A euphoric stop on the Phoenix tour...

Rita Ora delivered a show of pop perfection in London, a city which she fondly remembers as the place where all her dreams came true. Following two brilliant support acts Four Of Diamonds and Moss Kena, Rita’s start came a half an hour later than expected, but as she took to the stage promising an “extra special show” to her London crowd the excitement remained at an all time high.

Kicking off with the dazzling hit ‘Your Song’, the Phoenix tour’s O2 stop began on a note of familiarity, before the psychedelic background of ‘Summer Love’ and booming electronics of her debut single ‘RIP’ left audiences in awe.

With faultless vocals, intricate performances and some impressive air stunts, Rita was through and through a phoenix rising out of the ashes; head held high and smile bright, as she showcased her soaring and emotive voice in tracks ‘ I Will Never Let You Down’, ‘ Let Me Love Me’ and ‘Coming Home’.

The show was definitely special with multitude of surprise guests who made an appearance. ‘Best friend’ duo Charlie XCX and Rita performed anthemic duet ‘Doing It’ before seamlessly segueing into Ora’s haunting single ‘Only Want You’.

London and its audiences hold a dear place in the pop icon’s heart. She exclaims: “There are some really special people in the crowd tonight. Every single one of you!”

This may seem like a simple comment from an artist who loves her fans. But her progressive bop ‘Girls’ which urges everyone in the crowd to love themselves regardless of who they are, where they come from or who they love, speaks volumes of Rita’s acceptance of and pride in every single person in the room.

At the halfway mark of the 90-minute set came the next surprise – in the form of Sean Paul. Amping up the crowd with their version of the Jamaican dancehall rappers 2003 hit ‘Get Busy’ and Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’.

Whether on her own, or with massive talent standing by her side Rita exudes an ease and charisma that pulls people in and refuses to let go. Even as she steps out of view with only talented backup dancers to keep the audience attention – it is her everyone is thinking of, it’s her whose next sparkling dress will catch eyes, and it’s for her that people dance without a beat of rest.

Rita impressed crowds, but the loudest cheer came when she combined forces with her final guest for the evening – Liam Payne. Performing ‘For You’ the first track of the encore with the ex-1D star chemistry is off the charts, and throats are screamed hoarse. While most of the final impact for the night went to ‘For you’, tracks ‘Anywhere’ and ‘ Lonely Together’ which closed out the night was met with equal love.

Rita’s stop at the O2 was a euphoric night of love, dreams, and acceptance – and everyone in the room probably left loving Rita and themselves more.

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Words: Malvika Padin

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