fb-pixel Skip to main content

Dua Lipa dazzles at TD Garden

Dua Lipa brought her "Future Nostalgia" tour to TD Garden Friday night.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

When Dua Lipa’s second album, “Future Nostalgia,” came out in late March 2020, pandemic lockdowns were just starting to take hold, and the world was getting a little bit gray. A brightly hued capital-P Pop album, “Future Nostalgia” wound up being an ideal antidote to those early isolation days: Its blend of insistent beats, grabby hooks, and music-nerd Easter eggs (the INXS-nicked rhythms that hold up “Break My Heart,” the tinny winds swirling around “Love Again”), topped with Lipa’s supple yet grounded alto, made it ideal home-disco fodder, glitzy enough to transform even the most familiar space into a spotlight-flecked club.

But dancing on one’s own, even if those moves are eventually posted to TikTok, isn’t the same as moving in unison with thousands of others. And the “Future Nostalgia” tour, which had been postponed a few times in advance of it finally arriving at TD Garden on Friday night, proved that the appetite for doing so was ravenous — the buzz in the crowd was electric even before the London-born Lipa took the stage. When she did, after a short credit sequence that introduced her phalanx of dancers, she launched right into the pumping “Nostalgia” cut “Physical,” which has sinewy verses that explode into a punch-the-air chorus.


Dua Lipa performs at TD Garden Friday night.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

Lipa is a charismatic performer with a striking look, and she commanded the stage during Friday’s brisk, vibrant show. Focusing mostly on cuts from “Future Nostalgia,” it enticed the audience to keep moving; Lipa’s dancers — which included a roller-dancing duo — adapted the human-sculpture and simple-prop aesthetics of Bob Fosse in thrilling ways, their kinetic energy turning limbs and chairs and glittery hearts into pieces of a dazzling spectacle.

While the color story of “Future Nostalgia” resides decidedly in the neon-gleam ‘80s, musically it borrows from the last five or so decades, bringing the flinty guitars of disco, the robot-rock beats of early-stage electro (on its title track), and the jubilant interjections heard on tracks by Lipa’s 21st-century pop peer Carly Rae Jepsen (on the cheeky “Good In Bed”) under its tent. (The star presence of Elton John, whose “Rocket Man” is the foundation for Lipa’s recent hit “Cold Heart” and who appeared via video, only added to the night’s modern retromania.) The show leaned into that kitchen-sink mode feeling of the present while also offering an escape from it; by the time Lipa’s set was over, wrapping up with the strutting “Future Nostalgia” single “Don’t Start Now,” it felt like no time had passed since the lights had gone down. That’s the power of Lipa’s high-octane pop, which can compress 90-ish minutes into a single moment worthy of, yes, nostalgia.



With Caroline Polachek, Lolo Zouaï. At TD Garden, Friday