MØ | Review
Mandela Hall, Belfast • Tuesday 27 March ’18
Stewart Robson • Photos: Tremaine Gregg
MØ soaked Belfast in synthesizers on her first trip to the city and unleashed a multitude of hits upon her die-hard fans, young and old.
The Danish songstress, who released her debut album in 2014, began her rescheduled UK and Ireland tour on Monday night in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. Citing ongoing work on new music as her reason for rescheduling, this show packed an almighty punch and was more than worth the wait for fans north of the border.
The lights went down in the Mandela Hall and the band glided through a hazy backdrop of dry ice and beaming spotlights, giving a little bit of mystery about what was to unfold.
Her band walked on first, followed by the singer. The bleached blonde hair rising from the stairwell. Her fans’ arms rising to the ceiling.
From the start, MØ had everyone in the palm of her hand. Kicking off with ‘Roots’, a track from last year’s ‘When I Was Young’ EP, the gig took off with a haunting rise of three synthesized notes, building up with hints of electric guitar and topped off with our first introduction to MØ’s recognisable vocal. It was an epic start, capped with strobing making it quite a spectacular start to the evening’s proceedings. As the music died down, the cheers from the crowd heightened. We were all on board.
The dubstep beat that developed from around 2011, most notably with Chase and Status, was brought out in this set. But MØ’s music sounds fresh and young despite harking back to the sounds of several years ago. ‘Nights With You’, ‘Kamikaze’ and the collaborative track with Diplo, ‘Get It Right’, were standouts in the set. The Dane’s pinpoint dance moves echoed every pulsing beat. Her band were incredible too, most notably her drummer. Every thump of the bass to every brush on the hi-hat fitted seamlessly with the melody, something of which MØ has perfected in newer songs, yet to be released. Watch this space.
The set is full of attitude. ‘Sass’ is maybe the term I’m looking for. There was a lot of shoulder dropping, people getting lower, edging towards being a little cooler with each song. MØ was the ringleader and never lost sight of her audience. “I love you, Belfast’ repeated numerous times by the singer who said she’d longed to come here for many years and was thrilled to have finally done so.
Towards the end of this triumph, main set closer ‘Lean On’ sends the crowd into a bit of a frenzy. There’s a lot of smartphones in the air instead of hands, not ideal, but it still creates a spectacle. After the short encore, where MØ asked the crowd from the side of the stage, “Do you want one more, Belfast?’, there was only one answer to that, she returned for not one but two songs. And they were both belters.
Don’t Leave’ and a song that’s still on my ‘Australia’ playlist from my travels in 2014, ‘Final Song’, sends the crowd home, sweaty and extremely satisfied.
I can’t wait to see what MØ does next. I have a strong feeling she’s going to get even bigger.
Make room, keep an eye out and get ready for this Danish queen’s ascendency in 2018.
It was worth the wait.