On Saturday night, fans of Poppy gathered around their screens to watch The Final Disagreement, the first glimpse of the singer since her Grammy performance last month.
Poppy has really made ridiculously large creative strides since her first appearances – improving both vocally and in her performance style. She seemed more comfortable on stage – able to command a room without the need for aggression or excessive movement, stopping everyone in their tracks with just a simple but calculated look into the camera, and well, maybe we were just a little obsessed by it.
The sound quality for The Last Disagreement was brilliant, and Poppy’s voice has come a long way, fitting more comfortably in the heavier mix that has become synonymous with her newer sound. It was electric hearing her doing low metal growls before giving out a little feminine “yah!”. She seems to have perfected the dichotomy between the aggressive masculine-feeling heavy metal and the softer, brighter feminine-feeling pop elements of her sound in a way that is fairly unique in modern music. Without succumbing to how men portray their power, or what they consider powerful, Poppy has found a way to portray female power, and it is enthralling.
The experience had me acting like I was at a concert in real life, rather than sitting on my bed, holding my cat, watching the performance from my laptop screen. It didn’t matter that there wasn’t a crowd screaming along, because I was fixated the entire time as Poppy managed to space out the performance’s intensity extremely well – pacing both herself and the audience in a way a lot of artists cannot quite perfect. It was particularly impressive watching the way that more distorted guitar sounds were included into the poppier songs she sang from earlier eras. It helped the gig run smoothly sonically, playing songs as we know them but with an exciting, but not startling, twist.
One thing that did irk me about this performance is the fact that it ended pretty suddenly. Just as we passed the 50 minute mark, with a quick wave goodbye, Poppy hopped off of stage and just… left. The stream ended and I was left reflected into my dark laptop screen. While a $20 ticket is a great deal for an in-person gig, for a live stream you do start to expect, well more, for that price, even if just nudging it over the hour. Dua Lipa charged fans £7.50 for a 70-minute gig, and yes, whilst Dua Lipa can afford to sell the tickets at £7.50, it starts to make a $20 gig for 54 minutes feel a bit ridiculous. Performing is exhausting, but with it being a digital pre-recorded gig there was ample opportunity for a break before filming the next part.
Regardless, The Last Disagreement was a chance to finally see Poppy take on I Disagree live. While it was a shame we did not have time to experience her new and soon to be released song “EAT”, the set list was great, covering a decent portion of I Disagree whilst taking time to touch on Play Destroy, X, Am I A Girl, Scary Mask, and her cover of All The Things She Said.
From having the honour of watching Poppy perform you start to notice something that, now I think about it, is quintessentially Poppy – control. Her career seems to have moved from the lack of control during the Titanic Sinclair situation (gag) to her empowering new era, starting with I Disagree, where she has better autonomy. She has perfect control over the intensity of her performances, the self-control to pace a gig how she wants it to be seen, she exercises strong control over musically giving the right amount of metal and pop- all things that are extremely difficult to balance. An act like Poppys could easily spill over into excess and lose its power, but even with a gaze down the camera, everyone knows, it’s Poppy who is in control.
Poppy’s The Last Disagreement is still available to watch, with tickets on sale until 9pm GMT tonight