Saturday, 2 April 2011
"The Heart Never Lies"- McFly, Wembley Arena, 01.04.2011
As this blog will probably tell you, I'm a little bit of a fan of live music. I'm nearly 18 now but have been lucky enough to attend many gigs in many wonderful venues, and very rarely have I been to a concert where I haven't found something to enjoy about it. I love queuing up, I love walking past merch, I love running towards the front in the hope of getting a position at the barrier. Hell, I might even go as far to say I enjoy the bag search. I can accredit this ingrained love to one band and one band alone, and that is McFly.
Asides from S Club 7 at the Birmingham N.E.C when I was 6 years old, a gig I barely remember, McFly were the first band I saw in concert. I was nearly 12 at the time, and completely in love with Danny, Tom, Dougie and Harry in a way that only a young, boyband obsessed girl can be. That feeling of being so overwhelmed by somebody's music and then finally getting to see them in the flesh is incredibly exciting at that age and a feeling that has never really left me.So from that day forth, I resolved I would attend a gig on every McFly tour, and here I am, six years later, a fully fledged McFly Pioneer member on their fantastic Super City Website and about to blog for you all about my tenth McFly concert, one of the most sonically impressive I have attended.
I am pleased to report that the lust fuelled pushing in the standing section that I've come to expect from McFly gigs appeared to be a thing of the past as I took my position on what would be Tom's side of the stage: I'm Team Fletcher all the way, plus Dougie's side was already about 60 deep with jostling fans presumably wishing to show their solidarity at his release from rehab, or else stare at his boyish good looks. Either way, it wasn't long before the first support band took to the stage, by the name of That Sunday Feeling.
Now, McFly unfortunately have a reputation for picking pretty average support bands (Lil Chris in 07 anyone?), so I wasn't holding high expectations. This was probably for the best. That Sunday Feeling were reasonably inoffensive in the same way their name suggests: you get a day off, but you can't enjoy it because you know you've soon got to be back at work. Relying on usual tactics to get the crowd going (screaming "WHO'S READY FOR MCFLYYYYYYYY!", not to mention a covers mashup of Bruno Mars, Kings Of Leon and er, Wheatus), they at least deserve kudos for working the stage with an air of campness, and for shamelessly plugging their surplus of merchandise.
One band and three songs down, we moved on the City Stereo, who proved a vast improvement on a very similar sound to That Sunday Feeling. Though they may have shamelessly ripped off Kids In Glass Houses "Easy Tiger" in the form of their third track that I have completely forgotten the name of, they at least had a good sound balance, catchy hooks and a pretty rapid limbed drummer that kept the show on the road.
Another three songs gone and The Struts were up, thrust before our eyes in a whirlwind of scissor kicks, Mick Jagger hair and the most ridiculously clothed frontman I have seen in a very long time. Evidently more charismatic than either of the previous bands, they got the crowd going more out of humour than willingness. It is still my sneaking suspicion that they got the gig due to their guitarists uncanny resemblance to a young Danny Jones, but I will let this slip as by the time they concluded with "Where Did She Go" I found myself with a reluctant smirk on my face.
So lets get to the main attraction shall we? Prior to the gig, my childhood heroes had promised a setlist longer than they'd ever played, a stage unlike anything they'd had before and a cover that would prove a big surprise. In my opinion, they delivered all three. With enormous Super City logo's bearing down upon the stage, mesrrs Poynter, Judd, Fletcher and Jones graced, or rather stormed the stage with born opener Party Girl, following it up with fellow Above The Noise tracks Nowhere Left To Run, iF U C Kate and That's The Truth, without pausing for breath. I was delighted to see my boys in such fine form and really feeding off of the crowd, who were bouncing along and singing every word.Chopping back to the Radio:Active days with Lies and a delightfully unexpected Corrupted, we were all reminded just how many songs they've accumulated over the years.
One of my favourite things about McFly is that they never play a song the same live as it in on record. A perfect example of this was their medley of All About You and Obviously, taking two song that's they know can get a little tedious and turning it into a jolly anthem.Clearly bolstered by the baying crowd, they brought things down a notch with sultry ballad-turned-jam I Need A Woman, complete with some rather risque vocal delivery and dancing from Tom that caused a collective sigh of lust from his side of the audience.It could be said that Fletcher was indeed the star of the show, playing not only his own guitar, but bass during Transylvania, and drums during 5 Colours In Her Hair. Not only this, he made it a family affair when he brought his very own Dad on stage for a serotonin loaded rendition of Smile. Nothing like bringing your dad to work with you eh?
As always, McFly turn up not only to play, but to entertain. Only they could get away with flaming signs, glass platforms that hover above the stage as they fire t shirts from handheld cannons into the crowd, giant inflatables that bounce around the audience, and a fantastic cover of Tinie Tempah's Pass Out with just the right balance of humour and professionalism. It takes a lot to move from becoming a guilty pleasure to a genuine classic live act, but by the time Tom dedicated an emotionally charged version of The Heart Never Lies to "every person who has stuck by us and given us the best job in the world for the past 7 and a half years, because we love you all", it's incredibly difficult to believe that he doesn't mean every word, cheesy as it sounds. Not once during those 105 minutes did I feel that any member was giving anything less 100% - they never miss a beat, they interact with every section of the arena, they joke with the crowd and most importantly, they're having the time of their lives, even after all this time. It pains me really that they are not more of a national treasure, for I can't think of any pop act as unpretentious, innovative and unashamed to love what they do and share it with the nation as McFly. I'm 10 gigs in, and still have no intention of stopping. Or growing up.
Nowhere Left To Run
IF U C Kate
That's The Truth
Falling In Love
All About You/Obviously
I Need A Woman
End Of The World
Smile (Featuring Bob Fletcher)
5 Colours In Her Hair
The Last Song
One For The Radio
The Heart Never Lies
Shine A Light