Hayley Kiyoko, or the way she is called on social media the lesbian Jesus, is a 27-years-old American singer, songwriter and actress. She had her breakthrough with the release of her debut album “Expectations” worldwide in 2018. Billboard Women in music has chosen her as the “Rising Star” and MTV Video Music Awards gave her the title “Push Artists of the Year”. You probably have heard her viral hit song “Girls Like Girls” or her hit song from last year “Curious”. With the release of her debut album one year ago I just got obsessed with her music. And of course, I wanted to see her live on stage one day. Thanks to Mainland Music I didn’t have to wait too long. My friend Josephine and I were at her concert in Zurich, Kaufleuten, on the 25th of February. It was also Josephine’s birthday.
The doors opened at 7 p.m. and the first things we could notice were the long queue formed by many teenage girls and the gay flags. As we were inside it felt like in a gay bar. It was cool to have many lgbtq+ community members in one place, nobody had a reason to be afraid of their sexuality or clothing style. Everyone was accepted for who they are. I wish, people could also be more accepting and tolerant in their everyday life instead of judging strangers. Josephine and I gathered a nice standing place on the right side close to the stage.
Support Act: Naaz
At 8 p.m. the support act Naaz went on stage, a 19-years-old singer-songwriter from the Netherlands. With her vivid energy, she made us all warmed up for Hayley. Naaz wore a white oversized sweat suit and had some wild braids as her hairstyle, her appearance was adorable. She was happy and smiling all the time. Naaz performed songs from her debut EP “Bits Of Naaz” for half an hour. I must say that I checked out her music before the concert on Spotify and I can say that she sounds much better live than on audio. Her live vocals remembered me of Camila Cabello during several song parts. She also interacted with the audience like a professional.
Performance of Hayley Kiyoko
After 40 minutes of stage reconstruction and waiting, Hayley started her show at 9.10 p.m. She appeared in a black Puma tracksuit and wore white sneakers by the brand Ash combined with a silver jacket. For the opening, she sang my favorite track of her debut album called “Under the Blue / Take Me In” and kept the high energy with her other upbeat songs “What I Need” and “Girls Like Girls”. Her two male dancers also joined her on stage and they had several dance choreos together during some parts of the songs. I don’t know if it was a good idea to perform her smash hit singles right at the beginning of the concert. After the first four songs, she held her first speech and welcomed everyone to her first ever show in Switzerland. She told us that she is really far away from home but her fans make her always feel like home.
Then she performed further songs from her new album: “He’ll Never Love You”, “Mercy / Gatekeeper” and “Molecules”. In her second speech she introduced the next song and warned us that the lyrics are quite sexual, then I realized she meant the song “Wanna Be Missed”, another of my favorites from her album. Many girls threw their bras to stage during this song. I counted four and Hayley was a bit annoyed by this action. Afterward, it was time to perform her older singles “Sleepover”, “Feelings” and “Let It Be”, I love them all. In her last speech, she talked about the importance of self-love for personal development. She asked everyone to scream “I love myself” and it was the most inspiring and empowering moment of the show. I also agree with her that self-love is a common issue for teenagers since they are finding themselves.
She ended her concert as expected with her hit song “Curious” and with a song called “Gravel To Tempo” from her EP “Citrine” released in 2016. I haven’t heard this song before just as 2-3 other songs from her older EPs she had included in her setlist. However, for this song she went quickly backstage to wear a shiny violet jacket. And was suddenly blossomed into a shining star. I was just thinking why she didn’t wear this jacket before. She waved a gay flag and a Swiss flag before leaving the stage. There wasn’t an encore. Her show only lasted for an hour, she only performed 15 songs. Normally, artists perform 20-24 songs. It was a bit disappointing since she is counting almost 30 songs in her discography and also didn’t cover any other songs. But the fans were grateful for the one hour with the lesbian Jesus. Her two male dancers Ashanti Ledon (Beyoncé) and Jovanni Soto (Demi Lovato) also danced and entertained the audience during breaks whenever Hayley went backstage for short moments.
As a conclusion, her concert didn’t fascinate me since I went to many other mind-blowing concerts. But it was a nice experience to see her performing the songs I listened to last year all the time live. It was also rather an intimate concert due to the venue. It was also an unforgettable Monday evening. Therefore, I want to thank Mainland Music again for making this night possible. I would assume that Hayley is still at the beginning of her international career and her success will depend on her new music. She also has to expand her audience group since her music is not only meant for the lgbtq+ community. From now on it can go both ways further up or in the worst case she will already be forgotten next year. I hope to see her live again on a bigger venue with more fans and a longer show. You can find more footage of the concert on my Instagram @erenblogs. Thank you for reading this far.