Music Reviews

“A Treat Of A Show With Something For Everyone” – Live Review: Rina Sawayama @ Rock City

Darcy Kelly

Just like Joe Exotic, Joe Wicks and Zoom, Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama shot to fame in Lockdown 1, achieving this with the release of her debut studio album ‘Sawayama.’ Since then, Rina has performed at venues such as Coachella and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. But, on the 18th of October 2022, Rina brought the tour for her second studio album ‘Hold The Girl’ to almost every University of Nottingham student’s favourite nightclub- ‘Rock City.’ Darcy Kelly reviews.

Opening with Minor Feelings, Rina looked every inch the pop star as she stood on a raised platform with her long, black hair dramatically flowing in the wind. When she first addressed the crowd, the singer explained that the aim of the night was for everyone to “Slay Together.” Thus, from the first five minutes of her set, the crowd could tell that they were in for a treat.

Rina advising her fans during her concert to seek therapy to heal their inner child was refreshing to hear.

Rina ensured that the crowd’s eyes were glued to the stage by making her whole performance a spectacle. She achieved this through three costume changes and by having two incredibly talented backing dancers who gave 100% to every movement. Although the set design was rather plain, this was made up for by Rock City’s many stage lights that Rina utilised by having the colours of lights change to fit the mood of different songs. For example, during This Hell, red light flooded the stage which combined with the grey stone style backdrop behind the singer to create an archetypal image of hell, making it look like Rina had been transported into a Hollywood movie set.

One of the best elements of the concert was Rina’s fans who were consistently kind. Moreover, in an age of celebrities promoting dangerous things such as diet pills and toxic masculinity, Rina advising her fans during her concert to seek therapy to heal their inner child was refreshing to hear. Essentially, the concert was a safe, welcoming space where there was very little pushing in the crowd (something rare for a night at Rock City).

Prior to performing Send my love to John, Rina explained that the song was about emotionally scarred children who never received an apology from the parents who had hurt them. More interactions like this would have improved the concert by Rina’s fans getting to know her, and the intentions of her song’s, better, as it felt like Rina only talked to the crowd a handful of times. Also, a few mashups here and there would have utilised the time better so that the crowd could get to enjoy more songs as only 17 were played.

Overall, whether you prefer a concert where fans sway, teary eyed with phone flashlights on or where everyone jumps to a house-style hit (which will give you déjà vu to a Crisis night), a Rina Sawayama concert will have something for you.

Darcy Kelly

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @rinasonline via No changes were made to these images.

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