Måns Zelmerlöw At The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
Anyone with even the slightest interest in all things Eurovision will no doubt recall Måns Zelmerlöw’s electric performance of ‘Heroes’ that captured the hearts of Europe during the recent 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. Taking the crown with 365 points (the third-highest winner in Eurovision history) his instant presence of likeability and charmingly good looks got thrown into the mix to join the upbeat and catchy offering, also helped along by some pretty eye-catching visual effects to seal the deal on Sweden hosting the 2016 contest next year.
From participating in Melodifestivalen in 2007, 2009 and 2015, Måns is completely in his element with his live performances, and this continued to shine through as he played Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last night. Having travelled to Vienna for the Eurovision this year, I had previously experienced his performances on such a high-energy packed scale of atmospheric bliss, and as such was definitely intrigued to see how this would compare in a much more intimate setting.
Seeing him play with a full band is a welcome change, instantly pumping a surge of live music energy into his set that fans may not accustomed to from previous performances. ‘Someday’ and ‘Oh Brother’ definitely benefit from arrangements in this way, while Måns bounces around with enthusiasm and flashes that knee-buckling smile in all directions. Having the bass, guitar, keyboard and drum elements as support, the powerful nature to his vocals really gets to shine, especially when being complimented by a dusting of harmonies, ‘Stir It Up’, or even the slight hint of synth effects that come to life sporadically, ‘Hearts Collide.
‘Live While You’re Alive’ has a hint of something special lingering within its pop anthem roots. It’s an uplifting vibe of sorts that will have listeners belting out the chorus even on the first listen. In complete contrast to this, Måns also showcased several completely stripped back acoustic tracks, including the 2008 release ‘Miss America’ which really shone his talents from a more raw perspective. He also threw in some mash-up covers which worked really well, from the likes of Coldplay to The Killers, and even Walk the Moon’s ‘Shut Up Dance With Me’ which has been so popular lately on Irish radio airwaves and as such the crowd loved it.
For the duration of his set, he wasn’t Måns Zelmerlöw the Eurovision winner, this was a talented performer with his equally impressive band and a catalogue of catchy tracks you would find yourself instantly knowing the words to. A solid pop rock affair, it’s evident that not only Sweden’s Eurovision successes but also their thriving music scene as a whole are testament to the ability of Swedish songwriters to formulate such specific tracks for their targeted audience.
Leaving ‘Heroes’ towards the end of his set was to be expected, though in hindsight perhaps it would have fared better in the middle of his performance and then to come around again as a possible encore. Nonetheless it was still faultless, his impressive vocals and confident stage presence reminding us all how he most definitely deserved that winning position in Vienna. The memorable background visual effects also made it to Dublin, though this remains at its most effective when viewed at home through a television screen (which of course was the original intended purpose).
Måns has definitely mastered his craft of performing over the years and definitely knows how to get the best from his live act. With distinctive vocals and a confident stage presence on his side, and as his tour now begins to travels around Europe, his dedicated fans will no doubt continue to grow.
Review by Nicole Leggett
Photos by David Doyle