Tate McRae at the Eventim Apollo review: an all-singing, all-dancing, pure pop spectacular

Tate McRae at London’s Eventim Apollo (Supplied )
Tate McRae at London’s Eventim Apollo (Supplied )

We’re in the era of the pop megastar. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande have all dropped new music in recent weeks, while albums from Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are right around the corner. On Monday night at London’s Eventim Apollo, Tate McRae made her own bid for pop superstardom.

The Canadian singer first broke through in 2020 with the delicate heartbreak of You Broke Me First but 2022’s second album Think Later traded in raw bedroom pop for something bigger and far more polished.

With tracks like the attitude driven Greedy, McRae became one of the most streamed artists in the world. Onstage she put on a gig that matched that massive success, and then some.

Split into five dynamic acts, McRae delivered an all-singing, all-dancing, pure pop spectacular that had massive festival stages firmly in its sights.

The show started with a stylised black and white video displayed across one giant screen and two smaller cubes that also housed Mcrae’s live band, before the swaggering Think Later and the euphoric Hurt My Feelings kicked things into gear.

McRae delivered an all-singing, all-dancing, pure pop spectacular (Supplied)
McRae delivered an all-singing, all-dancing, pure pop spectacular (Supplied)

Energetic choreography, an impressive lighting rig and a well-positioned wind machine only added to the drama.

The twinkling Rubberband saw the stage turned into a boxing ring while the end of Cut My Hair featured a wailing guitar solo and the audience beamed onto the giant video screen, making the 5,000 capacity venue feel like a stadium.

Elsewhere, a sweeping You Broke Me First was accompanied by an elegant dance routine that was a world away from the rowdy chaos caused by Exes. Across 18 tracks, McRae dabbled in everything from R&B to rock ‘n’ roll but never shied away from a mammoth hook, always delivered with a playful smirk.

For all the pristine production, it was McRae’s connection to the sold-out crowd that was the most remarkable part of the gig though. Inbetween songs, she would share personal anecdotes about romance, heartache, growing up, coming-of-age and finding herself but each one ended with McRae saying “and then I wrote a song about it”.

She clearly wasn’t the only one to find catharsis in those emotionally driven snapshots either, with every line screamed back to her. Throughout the night, McRae made the personal feel universal.

There was confidence to that relationship as well. After a handful of urgent, upbeat numbers, she slowed things down with the fiercely relatable power ballad Feel Like Shit while Graves perfectly showcased her impressive vocals, with McRae alone onstage pouring her heart out.

By the time the ecstatic Run For The Hills and an extended take on the pulsating Greedy rounded out the show, it was painfully obvious to everyone in the room that a new pop megastar had well and truly arrived.

Eventim Apollo, April 23; eventimapollo.com