It’s been quite a month for our girl Theia, as we’ve seen her take over the nation in the lead up to (and following) the release of her self-titled EP last week. It makes sense, then, that her first ever headline show was a huge success, with an eclectic range of fans turning up in support of their new fave pop songstress.
Neck of the Woods on K’ Road was the perfect venue to kick of the first show of her EP release tour, with its quirky interior and hella cool bar staff to keep us hydrated, it perfectly reflected Theia’s aesthetic. The room’s personality did a great job in getting the crowd hyped for what was to come, particularly when paired with DJ Alisha who kicked off the night, playing all-female tunes from the moment the doors opened, encompassing the girl power that surrounds and defines this tour.
DJ Alisha was followed by the endlessly enthusiastic Arcee Rapper, who hails from Dunedin, and who over the past year has performed overseas at festivals in Sweden and Germany, as well as supporting other rap artists on a full tour around Europe. The rapper was accompanied by her very own DJ who also provided a melody to her impressive original raps, and the pair provided endless entertainment for the short time that they were on stage. A quick glance around the room at any point would have you greeted with a sea cheshire cat smiles as the crowd was quite clearly loving the slightly-cringeworthy-but-ultimately-fab rap act. Her unwavering confidence and ability to hype up the crowd with her ‘IDGAF’ attitude has surely helped propel her forward in her career and will continue to serve her well as she progresses.
As 10pm rolled around, it was time for Theia to grace the stage. She instantly commanded the crowd’s attention as she launched into the opening track of her EP Silver Second, and proved to everyone who was seeing her live for the first time that her new found fame is totally deserved. I’ve always maintained that there is something about Theia’s music that sets her apart from the scores of other female pop artists that are trying to find their break in the industry, and on Thursday night, I discovered that at least a part of that is definitely the unique tones in her voice. These vocals never once faltered as she made her way through her own songs, and as she put her own magical spin on well known covers; from a special version of Treat You, during which she integrated Drake’s One Dance, to Love is a Losing Game, originally by her life-long musical inspiration Amy Winehouse, every second of the set was engaging. The latter brought tears to my eyes as she performed it a careful sincerity that we all owe our idols, and it showed Amy every ounce of respect that she deserves.
Following this, Theia picked up the mood again by debuting a brand new, ridiculously fun song Tasty (could this be the one written in Canter’s Deli??). While it was unfamiliar to the crowd, it still had everyone dancing right on through to the last three tracks of the set prior to the encore. I was most excited for Everything, with it being my favourite on the EP (“this is a break up song”), and the live performance didn’t disappoint in the slightest, as she provided more of the same perfect vocals, and adorable facial expressions and dance moves. Finally, we were treated to the song that took Theia to international fame – Roam – another of my favourites that never fails to ground me in moments of feeling unsettled and lost. Whether the rest of the crowd acknowledged the depth of the lyrics or not, it’s still one of those songs that you can’t help but bop to, and it had us all begging for that highly sought after encore.
This encore came in the form of another cover of Major Laser’s Cold Water, and while the original is not my cup of tea, Theia‘s rendition once again had me misty eyed as she performed a beautiful piano/keyboard rendition of the song, turning it into something that could undoubtedly be described as beautiful.
Despite her short career, Theia has already picked up some incredibly dedicated fans, who could be seen singing along to every word from her week old EP. From the very first moment she opened her mouth, to the very last note of the encore, the crowd was enraptured by the electro-pop queen. Living up to her stage name, Em-Haley Walker is truly divine, and she effortlessly lit up the room with her gorgeous smile and her modest outbursts of gratitude that came in between every performance. Although short, this show is one that everyone in the room will remember for some time as it undoubtedly marked the start of something incredible for Theia, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.
The last show is in Theia’s hometown of Christchurch tonight, and tickets are still available here.
Treat You/One Dance (Drake cover)
Love Is A Losing Game (Amy Winehouse cover)
Cold Water (Major Lazer Cover)