By Margaret Pepe
Assistant Features Editor
Thursday, Oct. 22, Webster Hall was sold out to Halsey, a New Jersey native, New York loving, alternative singer. Halsey is only 21 years old, and has already toured with bands like The Kooks, and opened for Imagine Dragons on their “Smoke and Mirrors” tour this past summer. This sold out show was part of her first headline tour, Badlands, for the release of her first-full album, “Badlands.”
Halsey took to the stage with her song “Gasoline.” Her light, airy voice sang as fans screamed her lyrics, “You can’t wake up, this is not a dream. You’re part of a machine, you are not a human being. With your face all made up, living on a screen, low on self-esteem so you run on gasoline.” Halsey did more than just stand up on stage and sing the lyrics she wrote. For each song she performed, she created the story she wanted them to tell.
Eight songs into her set, Halsey stopped to give a speech, thanking her fans for believing in her, giving them the credit for her success, then introducing her first single, “Ghost.”
“This song that I wrote got the attention of record labels who wanted to talk to me, and some of them said I’ll never make it. Some of those people are here tonight, let’s show them how well I did without them,” she coaxed, before having the entire theatre sing along with her.
Halsey’s songs focus on mental health, love, sex, and independence. During the middle of the chorus for her song “Hurricane,” she spoke over her singing fans saying, “This song is a reminder that you don’t belong to anybody! No man, no woman, nobody owns you!” Halsey’s fans screamed and cheered her on as she spoke; several people cried from her songs, her words, or her presence.
Several times, in between songs, she gave speeches about how much she loves New York, how she considers it her home, how she recorded “Badlands” in her then boyfriend’s apartment, and how she credits her fans getting it to number two album in the country.
Halsey ended her set with her single “New Americana,” which she describes as a satire on today’s culture. “We know very well who we are, so we hold it down till summer starts. What kind of dough have you been spending, what kind of bubble gym have you been blowing lately.”