Written by Siobe Morling
Photography by Aubree Estrella
Ever since her signing to Arista Records in 2018, singer-songwriter UPSAHL has been on an upward trajectory to the mainstream alternative scene. Her 2019 song ‘Drugs’ was a hit on both streaming and TikTok, remaining her most streamed song to date. This success led her to co-write with established pop icons Dua Lipa and Madison Beer for each of their 2020 albums. Last year saw the release of her own debut album Lady Jesus, now a year later she has embarked on her first headline tour across the UK, Europe, US, and Australia.
The support acts, Lizzie Esau and Eyelar, both brought strong alternative pop/rock tunes while hyping the crowd before UPSAHL started her set at The Wardrobe. UPSAHL’s bandmates, guitarist Jonny Sim and drummer Ross Hodgkinson, perfectly matched her energy and dynamic stage presence throughout the show.
She starts off the set strong with the album’s title track and flies through a combination of recent releases and fan favourites. All while alternating between her two guitars and rocking out across the stage, constantly coming up to the fans at the front barriers. UPSAHL even includes a throwback to her first EP in ‘Stressed’ right before her slower deep cut and ode to her home state (‘Arizona’). She unexpectedly uses her headline spot to cover Dominic Fike’s hit song ‘3 Nights’ which the crowd lights up at after only hearing the first two words.
UPSAHL continues the set with more tracks off Lady Jesus and just as a personal favourite of mine from an older EP, ‘Sad Sorry After Party’, starts her microphone is cut off and the fire alarm sounds. The gig was unfortunately ground to a halt, but in the uncertain few minutes UPSAHL took the chance to interact with the crowd, joking that the heat from her performance combined with the crowd’s energy set it off. She even signed some fans’ body parts! Once the unknown issue was resolved, she wasted no time getting back into the set, rocking through this last song before her encore.
She returned to finish with three fan favourite songs: ‘12345SEX’, ‘Lunatic’ and ‘Drugs’. The highlight of the night proved to be ‘Lunatic’ as UPSAHL takes the opportunity to come right in the middle of the crowd to rage with us and rock out with her guitarist Jonny. The fans were jumping and screaming the lyrics back to her, a wonderfully personal moment for both artist and fans. To everyone’s delight, she rounds off her stellar performance with her biggest song ‘Drugs’, a sweet nod to her earlier success and one the crowd simply cannot get enough of.
An artist at the top of her game with new music always around the corner, Upsahl’s newest EP Sagittarius is out on all streaming services.