Her hearts in Havana, our hearts with her.
Camila Cabello performed her first gig in London this week, taking to the iconic Brixton Academy stage, and the evening was an empowering, inclusive, fun, yet poignant gig.
After following her opening act Drax Project – who absolutely rocked it in their own right with their cover of Ginuwines Pony and their original track Woke Up Late (hear Shaan Singhs ridiculously good falsetto yourself and youll agree) – Camila arrived on stage to deafening screams to perform her tour title track, Never Be The Same.
At first the staging appeared bare, with an all black theme making some of the goings on hard to see, but it quickly became clear that the simplicity of it had the desired effect – the eye was drawn to Camila sparkling like a pearly queen in her bejeweled jacket. Less is more after all.
It was particularly effective during All These Years as in a Strictly-esque move she sang as two sets of dancers dressed all in black danced around her, acting out her words of bumping into an ex years after a nasty split.
There were a few seemingly useless interludes, as the singer didnt come back in a different costume and the staging wasnt changed, but fair one, perhaps she just needed a quick pee and a moment to catch her breath, given that her head flicks alone would be enough to earn a five minute lie down afterwards – yet she danced for the entire gig while singing and finding time to interact with the crowd.
At one point the fun paused for a second for a poignant political statement as she introduced her song Somethings Gotta Give by telling her audience the meaning of the track had changed for her, and as she sang a tear-jerking VT played from the March For Our Lives protests.
It was followed by Scar Tissue, which Camila used to tell the crowd to be accepting of who they are.
I wrote it during most broken period of life, she said. This taught me an important lesson about pain. What I learned is theres no way to get around it you have to get through it, thats the only way.
You can only be so loving and so patient with yourself. Sometimes we are way too hard on ourselves.
She then spent time telling her young crowd – a large portion of the audience were accompanied by parental chaperones – to be kinder to themselves when times feel tough. A poignant message in the current climate.
Throughout the entire show she seemed to have an affinity with the audience, like she was performing for a group of friends, stopping to chat about how theyd known her since she was 15, even bringing some of her die-hard fans on stage at one point.
And later, to give that something extra back to her fans, she brought a surprise guest on stage in the form of Anne Marie, and the two belted out the track Rockabye.
As the show drew to a close, Camila grabbed a rainbow flag from the audience and began punching the air with her fist, calling on her fans to do the same.
Its so good to see so many cultures, so many sexual orientations represented here, she said as she told the crowd to punch the air and fight for themselves.
The night ended with a Havana, and with an empowering vibe of self acceptance.
Camila, if you ever want to come back to London, youre welcome any time. Just take it to a bigger venue and lets get more fans involved.
Camila Cabello setlist
Never Be the Same
She Loves Control
Bad Things – Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello cover
Cant Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley cover
All These Years
Somethings Gotta Give
In the Dark
Rockabye – with Anne‐Marie
Know No Better – Major Lazer cover
Crown – Camila Cabello & Grey cover