4 albums, 4 UK Number 1’s, 14 top 40 hits, all in 6 years, how was he going to fit all that into one evening at the Barclaycard Arena?
Ella Eyre started the evening with her hit “Comeback” getting everyone in the arena up on their feet singing and dancing along. She also performed her other hits “Dig A Little Deeper”, “If I Go”, “Gravity” and closed with her new single “Together”. It was safe to say that Ella succeeded in getting the crowd ready for the main act of the night Mr Olly Murs. Ella is certainly to watch out for, and I don’t think it will be too long until she headlines her own tour, and I for one will be there!
As the clock hit 8:40 the Barclaycard Arena was plunged into darkness, but it wasn’t long until the fantastic staging set up came to life, with a magnificent count down teaser, Olly finally appeared on stage to hundreds of screaming fans, with “Did You Miss Me” of his new album Never Been Better.
Taking a couple of minutes to recognise and appreciate his fans Olly took this time to thank everyone for their support over the last 6 years. Back to the music he performed his hits “Right Place Right Time”, “Why Do I Love You”, “Hey You Beautiful”, “Hand On Heart”, “Never Been Better” and his new single “Seasons”. With a few quick costume changes along the way, spectacular dancing, which included a bit of twerking and fantastic band solos the crowd were really into the swing of the concert, that was, until Olly addressed the crowd once more.
Taking a trip down memory lane he explained how it was impossible to fit all the hits into the set. This was greeted by disappointed sighs from the crowd, especially when he said that “Troublemaker”, “Dear Darlin” and “Dance with Me Tonight” had all been cut from the set. However, with the way Olly is, there was no way he was being serious about this, surely?
Taking things down a notch it was time for Olly to introduce us all to his outstanding band, who were all in their own rights amazing. With a grand piano appearing onto the stage it was time for some more hits. Collaborating a group of his songs into one performance, this was something I have never seen done before, and wow, how amazing it was. With just Olly, the Piano and his backing singers he covered “Thinking of Me”, “Please Don’t Let Me Go” and “Busy”. As Olly went off stage for a quick change, we were shown video clips of Olly’s favourite fan videos which have been sent to him over the years, providing comical entertainment, and the occasional sweet “awww” from the crowd.
Blasting back onto the stage to “Heart Skips a Beat” the arena broke into uproar as everyone got up on their feet singing along to the number 1 hit, with more Olly dancing, the concert was back into full swing. Introducing Ella back onto the stage, we were all treated to a special version of his more recent hit “Up”. We were then invited to all dance along with Olly on his next song, “Dance with Me Tonight” which had everyone up on their feet singing and dancing along, during this performance a bridge was lowered down from the celling allowing Olly to dance above the fans to the other stage.
Olly then took it down a notch again, breaking into his hit “Dear Darlin’” which saw the entire arena light up, with fans from all over swaying left to right along with Olly singing along to every word.
Reflecting on the creation of his recent album “Never Been Better” Olly shared with us his favourite song on the album “Let Me In” which he co-wrote with the brilliant Paul Weller, if you haven’t heard this song just yet I really recommend everyone to give this a go!
Olly then dedicated his “Beautiful to me” song to all his fans, with a giant fan wall glowing on the stage with a collection of photos where fans have had the pleasure of meeting the man himself. He then closed his set down with “Troublemaker” before disappearing under the stage.
In complete uproar the arena was shaking with fans screaming and stomping for Olly to appear back onto the stage, no one in the arena wanted to go home just yet. Then as if by magic the stage came back to life for two more songs, “Nothing Without You” and “Wrapped Up”. Unfortunately this really was the end, with the main arena lights coming on fans started to leave the arena on a massive high.
One of the greatest performers around, with a huge fan base, the cheeky Essex boy is one not to be missed. The entire night was filled with comical entertainment and brilliant performances of all his hits. The only criticism that I have from the evening, is that we now have to wait for another concert to be announced, which I hope won’t be too far away!
Reviewed by Chontell Smith