Don't start now! Ok go on then, but not til we get back from the bar
Only a few weeks ago, we hailed the Kylie Minogue’s ‘live’ streaming show as a triumph, showcasing her new album and some classic tracks in spectacular Kylie style. Here we are a few weeks later and it’s Dua Lipa’s turn to impress, and boy does she…in spades.
It’s hard to describe Dua Lipa’s Studio 2054 show. It’s part live gig, part theatre experience, part multimedia marathon, part variety ‘at home with’ production. With set pieces, themed sections and special guests, Dua and her very talented team threw literally everything at Studio 2054.
Dua steps back in time
The extravaganza kicked off with an 80’s pastiche that hits the ground dancing, Dua, 25, in a floaty white frock and a dance troupe Donna Summer would have been proud of. Complete with side bars representing the pre-widescreen televisual world of the era, Dua brought together the album campaign’s sound and visual signposts. Grooving her way through hit Break My Heart and Physical where she recreated the moves showcased in her Jane Fonda exercise VHS video to the hit track. It was like an unearthed episode of Top Of The Pops but I wasn’t sure whether the grainy visuals were attention to period detail or just my shabby Wi-Fi connection.
Kylie pops up like your favourite funtie (that's a fun auntie OBVS) at a disco
The best thing about a show such as Studio 2054 is the shared experience. On a personal note, I pretty much forced myself into my sister’s support bubble so we could watch together with my nieces of 9 and 11. They sang and danced along like they were at a real concert without the awkwardness of having to take a little girl to the men’s toilet and wait for a cubicle. Whilst of course it would have been great to watch alone but the show was a party from start to finish and I wasn’t going to miss out on that.
Party guests to die for
Part of me wishes I didn’t know that Kylie was involved so I could have squealed like my nieces when she shimmied into view for a brief rendition of her track Real Groove. Taken from her number 1 album Disco, it fit in perfectly with Dua’s whole aesthetic. There was an air or ‘passing on the baton’ which I say fully expecting to get lynched by Kylie uber-fans (of which I am one).
As for the rest of the guests, they play like a roll call of the hot and the legendary. The Blessed Madonna turns up to DJ and was the main curator and one of a slew of impressive collaborators on Dua’s recent remix album Club Future Nostalgia, much of which was showcased throughout the show. Miley Cyrus crops up in the only break from the live action when Dua ‘watches’ the music video to their latest collaboration, the recently released ‘Prisoner’ and returned afterwards in another dynamic costume.
Dua's stage costumes never fail to impress
FKA Twigs added to the other worldly futuristic vibe of the event and regular punter at the original Studio 54, Elton John popped in via video link to sing an apt version of Rocket Man in a rare moment of calm. Dua acted every bit the cosmic girl (with the Jamiroquai track sampled here too) surrounded by her 20-strong group of dancers on rollerskates, giving it her absolute all and not missing a beat or a note.
It’s only right at the end when the camera pans out that you realise the scope of Studio 2054. It’s like an immersive theatre experience with a raft of eclectic, beautifully decorated sets. The production values boggles the mind. How they got it all done and working smoothly must have taken so much time and rehearsal that it’s best not to think about it. I’m in no doubt that some of the sets and choreography we will see again when she finally sets of on her pandemic postponed arena tour.
Worth the wait
As a taster of what we will potentially be seeing live when the Future Nostalgia Tour hits the road next year, it’s quite spectacular. If Studio 2054 is anything to go by we can expect an epic show of Lady Gaga proportions or Kylie herself, both known for lavish sets, costumes and a troupe of varied and talented dancers. Just one look at the credits for S2054 and you can see just how many people will be involved in taking it worldwide.
At just over an hour, Dua packs one hell of a lot in. You might miss the odd hit but what she managed to squeeze in is frankly astounding. By the time she’s belting out the worldwide megahit ‘Don’t Start Now’ you’re up and dancing, totally drawn into the dazzling world she’s created. The fact it’s live adds a sense of urgency, like you have to pay attention just that bit more as when it’s over it’ll be lost forever.
She sings and dances through the finale and you have to hand it to Lipa, this is her biggest undertaking yet and she smashes it out the park and then some. While the guests were fun, it’s Dua who holds the attention and proves she’s got every bit the star power needed to carry the magnitude of an arena or even stadium show. With 6 Grammy nominations under her belt as well this week for Future Nostalgia, Lipa is going supernova before our very eyes and she deserves every lightyear of the journey she’s on.