Gig Review: Keelie Walker – Manchester Arena

Keelie Walker

Supporting Westlife on their big comeback tour, it’s easy to see why Keelie Walker is tipped to be the next pop sensation

Currently supporting Westlife on their big comeback tour, it’s fair to say that Keelie Walker is living the dream. At just 15 years old, the Nashville-based artist is opening for the award-winning pop act on their 30-date UK arena tour – an experience most girls her age could only dream of.

Yet despite her age, Walker is no stranger to performing. Last year, the pop newcomer supported Jason Derulo on his 2Sides World Tour which included a performance at the SSE Arena at Wembley in front of a 12,500 strong crowd.

Clearly, the experience had a positive impact on Walker as she took to the stage for her 20-minute support set at the Manchester Arena. Opening with the catchy HIT ME UP, Walker looks very much at home on stage, performing the high energy dance numbers with ease and enthusiasm and engaging with the audience throughout.

For those unfamiliar with Walker, her music is best described as dance-pop, a genre very much in the mainstream charts at the moment. Her lyrics are full of nostalgia-inducing feelings of love, heartbreak and friendship, as demonstrated in her second single LOUD, a catchy up-tempo synth-pop number which has the crowd on their feet.

Of course, being from Nashville, it comes as no surprise that Walker has a killer voice, her distinct pop-influenced vocal coming through on PIECES, a synth-heavy number with vocals from band 5WEST, and ATTENTION, a cover of Charlie Puth’s 2018 hit, to which Walker adds her own unique pop-dance style.

Her new single NOT YOU follows, which she co-wrote with multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter producer Bryan Todd, best known for his work with artists like Miley Cyrus and Kelly Clarkson, before closing with THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE, a dance-pop banger about falling for someone new.

For an artist so young, it’s impressive to see such a slick show. Walker and her team have clearly put a lot of effort into the performance, teaming up with Beyonce’s vocal coach and Justin Bieber’s choreographer to deliver a high-energy 20-minute set to get the crowd going – which is probably why Westlife chose her to open their show.

Add in the catchy pop numbers and Walker’s engaging personality and it’s easy to see why Walker is tipped to be the next pop sensation.

Keelie Walker supports Westlife on their Twenty Tour until 15 September 2019.