Lewis Capaldi certainly did not disappoint last night, performing at our very own Birmingham O2 institute on the fourth night of his debut tour, his largest headliner show to date (according to Capaldi himself). Since his debut single ‘Bruises’ dropped and exploded in 2017, Lewis has become a young “sensation”, breaking into the music industry with his “brooding exploration of love lost”. His emotional depth has been highlighted by many critics, and to this he continues to provide and exceed all expectations of his fans.
And whilst the bar was set high by his fans for last night, Lewis smashed through it. Before he had even started his show, he’d won the hearts of his audience. Out of the darkness came bright flashing pink lights as he blared Mamma Mia into the room and strutted onto stage to ABBA. Whilst, to our disappointment, he didn’t perform a sombre, heartfelt Lewis Capaldi-esque rendition of Mamma Mia to the packed O2 institute, he did open with his newest single ‘Grace’. Released in September 2018, ‘Grace’ is an alternative indie song that perfectly encompasses Capaldi’s husky, emotional sound, therefore being the perfect track to open with.
And if his voice wasn’t enough for a room packed full of Capaldi fans, his humour sealed the deal. His thick Scottish accent, his continual swearing and his stand-up comedy had the packed crowd laughing away. Whilst he thought his conversation was boring, the crowd thought otherwise, making his gig a unique one in which the crowd eagerly awaited both his songs and his conversation.
Amongst his witty conversation, Capaldi played his seven songs, including ‘Lost On You’, ‘Fade’ and ‘Mercy’. ‘Lost On You’ saw Capaldi sing a slow, emotional song in complete unison with the crowd, who knew every single world, and at the end, completely overtook Capaldi to finish the song. The track explores letting go of the person you love, which Capaldi labelled himself as a “depressing and sad” song. However, instead of letting this cause a dip in the atmosphere, Capaldi utilised his semi-drunk audience to join together in chorus and sing. And in this, transformed the song. ‘Mercy’ and ‘Fade’ both captivated as well, along with some new material he tested on the audience. Hollywood, one of his new tracks, saw him leave behind his band and play with his guitar and voice alone. This gave a stripped back dimension to his gig, which highlighted his vocal talent to an even greater extent, showing us just why he became this “overnight sensation”.
He ended the night with ‘Bruises’, being his most famous song, and despite it’s sad message of heartbreak and long-term relationships, had the crowd jumping and screaming his lyrics at the top of their lungs. Lewis has this ability to turn a solemn, serious track of emotional depth into a catchy, upbeat and enjoyable song, perhaps highlighting the reason for his accelerated rise to fame. His unique sound has won him, in 2018 alone, a place on Radio 1’s ‘Brits List’ and on the BBC Music Sounds of 2018. Success in both a recording studio, and live on stage, seems to be the only destination for this 20-year-old sensation.