LIVE: The Wanted – Odyssey Arena, Belfast

the-wanted-in-underwearThe music industry is a wonderful thing for adoring fans around the globe, desperately seeking to share the room with their idols. The multi-platinum selling artists that travel the world playing in arenas and stadiums in some of the biggest and most famous cities around the world. For those musicians and performers inside the industry, it can feel lonely and demanding. In January, The Wanted announced a hiatus to focus on solo activities but will regroup in future on the possibility of reuniting. But on Tuesday, they brought their tour to the Odyssey Arena, Belfast to bow out in style.

Gracing us first with British-gone-Californian style and presence Elyar Fox bounced on stage to the eruption of hundreds of high pitched screams from those eager for the house lights to dim. Fox, stage persona for his actual surname of Afshari, was eager to perform and get the crowd jumping with good renditions of ‘Do It All Over Again’ and latest single ‘A Billion Girls’. There were posters in the crowd with Elyar’s name displayed, surrounded with hearts and his announcement for the opportunity to hang out backstage with him after the show sent the screams into the heavens.

To the delight of many The Vamps were announced as support prior to Spring and their performance on the night was as polished as could be for an act of their stature. Arguably song of the night ‘Wild Card’ resulted in joyful screams and an array of jumping around the arena as the band, whose average age is 20, worked the audience making some of the fans’ nights. ‘Last Night’ also didn’t fail to impress as the British pop rock outfit cemented their place in Belfast’s heart and surely secured a number of pre-orders for their debut album Meet the Vamps, due out April 2014.

For those who don’t know, The Wanted was formed when open auditions were held to find a new boy band. Years later, the group have gone on to conquer both the United Kingdom and America and supported the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Bieber in Brazil. To put this into perspective, The Wanted are relatively huge. The announcement of their hiatus in January sent ticket sales in a frenzy, sparking sold out shows and sales of A1 cardboard paper soaring.

With custom posters in hand in the Odyssey Arena, fans gathered in their thousands to witness the curtain fall down as fireworks announced The Wanted’s arrival on stage in true boy band fashion. Lined up in five podiums, with the classic staircase awaiting their footsteps, the outfit were vocally outstanding as they performed hits like ‘All Time Low’, ‘Warzone’, ‘Chasing the Sun’ and ‘Lightning’ making use of the stage’s scissor lift as they were elevated to tens of feet above the crowd’s deafening shouts.

With several costume changes, flames and confetti all making the show a spectacle, the hundreds of fans with grins on their faces and arms aloft loved every minute. ‘Walks like Rihanna’ did it’s best to get bodies dancing not forgetting ‘Running Out of Reasons’, ‘Demons’ and ‘Glad You Came’ which successfully wrapped up The Wanted’s night out in Belfast. Mark Dunn, GiggingNI.com