Even before Talia Mar’s highly impressive support slot, headliner Caity Baser is whipping the fans up.  Not prepared to wait, she appears on the balcony to the back of Manchester Academy, laughing, smiling, shouting and waving her arms at the already visibly excited crowd.

It’s just the first time during the night that Caity Baser shows her infectious energy, her enthusiasm and bubbling personality.

Back in the crowd, there’s definitely a buzz.  Fans are singing away to the piped music and there are plenty of lit-up bunny ears in the venue.  The crowd is so vocal that when Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble comes on, you can barely hear it over the singing fans; and when Shania Twain’s Feel Like A Woman is blasted through there’s an almost deafening eruption of cheering, noise and singing.

Around 9pm, Caity Baser makes her way on to the stage.  She stands in the form of a silhouette behind a large paper L-plate signifying her Still Learning Tour.  She dances and moves behind it to a soundbite style introduction of negative comments about how she is ‘too dramatic’, ‘can’t sing’ and more.  The excitement continues to build before she smashes her way through with a baseball bat.  The fans are signing and dancing (and there will be no let up!).

It takes confidence to make an entry to a soundtrack of negativity, and it’s clear throughout that she has no shortage of it.  She bounds around, gyrates, dances and continually whips the crowd up.  And she does it with the hugest of smiles on her face – she clearly absolutely loves what she is doing.

Front Row at Caity Baser – Manchester Academy – 27 March 2024 – images from the gig

Throughout, she puts fun at the forefront of an unadulterated set of pop and feelgood anthems.  But there are plenty of other influences brought in – there’s a nice reggae feel to STD which is an absolutely winner live; ‘80s meets ‘20s  in 2020’s; Showgirl gives swooning flapper girl vibes which fit perfectly and there’s an almost comedic feel to DILF.

The whole set appropriately has a mixtape feel to it.

The tracks delve into empowerment and honesty – and the honesty is something which Caity Baser continues to refer back to throughout the evening.  She opens up throughout on the personal stories behind the tracks – telling of three wasted years on an unsuccessful relationship as she sings Everything Everywhere and destroys a piñata heart with the ever useful baseball bat; through to speaking of the difficulties (and inequality) of wanting two relationships at once.

And in the no-holds-barred honesty, she clearly finds a release, peace and joy.  It’s Caity Baser’s confidence, charisma and clear joy which really shine through and steal the show.  “This is my fucking dream guys” she exclaims – and it really does show.