If it’s seemed like Dinah Jane has been keeping her burgeoning solo career bottled up as of late, then she fully let the cap loose this week. The 22-year-old launched her first headlining tour over the weekend, a humble four-city trek that acts as a reintroduction of sorts for a star who’s already been at this for seven years.
“Welcome to the first-ever Dinah Jane tour!” she greeted fans at L.A.’s Roxy Theatre on Monday night (November 11). “And bitch, we’re sold out, what?!”
Dinah’s L.A. show was the second stop of her tour, following San Francisco and preceding Chicago and New York. Selling out The Roxy is not necessarily difficult; the theater’s capacity is just 500 people. What is challenging is making that kind of room feel 10 times its size, but Dinah managed to do that by employing all the elements you’d expect of a stadium pop spectacle — the lights, the outfits, the dancing, and the energy in the room were blown up to impressively epic proportions.
Of course, you can’t imitate the feel of a larger-than-life concert without the right music, too, and Dinah had a few tricks up her sleeve to give fans a diverse setlist. Thus far, she has yet to release a full body of work; the closest she’s come is a three-song “bundle” that she dropped earlier this year. Besides that, there have been a few one-off tracks, like “Bottled Up,” “Retrograde,” “SZNS,” and the as-yet-released “I Don’t Mind.”
All of those tracks are accounted for during her live show, and they cover the gamut of Dinah’s emotional and vocal range. “Heard It All Before” is delivered with high kicks, hair flips, and a chant of “little bitch,” while “Fix It” was sung on a stool as Dinah poured her heart into a confessional about mending familial relationships. “Music is a healer. Music brought us together,” she said to introduce the song, tearing up as she pointed to the dozen-strong pack of her family, who danced all night in the back of the room while proudly waving a Polynesian flag.
The rest of Dinah’s 45-minute set was rounded out by crowd pleasers and covers. To no one’s surprise, a couple of Fifth Harmony throwbacks made the set; she handily tore through a two-song medley of “He Like That” and “All In My Head (Flex),” flanked by a trio of male dancers. Her awesomely creative cover choices, meanwhile, could be hints about what kind of music Dinah wants to make on her own in the future. There was an acoustic take on Ariana Grande’s recent collaboration with Social House, “boyfriend,” that incorporated some of Nivea’s R&B classic “Don’t Mess With My Man,” as well as a sultry mash-up of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and Mariah Carey’s “Shake It Off.” (Yes, we’ve all heard “Truth Hurts” a million times by now, but no one’s heard it quite like this.)
By the time she capped her performance with a bass-heavy rendition of “Bottled Up,” her dancers had torn off their shirts and the crowd was sweaty from jumping, but Dinah looked and sounded like she could’ve kept going for another hour. But maybe that’s the point — this tour is introducing fans to her world and showing them what she’s capable of. And the future looks promising.