Live: BEA MILLER // O2 Academy Islington, London
A true pop star in the making.
Kicking off her ‘sunsets in outerspace tour’ last week, Bea Miller played her first ever international headline show at London’s O2 Academy Islington. With worldwide streams in excess of over one billion, she’s already proven herself to be a prolific songwriter, but it is her live shows that elevate her status to new heights.
Full of charm and character, Bea took to the stage to the sound of her adoring fans cheering loudly. Not wasting any time, she dove headfirst into opener of her second album Aurora, song like you, which instantly set an ambient mood with its dark undertones and powerhouse vocals. Dancing her way from one side of the stage to the other, she gracefully balanced between groovy bass lines in outside and infectious, gentle melodies of repercussions, putting the audience under her spell.
But don’t let her sweet look fool you. She can bite too, and she certainly won’t take any of your bullshit. With an unabashed honesty and swaggering attitude, Bea acts both witty and provocative, simply telling it how it is. Dedicating motherlove “to all the fuck boys”, the song once again showed her feisty side and staggering authenticity, as the chorus ricocheted off the walls with a massive singalong.
Treating us to a short introduction before almost every song, there was not a single moment in her set that made the show fall flat or monotonous. With an entertaining spark to her demeanour, she addressed the fact of possessing a bubbly personality by saying: “I told you I talk a lot. There’s a lot on my mind. We can have a group therapy session”, which only strengthened the bond she had with the crowd.
Taking things down a notch, feel something created a truly magical moment that night. With a personal touch to it, the track brought Bea’s authentic storytelling to the forefront, as she uttered: “I was really alienated, lonely. Almost sad.” Pairing ambient electronics with her distinctive vocals, the song leaves an impression of a minimal soundscape, but when she sings: ‘I don’t wanna die but I don’t wanna live like this / I just wanna feel something, I just wanna feel’, the brutal honesty takes over piercing right through.
Saying: “Now that we’ve been sad…”, she then went on to spin it’s not u it’s me which took the energy to the next level, setting the hips in motion. Next, old school Fire N Gold brought forth a nostalgic feel, whilst playing her most recent single NEVER GONNA LIKE YOU marked a wonderful live debut of the song. “I saved the best song for last. Are you ready to lose your fucking mind?!”, Bea exclaimed before the crowd lost themselves jumping around and singing along to her dance anthem I Wanna Know.
Despite the fact that she’s released two studio albums already, it still feels like early days for Bea Miller, at least on this side of the Atlantic. However, with a dazzling live show and a countless number of effortlessly penned sonic gems in her catalogue, it’s easy to see why she is the future of pop music. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from her very, very soon.
Photos: Kasia Osowiecka