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Love from Halsey’s Badlands

by Sam Villanueva, Visuals Staff

photo by Sam Villanueva

The night of Nov. 16 was spent in Badlands for quite a few people, all looking for a certain singer by the name of Ashley Frangipane, more commonly known as Halsey. Held at The Fillmore in San Francisco, one might consider the concert to be a “Roman Holiday”, as Halsey gave the crowd a thrilling night with songs of the same feeling.

The crowd was a bit restless, especially from the second row, but all inhibitions soon disappeared once Halsey opened the show with “Gasoline”, a song that gives off a false sense of confidence with its sultry beats, but exposes Halsey’s insecurities through the hard-hitting line, “I think there’s a fault in my code.” Halsey continued to keep the energy going through a haunting rendition of “Castle”, which gives a bitter description of what the media and society expects of her, and how she refuses to comply. Other gritty songs such as “Control” and “Strange Love” fueled the crowd’s excitement further, but Halsey intertwined more lighter songs into her setlist, including her teenage anthem “Roman Holiday” and the melodic “Drive”. Halsey also paid homage to her EP, “Room 93”, with a heartfelt performance of “Is There Somewhere”, grasping onto the crowd as she belted out the line, “I’m sorry, but I fell in love tonight.”

Unfortunately, Halsey had to rush through the concert, since she had a flight to New York to attend to. She felt slightly disconnected from the crowd because of this, but her gratefulness for her fans was made loud and clear despite this. Regardless, there could’ve been more time spent with the crowd, or getting the crowd more involved, especially considering how rowdy and relentless the crowd was.

But one truly beautiful aspect of the concert was that each and every person in the room knew her songs by heart. Halsey and the crowd all sang together, almost as if in harmony. And the audience was so compelled and respectful (to Halsey, at least) that it was never loud when Halsey spent what little leftover time she had on short anecdotes.

One night in Badlands was not enough for fans of the indie pop singer. With a haunting voice and a pretty face that challenges social norms whenever she can, Halsey made Badlands the place to be for those brave enough to enter. B+