Lewis Capaldi kicked off his 2023 arena tour (‘Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent’) tonight to a fired up, sold out Leeds First Direct Arena.
Being the first of 13 entirely sold-out UK & Ireland shows planned for January and February, there was a huge sense of both excitement and apprehension spreading among the standing fans who, I was told, had been anxiously queuing in the cold for upwards of 10 hours to claim their spot for Capaldi’s long awaited return to live music. The ‘Before You Go’ singer exceeded all expectations bringing eruptions of tears and equally (if not more) laughs as he completely charmed the crowd with his hilarious one-liners and heartfelt tunes throughout the night.
Lewis made his spectacular entrance with a 3-minute LED light display on a screen that lowered over the stage. The build-up had the audience eating out of his hand by the time he jumped out to the 2022 smash hit single ‘Forget Me’. Confetti already flying high in the air, the energy was beyond anything I’d witnessed during the opening number of any arena show!
After, taking time to interact with the odd fangirl on the front row that was now overflowing with gifts and handmade posters, he quickly boosted the entire arena’s egos in his classic foul-mouthed way by expressing, “Leeds you’re my favourite city. I love you. I love this place. You and Bristol are my favourite places but, well, they’re not f*ck*ng here so… there you go!” - reassuring them he was just as happy to be there as they were.
There’s something so relatable and brilliant about Lewis Capaldi, the way he can make each person in the room of fourteen thousand feel heard. Whether it be in his heartbreakingly beautiful lyrics about love and loss or the true Scot’s banter he so eloquently possesses.
Before belting into ‘Bruises’, Capaldi sat upon his piano which was placed 25ft above the crowd atop of the wide screen used to open the show. Suddenly laughing to himself whilst quite reluctantly admitting he wasn’t actually playing! Calling out behind him, “Aidan! Play something for them!” - lifting his hands in the air as a short but sweet keyboard melody play. Taking the moment to sit with the fact he had just outed himself to the fans, he asked Aidan to start playing again for a second to which he blurted out, “Take that Elton John, I’m a rocket man too!” pretending to play and subsequently earning huge belly laughs from almost every person in there.
The ability to be so openly vulnerable with so many strangers, touching on what we can all relate to - the COVID period but also the struggles he’s faced with his own mental health recently, is nothing short of admirable. The ever-growing following of the Scottish singer-songwriter has resulted in a now global platform, something he evidently continues to use to spread his undeniably infectious love and humour.
Fans eagerly waiting on this show to reach their city will not be disappointed. If you weren’t lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket in the general sale, this show is definitely worth the agonising Twickets search! Lewis Capaldi is so clearly ecstatic to be back on stage - picking back up on Monday 16th January in Sheffield.
Lost on You
Heavenly Kind of State of Mind
Before You Go
Wish You the Best
Leave Me Slowly
Hold Me While You Wait
How I'm Feeling Now
Someone You Loved
photos & review by Tiger Brooke
January Mon 16th Sheffield, Utilita Arena SOLD OUT Wed 18th Manchester, AO Arena SOLD OUT Thu 19th Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena SOLD OUT Sat 21st Newcastle, Utilita Arena SOLD OUT Mon 23rd Aberdeen, P&J Live SOLD OUT Tue 24th Glasgow, OVO Hydro SOLD OUT Thu 26th Birmingham, Utilita Arena SOLD OUT Fri 27th Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena SOLD OUT Sun 29th Belfast, SSE Arena SOLD OUT Mon 30th Dublin, 3Arena SOLD OUT
Wed 1st Cardiff, International Arena SOLD OUT Thu 2nd Exeter, Westpoint Arena SOLD OUT