crowd and conducts a spontaneous sing-a-long during fan favourite ‘Fake Friends’.
The most touching part of the evening however, is witnessing the various expressions that appear across Sigrids face throughout the night. Somehow the young pop star manages to look both overwhelmed and at ease simultaneously. It’s truly hard not to be enamoured by the childlike innocence and modesty she consistently displays, it makes how natural she takes to the stage even more frightening. she was clearly born to perform.
The finale to the evening is suitably stratospheric, a one-two barrage of her biggest singles starting with ‘Strangers’, her signature smash hit that propelled up the charts to become her first top 10 single back in January. the venue is seemingly transformed into a rave hideaway tucked deep underneath Birmingham by the flashing strobe lites during it’s EDM styled chorus. A slight criticism comes in the amount of bass placed on the punchier tracks, somewhat drowning out Sigrid vocals with reverb, most noticeably here.
It’s only fitting that the closing song would be ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, a track created as a confident, strong rebuttal to the older more experienced songwriters that mistook her youth for a lack of talent. It’s ironic that their lack of belief has inspired such a massive moment in the night and now her career. I fail to spot a single person not clapping and dancing along to it’s infectious melody.
Sigrid right now seems unstoppable, her first UK tour is a complete sell-out with second-hand tickets almost like gold-dust, she has a handful of perfect pop singles that have long since nestled themselves into fans hearts alongside a whole albums worth of unreleased material just ready to be unleashed on the world, she even commands the stage like a seasoned professional. Sigrid is already a superstar, she’s just waiting for the world to catch up and realise.