OK, first stadium tour, this band nailed it and have their sights on being the next biggest band in the world. And they could do it, the combination of boyband singer, choral vocals and solid musical crew on stage appealing to as wide an audience I have witnessed, from teeny bopping office girls to loves young marrieds, babes all babysat, to grizzled AW types like me. Singer Dan Smith jumped and jogged his way through the 90 minute show with gauche abandon, all self deprecation about his lyrics and his dancing, yet canny enough to constantly thank his audience, with reminisces as to the exact wheres and whens of previous Birmingham shows. Maybe nearly every song they know, certainly all the ones I know, from their 2 LPs, the live band was augmented by the same brass section as in the Glasto coverage, as well as now a 2 piece cello and violin string section, each of which, brass and strings, expand the electronica of the core band to good effect, adding an organic earthiness. Video backdrops carefully choreographed the onstage sound, echoes of U2, yet without the knowingness, and Smith won over the audience repeatedly by leaping offstage to appear in the centre of the arena or, memorably, up on the balcony. Midset, a mash cover of Rhythm of the Night/Rhythm is a Dancer, sung from the midst of the audience, was near a highpoint, were it not for the strength of their own material. Kyle Simmons, meanwhile, keyboad barista, kept the sound conducted back on the stage, the band as a whole managing to make their presence felt, avoiding the Coldplay who are they phenomenon. And how often is tummy rumbling bass effortlessly swapped between 3 different members of the band? Wonderful wonderful uplifting show.
Thronged for a school night, the concrete floor bouncing. If anyone was not a fan now, they are now.
It made me think..
Where is Top of the Pops when it is so badly needed?