There are very few artists who could get me on the verge of tears of joy after their set. There are even fewer that I’d ask to pose for pictures with. MØ, AKA Karen Marie Ørsted, is one of them, and I have the #sorrynotsorry selfie to prove it. Ladies and gents, it’s time to grab your scrunchies and braid your hair, and bow down to the her royal highness, the Danish Princess of Pop. MØ unashamedly embraces the pop star persona, but does it on her own terms. She refuses to be manufactured, and thus becomes the perfect pop star; confident onstage presence, relentless dancing, a distinct but not unattainable image, brilliant back up band, and no dance routines or meat dresses, just the star quality that now seems so rare.
She enters the stage in a furry black 90s raver jacket. In a state of Mean Girls-esque awe I make a mental note to also get a black 90s raver jacket. ‘Fire Rides’ opens the show with spangling guitar and an electronic pulse that Ørsted takes as an instant opportunity to punch the space in front of her and leap and bound around the large stage, framed by a projected backdrop of looping greyscale lips opening and closing, a loop recognisable from Ørsted’s videos. She follows this by a rendition of ‘Maiden’, where she effortlessly dominates the stage, the audience, the ceiling, the balcony, the sound desk and the toilet, to create a fucking brilliant party. A party that only intensifies as ‘XXX 88’ is played.
She jumps into the audience for a remixed and sped up ‘Freedom (1)’, from Bikini Daze, where her disciples clamour around to listen. As she sings “freedom is like this, we can go anywhere” to the group around her, it’s like watching a revolutionary leader talking to her followers; her charisma is tangible. It also looks like MØ saw the party from above and couldn’t resist the temptation to join in. A few tracks later, she momentarily disappears from sight and reappears on the balcony to perform the pseudo-ballad ‘Never Wanna Know’ whilst making a walking tour of to upper tier. Taking her initial bow after ‘Walk This Way’ and ‘Glass’, Ørsted returns for an encore of her Spice Girls cover ‘Say You’ll Be There’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’. “Nu skal vi have lidt Spice!”
As her body rocks from side to side in the slower moments, and her long plait reaches ridiculous heights on the faster ones, it is clear that I am watching the coolest performance thus far this year. Every member of her almost all-female audience wants to, in descending order of how awesome it would be, either a) be her b) be her BFF c) help her form a new girl group. But in a way, it’s like she already has one. Her proximity to her fans is unique. It’s easy to say how much you love your fans, or Little Monsters, or whatever, but MØ’s dedication to and love of them is incredibly believable, just as everything else about her is. There is no affectation, just pure, unadulterated stardom.
And yes, I am seriously fan girling. HRM MØ.