Sunday, 10 April 2016

Waking Up With The Vamps

Last weekend, we went to see The Vamps on their Wake Up World Tour in London's O2 Arena. After missing our train by one minute in the morning (reminder to always double/triple/quadruple check train times especially when leaving at silly o'clock!!!), we finally arrived in London and had a catch up with a friend before heading over to the arena.

I've never seen The Vamps do a full set before, only a few songs as a support act or at a gig like Summertime Ball/Fusion Festival. For this gig, we upgraded at the last minute so ended up with seats right at the front, just behind the small standing pits so we had a fab view. I've said many times before that I am a bit of a ticket snob and it was so worth upgrading.

The Vamps had three support acts: Hometown, Conor Maynard and The Tide. Irish six-piece boyband Hometown were the first on and performed a mixture of covers and originals. The band, made up of Brendan, Cian, Dayl, Dean, Josh and Ryan, went down well with the crowd, particularly when they performed their hit 'Where I Belong'. Each member showcased their vocals, with Ryan and Cian in particular standing out. They also showed a lot of personality and character on stage - they may not have your stereotypical boyband moves (although Dayl wowed me with an unexpected back flip), but they managed to capture the audience's attention with their great vocals alone.


Conor Maynard was next and I came to the realisation that he is one of my favourite ever people to see live. He's been fairly quiet with new material as of late but it doesn't even matter when he has a string of top bops behind him. The entire crowd were on their feet singing along to 'Can't Say No', 'Animal', 'Turn Around' and 'R U Crazy'. He also did a cover mashup, with songs like 'Work', 'Sorry', 'Pillowtalk' and Trap Queen'. He is so full of energy, always pulling some moves, and you can't help but want to get on stage and jam alongside him. He's also so underrated, he lights up the stage every time he performs and I hope to see him do a headline gig one day.

Conor Maynard

The last support act was The Vamps' very own protégés, The Tide. I've heard a lot about them over the past few months but I've never listened to their music. To my surprise, they were actually quite good. The highlight of their set for me was a song called 'Click My Fingers'. I really felt a connection to it and I'd definitely want to download it if it appears on their debut album! I thought lead singer Austin was a good showman too and really worked the crowd.

After a short interval, it was time for The Vamps. I've waited a long time to see them perform a full set and boy was it worth the wait! From start to finish, every bit of it was just fab. I loved their introduction titles, with each band member making their way to the arena in different ways before they launched into 'Rest Your Love', one of their latest tracks from their second album Wake Up,

It was great to hear lots of material from Wake Up as well as their classic hits. They also performed some covers including 'Kung Fu Fighting', which they recently recorded for the new Kung Fu Panda 3 movie. They treated us to an incredible medley too, including 'Sorry', 'Perfect', 'I Can't Feel My Face', 'Stressed Out' and 'Stitches'. 'Sorry' was my favourite part of the medley - I loved how they managed to pull it off and the guitar solo bit sounded incredible.

During the middle, the boys gave us a few acoustic songs which was a great contrast to the rest of the set. Conor Maynard also came out to help them perform 'I Found A Girl' and they got one of their label signings, New Hope Club, to perform 'Oh Cecilia' with them, which is always a crowd favourite. One of my highlights was their performance of 'Volcano'. To me, it felt a lot heavier than their usual material but I fell in love with it. The stage was on fire, quite literally, and Tristan came out rapping which gave me all the feels haha.

Speaking of Tris, quite easily the standout moment for me was his drum solo. I love drummers anyway but he slayed my life and looked so cool on this revolving stage. I can't even describe how incredible it was, but he was drumming along to 'Whip My Hair', 'Titanium' 'Talk Dirty' and 'Get Ugly' (my favourite bit) - it was just insane! The boy's got ridiculous skills.

The band finished the night with 'Wake Up', the title track from their second album, and a phenomenal amount of ticker tape. It was such an anthemic song to end with, and I was sad to see them go. I would quite happily go and see them again straight away (roll on Fusion Fest).

The Vamps

I must say how brilliant a showman Brad was. He was like a little puppy bouncing around on the main stage and all the way down the walkway - he gave as much of himself as possible to that crowd. In fact, he had the entire audience in the palm of his hand! Despite Brad being centre stage for most of the evening, each member had their own spotlight moment to shine too, which was great to see. Tris, Connor, James and Brad are equally loved by their fans so it's only fair that they all had a chance to showcase their excellent talent.

I loved the stage visuals used throughout - they really added to the atmosphere. The VT's shown in between certain bits of the set were great too. From throwback pictures of the band to the funny introduction of their other protégés New Hope Club, the VT's were moving yet full of personality.

You could tell just how fan orientated The Vamps are too. Despite it being an arena tour, when tickets went on sale, 40,000 tickets were made available for just £10, therefore making it affordable for most people. Their stage also had an enormous walkway running through the middle, which led to a big B stage at the back, meaning that everyone at the arena had a decent view, no matter where they were sat. They were also so grateful throughout the night and acknowledged that they'd be nothing without their fans.

Their entire set was so high energy from start to finish and I truly recommend you go and see them live if you haven't already!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️