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Lost in A Dreamworld – Beabadoobee at Bristol Review

URB found themselves in the dreamworld of Beabadoobee’s sold-out Beatopia Tour at the O2 academy in Bristol, with support from American indie rock band ‘Pretty Sick’. It was clear as soon as we entered the venue, that the audience was made up of many committed fans with the arena being full before support was even on stage. A special mention goes to ‘Pretty Sick’, for their performance and its professionalism, this young band filled the stage with playful character and faultless sound.

A unique ambience dominated the night, created together through the coupling of audience and performance. It feels hard to define, an energetic amalgamation of warmth and utopia. the overwhelming anticipation was broken with a celebration of screams as Bea came onto stage, beginning the contagious energy which remained throughout. An overly female audience of young adults and millennials formed a choir who could follow every word sung on stage.

Amongst the dancing and singing, Bea thanked us for letting her share ‘personal’ music. A still silence enveloped the room as she sang ‘Ripples’, a song she confessed was ‘hard to sing’ and that made her ‘palms sweat’. We were invited to see vulnerability, through shared emotions and dedicated songs. It was captivating and felt refreshing from the usual ‘copy and paste’ feel you can experience from tour performances. The 02 continues to provide intimacy, allowing the bond that seemed to be created between us in the crowd, and Beabadoobee up on stage.

This friendship was reciprocated by the band, gifting guitar picks and drumsticks, as well as the guitarist plunging his guitar into the crowd for it to be passed around. A reminder to drink water and look after each other was spoken as Bea paused the show to care for a troubled fan in the crowd.

I was surprised by the simplicity of the stage design for the scale of artist that Bea is; a tapestry of the album cover hung behind the band, complimented with ethereal lighting. Throughout the night, the stage became ever more decorated with toy Red Pandas, an animal which Bea has developed a strong connotation with throughout her career.  

Beabadoobee’s performance will be one to remember, not just for URB but for every person in the crowd that night. 

Check out the amazing photos, shot by William Darcy Jones.

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