George Ezra delivers an intimate and powerful evening to a sell to Crowd at Manchester Arena.
On the final evening on what has been a whirlwind 13 date tour, the last three added after the initial 10 quickly sold out, George Ezra returns to another sell out show a week after his last one in the same venue, 18,000 fans packed in the Manchester Arena, to watch an artist that has had a meteoric rise over the last twelve months.
The first thing to note was the diverse age range, having noted that, it was clear this was a family affair, so many children being given their first taste of live music curtesy of mum and dad, let’s hope the buzz and excitement opens the door for these youngsters to keep going to live events in the future.
Tonight’s support is supplied by Norwegian up and coming starlet SIGRID, coming to notoriety with the release of her Don’t kill me vibe, EP. Off the back of that her single Strangers reached the top ten in the UK. Being on a big stage didn’t seem to phase her as she bounced from side to side of the stage, the musical style is more Synthpop-dance pop, edging on Eurovision, with her debut album Sucker punch now released and her own headline tour selling out rapidly, extra date has been added to her Manchester roster.
The stage is set loosely replicating an over sized living room with three giant arched windows, carpets and lamp shades as well as the old gramophone, it was an invitation to come and join the host for an evening of music and stories.
As the last strains of “Don’t look back in anger” by Manchester’s favourite sons Oasis, begins to fade, the clock at the side of the stage that had been held on 6.59 finally clicks to 7.00, “It’s a beautiful day” blasts out over the arena, and the voice of Greg James Radio 1 DJ announces “ what a beautiful day needs is a beautiful Man”, Enter tonight’s host right on que, arms outstretched, immediately picking up his guitar and straight into “Don’t matter now”. Followed by “Get away”, before the third song Ezra explains how he ended up in Spain and how he stayed in a place he had never been to with people he had never met and how his latest album was named “staying at Tamara’s”, “Barcelona” received a great reception.
What’s clear from the beginning is Ezra, wants you to feel at home easier said than done when you are performing to 18,000 people, switching between his latest album and his debut, “Wanted and Voyage”, Ezra was able to mix it up, one minute bringing the pace up another toning everything down, all the time the crowd was alongside and keeping pace.
It’s difficult to pin down Ezra’s style, yes there’s shades of Bob Dylan in there, Woodie Guthrie has certainly been a big influence, is it Folk, Rock, Blues, it’s definitely a combination, what cannot be denied, is how powerful and accomplished Ezra’s vocals are, a soulful baritone, that is as engaging as any melodic interlude played on guitar or keyboard, truly a voice beyond its years.
With a set that included, “did you hear the rain”, “Sugar-coat”, and another song about his travels “Budapest”. Coming back with “Cassy O” as the first of his encores and finishing on what seemed to be the crowd’s favourite, “Shotgun”, certainly the biggest sing along of the evening.
With a host of European gigs lined up along with what seems to be a very full festival season ahead for Ezra. The future is looking just fine, I am sure that the fields will be as welcoming as the arenas.