Somerset House [15/07/19
Rosalía took London to Barcelona with a magnificent and mesmerising performance which proved why she’s not just Spain’s biggest pop star but one ready to take over the world.
Mexican waves, chants of ‘Ole!’ and frenzied passionate screaming. You’d think I was in the thralls of an intense football match, instead, this is just the crowds' reaction to seeing Catalonian singer Rosalía emerge onto Somerset House’s historic summer stage alongside her six ‘ninas’ (white-clad backing dancers). They feel like extra limbs to Rosalía as she opens the evening with a tightly choreographed and mesmerising dance sequence to the flamenco-inspired ‘PIENSO EN TU MIRA’, it’s a fierce and powerful opening statement and from that moment the crowd are in the palm of her hand.
The main word I’d use to describe Rosalía’s performance style is completely versatile, she never lingers, she is the master of many crafts. Only moments after she’s wowed with her spectacular dance routines, she pulls it all back, her ‘ninas’ depart and she stands alone flowing through a beautiful rendition of ‘Barefoot In The Park’ harmonising with the taped vocals of James Blake. From this, she then segues into a truly outstanding and impassioned acapella performance of the traditional ‘Catalina’. She calls for absolute silence and the crowd duly oblige, to say my jaw was on the floor would be a grave understatement, her high vocal range is outstanding and you can see the emotion in her face and tears in her eyes with every roar. It’s an incredibly powerful moment during a concert full of them.
‘A NINGUN HOMBRE’ has the crowd roaring in approval as she delivers a theatrical masterpiece, arms spread out wide, falling into her dancers as the wind rushes through her hair, her voice flowing through the crowd. As the set reaches its midpoint each song and accompaniment gets wilder and the crowd more frenzied, a sea of claps fills the air during fan favourite 'DI MI NOMBRE’. ‘BAGDAD’ has a singalong en masse as Rosalía intertwines herself with red ribbon in a spellbinding display.
You feel as if the atmosphere has been building throughout the night and as the set draws to a close Rosalía unleashes the big guns. Reggaeton mega-hit ‘Con Altura’ has everyone in a frenzy as the Catalan whips her hair and dances to its addictive beat and melody, this is swift fully followed by my personal favourite, 2019 single ‘AUTE CUTURE’, not before she’s taken a dip into the front of crowd for a sweet and endearing duet with her devoted fans. ‘MALAMENTE’ brings a euphoric rush as Rosalía takes your breath away with her rapid pace and energy with her intense movements despite not stopping for over an hour.
If Rosalía had thought she had simply finished her set however she was certainly in for a surprise, chants and cheers of a scale I’ve never heard before ushered the star back to the stage for ‘DIOS NOS LIBRE DEL DINERO’, its the perfect vessel for Rosalía to showcase her vocal talents and provides a beautiful moment. Before she can leave once again, fevered chants of ‘MILIONARIA’ create a special finale as Rosalía plays her latest single in acapella, clearly not expected but the spontaneous nature added to the performance, especially with the crowd filling in with the refrain ‘FUCKING MONEY MAN!’.
It’s hard to believe Rosalía is only 25 years old with just two albums and a splattering of singles, all her content so far has been incredible and tonight felt like the moment in which she crossed over from Spanish superstar to a global one. More than anything It’s so refreshing for a foreign singer not to have to compromise their culture or vision, instead of making her music for an English audience and altering her lyrics, everyone else has been captured by her immense star appeal, amazing melodies and as tonight proved, mesmerising performances. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for Rosalía, this was her moment and she owned every second of it… LA ROSALÍA!
PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ
Barefoot in the Park (James Blake cover)
QUE NO SALGA LA LUNA
Te estoy amando locamente (Las Grecas cover)
A NINGÚN HOMBRE
DE AQUÍ NO SALES
DI MI NOMBRE
No me llames más que ya no voy (Rodolfo Parrita cover) (El Guincho remix)
Dios nos libre del dinero
Milionària (Instrumental encore)