FKA twigs leaves lasting impression with incredible and totally unique concert
When I saw FKA twigs live back in 2015 in Paradiso (Amsterdam), touring Europe after the release of her debut album LP1, her complete gig was ruined by lackluster sound quality at the venue that night. Her new music however convinced me to give her the benefit of the doubt and see another one of her gigs, this time in Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam. The artist finished her Magdalene tour (named after her sopomore album) here on Tuesday night and I am more than happy that I gave her another shot as this was one of the best shows I have seen in ages, probably ever.
The British pop star took some time to win me over. Literally, as she showed up 45 minutes late. But when she finally started, she convinced every single minute. FKA twigs opened the show with a tap dance performance, after which she sang her break out song ‘Water Me’. The show literally unfolded bit by bit as she started out on just a small part of the stage with a curtain behind her. Soon fater, the curtain is removed and she is joined by four dancers in front of another curtain and only about halfway through the show that one drops and we see the band play live too.
The focus during most of the show is on Magdalene, which was released to critical acclaim last month. The title track is presented as a center piece in the show, while the dynamic production of ‘Home With You’ shows off her versatility as an artist. Her rendition of ‘Mirrored Heart’ is heart wrenching. Her vocals are crystal clear and high pitched, but she is not afraid to sound more raw to get across the heartbreak in the lyrics. ‘Sad Day’ and ‘Holy Terrain’ are the only somewhat uptempo numbers and their impact is heightened by outstanding, expressive choreography with her four excellent dancers.
FKA twigs takes her moments to perform some choreography on her own too. During an intermezzo in ‘Sad Day’ she is seen performing with a sword, while she also takes the pole dancing she did in the music video of ‘Cellophane’ to the stage. The audience gasps as she climbs up, and lets her hands go while only holding herself up with her legs around the pole. This is not just a little gimmick she does on the side to entertain, she actually masters the art and incorporates it into her show beautifully.
The whole Magdalene show is a force of nature. Her attention to detail is incredible; the stage outfits are all gorgeous, she makes every single dance move she does look like a necessity and the flow of the songs makes for the perfect build up in the show. When she finally plays ‘Two Weeks’, possibly the biggest tune of her career so far, she truly shines, conveying the sexual tension in the song as well as hitting the sky high notes. During the last chorus, pink confetti falls from the sky and it makes for a mesmerizing finale after which a standing ovation follows.
She ends the show on a pure, stripped back and emotionally raw note with the beautiful comeback single ‘Cellophane’. The pain and heartbreak take over in Carré and those haunting notes she hits must still echo in the room now. Of course, another standing ovation. FKA twigs proves herself to be one of the most creative, versatile and multi-talented artists. This is a show I will remember for years to come.