Back in March, Dua Lipa single-handedly revived disco with the release of her vibrant — and now Grammy-nominated — album Future Nostalgia. Following the postponement of her tour, Lipa decided to bring her album to life virtually, announcing her concert livestream Studio 2054 as “a kaleidoscopic rocket fuelled journey.” On Nov. 27, Lipa proved that the concert was just as advertised.
Surpassing essentially all expectations with flying colors, the livestream was an hour of pure thrill. The concert was aesthetically chaotic, overwhelming the senses in the most brilliant of ways — a true, celestial voyage through Future Nostalgia. At times, the performance’s production was so well-executed that it felt more like a short film than a concert livestream.
Studio 2054 took place in a massive warehouse in London, filled with fog, flickering lights and geometric sculptures abstractly hanging from the ceiling. Psychedelic haze surrounded Lipa as she opened with her sophomore album’s titular track, confidently declaring herself the “female alpha.” Her bold lyrics matched her stage presence: Even through a screen, viewers could feel the intensity of Lipa’s energy. She controlled the stage fiercely and passionately, bringing a remarkable vivacity to the livestream.
Accompanied by an energetic ensemble of backup dancers and singers, Lipa spectacularly conquered not one but six major stages. Studio 2054’s set design was beyond elaborate, a seemingly endless vortex of wild fantasies. Just as viewers figured Lipa would return to her initial set, she marched on to a scene more imaginative than the last. She wandered through outlandish neon hula hoops as she sang “Break My Heart,” and whirling roller skaters and astronomical flashing signs soon swirled around her during her performance of “Cool.” With stylish production and intricate set design, Lipa’s exhilarating performance perfectly captured both the futuristic and nostalgic elements of her album.
Inspired by New York’s former disco club Studio 54, Lipa’s livestream was heavily rooted in nightclub culture. The concert often simulated a club setting with the pop star’s ensemble pulsing around her in darkness, their bright outfits occasionally highlighted by colorful, scintillating strobes. The atmosphere always buzzed with electricity, and by using snippets from her remix album Club Future Nostalgia to smoothly transition between songs, Lipa assured that there was never a dull moment.
A multitude of guest performers also graced Studio 2054. FKA twigs thrived solo, pole-dancing as she sang a hypnotizing verse from her unreleased collaboration with Lipa. DJ The Blessed Madonna remixed Lipa’s feminist anthem “Boys Will Be Boys” and “Cool” after Lipa’s breathtaking performance of “Physical,” which took place in a creative set inspired by a roller rink. Later, Angèle and Lipa lit up a plush scarlet living room set as they performed “Fever” together, and soon after, Kylie Minogue and DJ Buck Betty joined Lipa for renditions of “Real Groove” and “Electricity.” Studio 2054 also featured Miley Cyrus, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Tainy and Elton John, but unexpectedly, they did not perform on stage with Lipa — instead, they performed in pre-prepared videos that were creatively integrated into the livestream.
Lastly, Lipa went in for the kill with her final two performances. Illuminated by her album cover’s signature blue full moon in the distance, Lipa hit all the right notes with “Hallucinate” and finished strong with the orchestral Live in Los Angeles remix of her smash hit “Don’t Start Now.” Taking a victory lap as she sang, Lipa revisited all of the studio’s sets and hugged each of her guest stars farewell as glitter rained down.
Studio 2054 is best defined as an impassioned pop disco escape. The level of detail put into the livestream’s production was immaculate, from the angle of every flashing light down to the last sequin on Lipa’s bodysuit. The most remarkable aspect of the livestream, however, was unmistakably Lipa’s powerful stage presence. Lipa has been criticized online in the past for her choreography, but she truly dazzled during her livestream, infusing every performance with fiery energy. With Studio 2054, Lipa proved that she isn’t just a singer — she’s a performer.
Contact Taila Lee at [email protected].