Live Review: Maisie Peters // O2 Academy Leeds, 19.10.23

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Maisie Peters is a captivating character on the internet, perfectly pioneering this new era of the loveable yet messy girl-next-door image that has blown up in the music industry as of late. She’s managed to cultivate a huge fan base through her humour and relatability, and over 2000 of them were queuing around Leeds city centre for the sold-out show.

The night was started by Peters’s “bestie”, Gretta Ray, who has just finished her own headline tour in Australia. She sang hits like ‘Positive Spin’ and ‘Upgraded’ which left her overwhelmed at how many people knew her music in the UK. Ray was the perfect match for Peters with a mystical stage presence and she had the crowd screaming and jumping in unison to ‘You’ve Already Won’ by the end.

Soon enough, the stage was lit up with the album’s name in giant lettering and her band blasting the start of ‘The Good Witch’. Peters began by singing the intro off stage before running on to the line “This is Armageddon.” She quickly transitioned into ‘Coming of Age’ and had the whole crowd bouncing, before bringing out her guitar for ‘Body Better’, another song from her latest album, The Good Witch.

Maisie Peters has been able to build a relationship with her fans that makes it feel like it’s just a little girl group gossiping and singing in their kitchen together instead of a sold-out show. This atmosphere extends to her tour where she was constantly catching eye contact with different fans, and this chemistry is even more impressive when you remember this is only her second headline tour.

After a quick introduction, Peters played the slightly older song ‘Love Him I Don’t’ from her first album, You Signed Up For This, and there wasn’t a person in the room who didn’t know the words. The whole song felt like a very communal healing experience even if the lyrics didn’t necessarily relate to your own experience. In that same vein, she followed with an introduction to a fan-favourite from her new album ‘Wendy’. Peters explained that ‘Wendy’ is about trying to have a relationship with someone who’s lost and that while it may be hard ultimately, it’s their loss. The collective heartbreak and pain was tangible throughout this song and the crowd was quite emotional with some tears shed while they screamed “And I’ll still flinch at the sound of a door”.

She then switched up the vibe with the song that Peters herself called her magnum opus: ‘You’re Just A Boy (And I’m Kinda The Man)’. We then danced our way through ‘Watch’ and the song that “kickstarted” her career ‘John Hughes Movie’, which even had the parents at the back joining in. All across the crowd, there were little groups of best friends dancing together which is exactly what Peters intends to do with her music.

Peters said that she wanted to play as many songs as possible in her short set and began an impressive four-song mashup of ‘Two Weeks Ago’, ‘Worst of You’, One Direction’s ‘Night Changes’, and ‘You Signed Up For This’.

After a quick story about red-flag men from the crowd, Peters played ‘Run’ which was yet another crowd-pleaser. She then introduced her band before playing the song she wrote about touring together, ‘The Band and I’, followed by the iconic ‘Not Another Rockstar’.

The highlight song of the night for me was definitely ‘Blonde’. I’ve always felt a real affinity to this song, maybe because Peters sings it with such conviction or maybe just because she released it around the same time I bleached my hair, and it did not disappoint live. Any heartbreaking men in Leeds better watch out because there were 2000+ fans absolutely ready to “F*ck your life up”.

She started to bring the energetic show to a close with ‘I’m Trying (Not Friends)’, which features a verse that blew up on TikTok, and ‘BSC’. We were treated to a second, slightly calmer rendition of ‘There It Goes’, before closing with the song that blew up her new album: ‘Cate’s Brother’. Peters was joined at the front of the stage by her pianist, Tina Hizon, where they danced and sang together, just like all the other duos in the crowd.

After lots of chanting of “Maisie! Maisie! Maisie!”, Peters returned for an encore, grinning and giggling away with her band. The crowd waved their flashlights along to the penultimate song of the night, ‘History Of Man’. Peters and her band brought the night to a close with an impressive performance of ‘Lost The Breakup’, complete with stomps, guitar solos and strobe lighting.

With the speed at which her audience is growing and the back-to-back touring she’s been doing, Peters really embodies the energy of her lyric “I’m kind of busy but like stay in touch” these days. Please do Maisie, Leeds would love to see you again.

Words by Ella Gilbert


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