Packed from wall to wall, the Studio at Webster Hall was nothing short of a mini Pridefest and dance party when it welcomed Los Angeles native pop star Hayley Kiyoko
this past Wednesday night. Kiyoko kicked off the One Bad Night Tour right, with a sold out show and a crowd that radiated the same energy and attitude as she did all night long.
We were first able to catch Kiyoko's label mates, A R I Z O N A
, as they opened up the show for her and set the tone for the night. These fellows from New Jersey brought everything they had with them and didn't disappoint. With some rockin' keys, a solid lead guitar, and uniquely powerful voice, A R I Z O N A warmed up the crowd and got the party started with some heavy dance beats and an overall top notch pop performance. Frontman Zach Hannah hyped up the crowd with the band's hit "Where I Wanna Be," released just last year. Hannah took a quick moment on stage to reflect back on the band's progress in the past year, "our first show ever was a year ago right here at Webster Hall...I was so nervous." Members from the audience quickly reassured with the cheers and shouts that they were just as great then as they were now. Hannah and his bandmates all agreed on stage that "Webster Hall is basically home to us." A R I Z O N A's creative drum synths mixed with their classic pop styling created a great atmosphere for the crowd and got everyone set for Hayley Kiyoko.
It didn't take long in between set changes for the crowd to grow antsy and begin cheering and shouting for Hayley. By the time the clock struck nine Kiyoko made her appearance and the shrieks roared through the walls of the Studio. As the first chord struck for Hayley's opening number "Gravel to Tempo" the bass shook the wooden floor and she dived in. Throughout the course of her set Hayley performed a number of songs off her latest EP Citrine
released this past September and her previously released EPs A Belle to Remember
(2014) and This Side of Paradise
(2015) as well. In a quick emotional moment on stage Hayley thanked everyone for her recent success with the release of Citrine
and selling out nearly every date on the tour no matter the city, "...this is the first show I've ever done with people singing along to every word...thank you, New York." The sold out audience radiated love back to Hayley as she serenaded the entire room with one of her latest singles off of Citrine,
The "Kiyokians," as Kiyoko refers to them affectionately, seemed to be falling in love with her more and more every minute of her set. Throughout the night she surprised the audience with her skills on a bright neon green vertical drum pad as well as the bass guitar which she whipped out for her 2015 single "This Side of Paradise." Even with all the dancing and the serenading though, nothing could compare to the reaction of the crowd as Hayley returned for her encore at the end of the night with her top hit, "Girls Like Girls." The song that launched Kiyoko's rapid success and quickly became an anthem to queer women everywhere nearly knocked the paintings off the walls of the Studio as the crowd all chanted along.
Hayley Kiyoko managed to turn a sold out Studio at Webster Hall into an intimate dance party for everyone to feel free in a safe zone. With a few more stops to go on her The One Bad Night Tour, we're excited to see just what she'll do next and what inspiration the tour leaves her with.
[Photo Credit: Angela Ramos]