Rita Ora at Malta’s Summer Daze festival was a masterclass in pop performance

As a performer, Rita Ora doesn’t really get the credit she’s due. Whilst people rave about the snake-infused live show of Taylor Swift or wax lyrical about Katy Perry’s left shark dance off; they’re relatively tight lipped when it comes to an Ora gig. Which is a shame, as it absolutely bangs. And her performance at Malta’s inaugural Summer Daze festival was no exception.

After a day of local Maltese artists (including excellent reality-belter Emma Muscat and the Island’s top DJ JJoy), it was time for Ora to perform. With her dancers bounding on stage in cyborg-cum-athleisure get up, they strutted around to an extended introduction of ‘Your Song’, before Ora bounded on stage. Never missing a single beat, her and her dancers moved like clockwork as note-perfect vocals were belted for the 20,000 delighted revellers.

Taking a brief respite, Ora immediately greeted the crowd: “Malta you ready to have some fucking fun tonight? This song I’m about to sing to you is called ‘Poison’” she declared, before the slushy introduction to the club ballad began. Next up was ‘I Will Never Let You Down’, and then Chris Brown collab ‘Body On Me’, and as the vocalist ran expertly through her tunes you were reminded that this is a pop star who’s lowkey been dominating the charts for years.

In between the perfectly choreographed dancing and vocals, Ora took the time to flirt with the audience. “I have to say, I love Malta…you have such a beautiful place and such incredibly nice people,” she told the fans to deafening screams. And then came the empowering speeches, “See, what me and my fans do is we support each other and we love each other…don’t be afraid of who you are!” It’s the standard, onstage shtick, but in this setting, and in front of the young crowd, it felt like a bit of a moment.

The rest of the set passed in a blink of an eye, as Ora blitzed through a host of her high profile collabs. The controversial ‘Girls’ got a full outing, and the closer was a snipped of Iggy Azalea team up ‘Black Widow’ into ‘Hot Right Now’. Sauntering back on stage for the encore, she launched into her seductive, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ sound tracking ‘For You’; but the only song she could have closed with was euro-banger ‘Anywhere’. “Can I just say we could be anywhere in the world but you are right here with me, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else” she told the audience before the confetti filled final chorus. And Ora could say that every night, in a different country, to thousands of different fans; but here at Summer Daze it didn’t matter, because Rita Ora made the crowd believe every single word she said.