Five Hundred and fifty four days since Manchester Arena last hosted live music, and what a way to reopen its doors. The Blossoms delivered an outstanding performance. As I stood watching them I could only think of writing a three word review of 'fucking nailed it'. And it's true that's exactly what they did, song after song. I've always been a fan of the Blossoms, but didn't realise just how good a rock band they are until tonight.
As I soaked in the concert, slowly the magnitude of what has been lost for so long dawned on me, and just how much the youth have missed out on during lockdowns and the tight restrictions the entertainment industry had endured since March 2020. Seeing the mosh pits bouncing brought a world of emotion, a reflection of what was lost, and how fantastic it is to have it back.
From the moment the Blossom struck the first chords of Your Girlfriend until ending with Charlemagne, they had everyone on their feet, the younger generation created mosh pit after mosh pit, everyone in there catching up with what they had been missing out on. You have to have something special about you to be able to entertain 15,000 revellers song after song, and the Blossoms showed they absolutely have whatever that is, in abundance.
Their stage setting was a delight, beautifully lit, catering for all members of the band to shine throughout the night. Behind them sat a backdrop of lighting, ready to erupt as the band broke into instrumentals, or dropped in the likes of Blue Monday as they existed Between the Eyes. Even when they took it down a pace everyone stayed stood, soaking in every moment, creating memories of the gig.
What I especially liked, and hope to see more off, was the way they delivered the encore. No messing around with chant after chant as fans wait for the band to return for the final few tracks. None of this nonsense with the Blossoms, I could be wrong, but to me it felt like they really understand what is it to be in that audience and created an encore to match the experience. Joe, Josh, Miles and Charlie exist the stage, leaving Tom standing solo engaging with the audience. Tom maneuvered the audience with ease, getting everyone to light up the arena by phone before playing a beautiful rendition of My Favourite Room. At the end Tom starts a short singalong of Your Gorgeous, followed by Half The World Away, leaving the stages as the Manchester kept belting out the rest of the song. No need for chanting here, the arena finishes the singalong and shortly after the Blossoms return to finish off the crowd with four more, before all left grinning from ear to ear.
I really didn't know what to expect from the Blossoms when I entered the arena. My first time seeing them was at Manchester City Blue Square, where Manchester City cater for upcoming local bands. I'd seen many on that stage, but clearly remember thinking that this band is class, I need to find out who they are, and hoped they would go far. In 2017 I caught them live at Leeds Festival and was strangely underwhelmed, i'm not sure if this was because I came in to their set late, but I do recall thinking this is probably a band i'll listen to more than see live. What an error of judgement that was. Four years on and there I stood witnessing one of the best gigs i've been to.
I'm looking forward to seeing what comes from the up and coming gigs with Rick Astley covering songs from The Smiths.
Support came from the very much up and coming Lathums, and The Magic Gang. The Magic Gang weren't in full force due to having one member down, but still put on a great performance.
There's a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)
I Can't Stand It
My Swimming Brain
Cut Me and I'll Bleed (with Totally Wired intro)
Sunday Was a Friend of Mine
If You Think This Is Real Life
Falling for Someone
Between the Eyes
My Favourite Room (with You're Gorgeous/Half the World Away)
Oh No (I Think I'm in Love)
At Most a Kiss
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