REVIEW: The Vamps – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Waltzing on stage to the screams of thousands of girls, reluctant boyfriends and unsure tapping of dad feet The Vamps burst into Belfast ready to deliver their own songs and more.
Boasting a crowd of 11,000 people the Odyssey Arena was filled majorly with teenage girls waiting for their hearts to be warmed and tingled by the sweet, sweet voices of three boy bands.
Getting the crowd past the inevitable settling in, shimmying around, ‘help me yellow fleece man where is my seat’ stage and into concert ready mode were four-man Californian band ‘The Tide‘. The 17-18 year olds were signed to The Vamp’s record label at the end of February of this year and have since been taken under the wing of the band, promoting and assisting with both writing and producing. The band were certainly well received in the warm arms of Belfast and successfully began the buzz of what was soon to be a booming crowd.
Soon after Union J paid the excited crowd a little visit. A simplistic set up of four chairs, a black background and incredibly pretty faces the crowd were instantly latched onto what the band delivered – it would seem nothing else is needed to get thousands of girls drooling (take note, boys).
After a short interval the lights shut out in anticipation for the appearance of the four boys crowds had flocked out to see. The darkness was immediately interrupted by a black and white video sequence introducing The Vamps – Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ speech playing against pulses of electric guitar and drums exciting the crowd to a crescendo of screams when the boys burst on stage playing hit single ‘Wild Heart’.
‘Wild Heart’ was one of three introduction songs delivered one after the other, barely giving the crowd time to gather breath in between yelling the lyrics (nailing all notes, obviously). The band delivered what was expected if aware of their songs – an incredibly welcoming, high-energy, electric atmosphere with a lot of encouragement for more screaming, more jumping and more crowd participation. The charisma of the four boys added to the buzz and it would be lies not to give the sweaty, shining bare arms of Tristan and Connor in tank tops a mention when discussing excitement of the crowd (lets not kid ourselves, folks).
Differently to some other concerts The Vamps split the time up evenly, playing videos giving an insight into each members’ home life followed by an individual song/piece. Naturally this played to the hearts of every girl more – show us a boy band member loving his family or playing with a pet dog and you have us forever. This was not only a successful and tactical way to break up the show but it was incredibly interesting both learning about each member on a personal level as well as concentrating on their own individual talent.
As if playing their own collection of songs wasn’t enough, the crowd was treated to a medley of different covers all with the twist of ringing electric guitar, including ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘We Can’t Stop.’ The covers went on to be dotted throughout the show, with Connor Ball giving us his version of Sum 41 ‘In Too Deep’ and the whole band coming together to bash out My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’ to a roaring crowd.
The almost expected bring an audience member up on stage part of the show (which just NEVER seems to be you) was made even more entertaining with a mix up. A 24 year old fan appeared on stage alongside two teens and fed through to Bradley’s ear-piece was the incorrect information that they were her daughters. This was a very funny, clearly unplanned and much appreciated moment, with confusion that was soon blamed on Joe the manager and resulting in the shouts of ‘Blame Joe!’ encouraged by the band members.
After their rendition of ‘Oh, Cecilia’ brought out the reggae vibes the usual tease of ‘we’re finished now’ occurred and the band left the stage. Once the roars were to their satisfaction The Vamps bounced back on stage and gave us two more songs.
An acoustic version of ‘Risk it All’ soon built up to a powerful ballad, followed by the one everyone thought had been forgotten – ‘Can We Dance.’ Both knowing it was the last song and because the beat is too damn hard to resist the crowd jumped until the last note cut, confetti still shooting from the canons and screams only dying down a little. Clare Hogarth, GiggingNI.com