The Wanted at The O2, Dublin – Review
The Wanted played The O2 Dublin last night, March 24th.
Walking into the main stage of the 02 arena I realised I had never seen the seats brought as close to the stage before. The space seemed totally transformed from the vast standing area that usually is there for big gigs. This was definitely the most intimate I had ever seen the 02. I was sitting in the second row and was only about 10 metres away from the extension part of the main stage, I was delighted!
The age demographic from the last time I saw The Wanted in the 02 two years ago had gotten considerably younger… Or maybe it was that I was getting older… I’m not too sure… But I had definitely not seen that many 15 year olds in the one place since my Junior Cert results disco!
First on stage as the pre-warm up act was ‘Elyar Fox’. Channeling Busted’s carefully choreographed jumping with a mix of Jedward’s preppy stage presence Fox bounced around the stage with his clean bubblegum pop songs. His most famous hit ”Do It All Over Again” reminds me of something that Five would have released in the late 1990’s… But unfortunately not as catchy.
Next came the official supporting act and ”new boy-band on the block” The Vamps. With a more edgier pop sound than the previous act and more comfortability on stage, the teen boy-band made a great impression. With more of their songs familiar to me than I’d thought, nearly everyone was singing all of their lyrics back to them which is a great achievement considering they had only released their first single a few months previously.
Bang on 9 o’clock the curtains of the stage dropped to reveal the members of The Wanted’s silhouettes on podiums behind a big screen. They opened the show with their 2011 Comic Relief single ”Gold Forever”. The opening arrangement of the song was dramatic and quite effective with bare harmonies and an almost ‘Ena-like’ sound. When the ‘drop’ in the song came, all of a sudden there was so many overpowering strobe lights I was almost blinded to what was going on. Everyone in our block of seats had to put their hands over their eyes… You most definitely would not wanted to have had photosensitive epilepsy at this gig. The tour set if I’m being honest was a little boring… The only notable thing was that they had a paint splatter back-round. I really expected more, especially from a farewell tour (The Wanted are taking ”time apart” after this tour ends).
The interaction between The Wanted on stage was a little awkward at first, especially between Max and the other members… But as the show went on they started to jell more and have banter on stage. Jay (who seemed to have had quite a few beers before the show) was quite distracted at times, talking to someone backstage frequently. All that being said, he was without a doubt the man of the gig, interacting with fans a lot, blowing kisses acknowledging people in the crowd etc…
Their set-list was well put together, containing all of their singles, but also well known and loved album tracks from their three studio albums. The members of The Wanted also picked up instruments and were able to play a few songs live, proving they aren’t just your ordinary boy band.
The lack of an exciting stage set was made up by good Co2 and pyrotechnics effects which really showed off during their hit songs ”Chasing the Sun” and ”Warzone”. The vocal performances during the show were excellent bar a couple of technical difficulties with Jay and Tom’s ‘in ears’ which caused them to go off tune very slightly, but the problems were sorted in a matter of seconds.
One could see on stage that the concert was quite emotional for the members, especially Dublin native Siva, for the fact that it could be possibly the last time he performs on Irish soil if the band does not re-form after their hiatus. Ending the gig with the smash hit ”Glad You Came” that rocketed their career in the US, The Wanted left their best for last and ended the show on a high.
Review by Ruth McGovern