Talia Rueda ’23
Madison Beer has finally made her touring debut eight months after her first album, Life Support, was released. She has added an exuberance to the world of pop, not only with her histrionic tendencies, but also with her eagerness to relate to her audience. Beer has had a devoted online fan base since 2013, when she was discovered by Justin Bieber.
Beer’s first string of live shows proves the potential that Bieber saw in her eight years ago, while also finally allowing the connection that has been developing between her and her followers since 2013 to manifest itself into a tangible experience.
Throughout the album, Beer works to evoke emotions from her listeners through an expression of her own experiences. Although she succeeds in doing so throughout the entirety of the record, it is quite possible that this endeavor is even more powerfully realized during a live performance, hence fans’ excitement for The Life Support Tour.
Beer’s lyrics display a universal nature that perfectly relates to the young generation that mostly comprises her fanbase. For example, one track from Life Support, the third song she performs during her tour setlist, is “Stay Numb And Carry On,” which includes the lyrics, “Stay numb and carry on/Too young to hate someone/Truth is, it was never love/Your fault if you thought it was.”
These lyrics hold great importance. Obviously, they are the first words in the song, so they are the first that the crowd hears. More notably, however, while they appear to be quite standard lyrics for an artist such as Beer, her audience knows the significance these words hold for the artist and her personal experiences.
Beer’s online fanbase has followed her through her seemingly iconic but apparently emotionally abusive relationship with fellow social media star Jack Gilinsky. Additionally, she has been questioned by the media for years about her stunning appearance, with rumors circulating about whether she had undergone plastic surgery procedures and snide remarks that she should just “stick to modeling” rather than pursue a music career.
With this knowledge of Beer’s personal life in mind, the crowd is already on their toes as those lines open the third track as they are well-aware of their meaning. Audience members know why Beer has preferred to stay numb to the pain instead of reacting.
Fans also relate the feelings she describes to their own lives. Indeed, Beer’s main fanbase, members of Gen-Z, are around the same age as her.
Beer has done a fantastic job of not only forming her community of fans, but also maintaining it. Indeed, she has birthed an audience that is receptive to her life experiences and journey as an artist, and she shares these moments with fans on stage. On social media, videos have circulated in which she demonstrates her intense gratitude to her fans during her live shows, visibly crying while thanking them.
Since Beer’s first performances on The Life Support Tour, she has posted several remarks on social media that showcase the magic of an artist’s developing career on their first tour. She writes, “What an absolute dream come true,” and, “Can already tell I’m probably gonna cry tonight sheesh I’ve sprung a leak.”
Aside from her evident emotional connection with her fans, other notable aspects of Beer’s tour set include those that showcase a more fun side to the artist. “Girl power” anthems including “BOYSH*T,” “Baby,” and “Good In Goodbye” offer the same emotions as songs like “Stay Numb and Carry On” but take an entirely opposite approach to expressing them. Indeed, although Beer discusses similar ideas in these anthems, such as ending relationships or false rumors, she addresses them with more power and capability in the former than in the latter. Performances of such songs are the moments of Beer’s set that are the most pulsating: when her strength is exemplified in her jolting bass rather than her wallowing chords.
Throughout the first half of her set, Beer appears inside of a clear rectangular cube and is pulled around the stage by her dancers. As the show progresses, she ditches the cube and inches closer to the audience. This choreography unfolds as she sings her more intimate songs—the tracks that listeners fell in love with in the first place.
In many ways, the concept of the cube confining Beer at the beginning of her performance, but then no longer being able to contain her, shows her growth as an artist. Life Support deals with serious subject matter, such as Beer’s battles with borderline personality disorder, abusive relationships, and detrimental false narratives about her. Beer has emerged victorious from these fights and rid herself of the means by which the industry has tried to confine her.
An artist’s first tour aims to showcase an ability to conquer the muddled exterior of the world and focus solely on a connection with fans for the first time. Beer has done just that.