Doja Cat at The O2 review: Grammy-winning rapper painted the town red in spectacular fashion

 (Getty Images for Coachella)
(Getty Images for Coachella)

London witnessed not one, but two, Trooping the Colour parades this weekend. The night before the King celebrated his official birthday during Saturday’s ceremony, Doja Cat painted the town red with the first of her sold-out shows at the O2 Arena.

Loyally sticking to the theme of her album and tour title – Scarlet – her first London date saw thousands of fans swarming Greenwich, all dressed to the nines in their best blood red, gothic glad rags.

The stage itself was decorated with what looked like giant hay bales, though when the lights came up it was revealed that they were in fact plinths of long, blonde hair.

The LA rapper was preceded by her four backing vocalists, who emerged on stage performing the gospel-inspired chorus of Acknowledge Me, Doja Cat herself joining them from behind one of the walls of hair.

Her outfit was somewhere between Pamela Anderson in Barb Wire and the costume shop version of Sexy Teacher; yellow, latex, and even more see-through, the more she sweated. She had whipped off the trench coat by song three, but her delicate spectacles stayed impressively in place throughout the show.

During fourth song, Demons, it was as if Rapunzel had let her hair down from above the stage. A golden braid fell from the heavens, which Doja Cat proceeded to dance with, and tie around herself. Following this brief, hairy cameo, the arena turned Oz green as the star burst into 2018 hit Tia Tamera.

Aside from the various iterations of hair that joined her onstage, her entourage was fairly small, with her four vocalists doubling-up as backing dancers.

In comparison with her major Coachella headline performance earlier this spring – which featured a mud pit overspilling with writhing dancers – at this show, 20,000 eyes were transfixed by Doja and Doja alone.

She’s known for her impressive dance segments and she didn’t disappoint; tumbling around the stage, extending her limbs to unfathomable angles and falling into the splits by song six.

“I would say you guys are in my top three crowds of all time,” she proclaimed, following a roaring reaction to hit single Get Into It (Yuh), before diving into Say So and Attention.

The most spectacular moment of the evening came via 2021 single Streets, for which the performer was raised into the air on a levitating stage and framed by fire.

Like a scene from Dante’s Inferno, Doja’s sickly sweet falsetto and lewd bars lured us willingly to the pits of hell. If this is what awaits beyond the river Styx then I’ll see you on the other side.