Mimi Webb’s spent her entire career trying to keep up with the success. The 22-year-old first broke through during the pandemic with the mournful ‘Before I Go’ while 2021’s Seven Shades Of Heartbreak EP saw her dubbed TikTok’s Queen Of Heartache.
Coming out of the pandemic didn’t slow things down either. She came third on the BBC’s Sound Of 2022 list, finishing below Wet Leg and PinkPantheress, and earlier this year she was nominated for Best New Artist at the BRITs. Her music has been streamed over a billion times. With all that early acclaim, Webb had more than most riding on her debut album. But rather than more of the same lovelorn vulnerability, Amelia saw the popstar start to experiment with up-tempo, feel-good anthems.
Still, throughout Webb’s back catalogue there’s a recurring message of empowerment and tonight, as she plays her biggest headline show yet at London’s Eventim Apollo, it’s a lesson that takes centre stage.
The pre-recorded opener sets the tone from the off, with Webb telling the crowd how social media can make it “feel wrong” to be sad or down when really, “it’s one of the most human experiences you can have.”
“When you’re standing on the edge, scared you’re going to fall – just hold on a bit longer,” she encourages. “Because you may fly higher than you ever have before.”
It’s this aspirational, comforting message that sits at the heart of a show that sees Webb live out every one of her popstar fantasies.
The twinkling ‘Ghost Of You’ kicks off a deafening singalong that doesn’t subside for the duration of the gig while ‘Remind You’ is given a classic rock reworking, courtesy of a three-piece band that also shine during the epic ‘24/5’.
The song ends with a blistering guitar solo and sparks raining down from the ceiling before Webb checks her hair, just to make sure she’s not about to catch on fire. It’s perhaps the only moment in the whole set where she looks unsure about what’s happening.
18 months ago, Mimi Webb was playing venues like the 800-capacity Scala but she never looks lost on the Eventim Apollo’s massive stage. With an infectious call-and-response, tracks like ‘Halfway’ were clearly written with spaces like this in mind, while the optimistic ‘Is It Possible’ sounds like the emotional crescendo of a West End show.
“I’ve been dreaming about this day my whole bloody life,” Webb says in disbelief before breakout track ‘Good Without’. “This will always be the most important song of every show,” she continues and judging by the reaction of the crowd, she’s not the only one emotionally invested in the self-empowering anthem.
A quick costume change follows and Webb’s back for a run of tropical pop songs, with recent hit ‘Freezing’ coming alongside a flurry of confetti before she strips things down for ‘Amelia’.
“I wanted to write this song to put down the message I needed to hear when I was younger, says Webb ahead of the track, revealing that she struggled at school because of her dyslexia. “It was rough back then. I always knew I wanted to be a singer, but it feels impossible at times. Writing down the message that ‘everything is going to be ok’ really helped me and I hope it helps you,” she tells the crowd before telling them “it’s all going to work out.” The singalong that follows is explosive.
It’s easy to dismiss Webb’s chart-friendly pop because a lot of it does pull inspiration from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, Adele and Dua Lipa. But her songs clearly mean a lot to her fans. There’s a relatable message behind every one and, more than once, Webb encourages the crowd to follow their dreams, hoping to inspire the next generation.
However, fierce, funny and dramatic songs like ‘Red Flags’ and ‘House On Fire’ see Webb start to come into her own as an artist. It’s those swaggering songs that close out the show and, as confetti fills the room, she declares that “tonight was the best night of my life.”
Once again, she clearly isn’t alone in how she’s feeling. This show proves that Mimi Webb could well be TikTok’s first truly great popstar.