On Tuesday, March 12, Robbie Nichols headed to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena to see George Ezra’s ‘Staying at Tamara’s’ tour stop in Nottingham…
it was a night full of warming, tropical visuals, funny stories and a lot more dancing than I expected at a George Ezra concert.
Before Ezra came on stage, we were treated to one of the best support acts I have ever seen – Sigrid. Sigrid is a 22-year-old pop singer, heralding from Norway, most known for her singles ‘Strangers’ and ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying’. I may come across as slightly biased here, as I did love her before I watched her live, but when Sigrid performed, it was nothing short of a spectacle. The venue was probably the fullest I have ever seen one for a support act and once she came on stage, it was instantly clear why.
She danced across the stage whilst effortlessly laying down soaring pop anthem, one after the other. Her vocals were clean, pitch perfect, and backed by an equally talented backing singer who provided some stunning harmonies. Throughout her stint on stage, she showed her charm, telling the audience of how excited she was to be in Nottingham, not only because she was supporting George Ezra, but because it gave her the opportunity to see one of her best friends, who studies in the city.
If you came to the show and missed out on Sigrid, or if you just missed out on the concert as a whole, fear not. Sigrid has just released her first debut album – ‘Sucker Punch’ – and will be returning to the UK on her own headline tour. She will be performing at Rock City on November 24th, so don’t miss out on this extremely talented Norwegian singer.
By the time George Ezra came on stage, the crowd was alive. After being treated to the talents of Sigrid and engaging in a stadium wide sing-a-long to Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, the excitement for the main act to start was palpable.
Opening with his song ‘Don’t Matter Now’, Ezra promised a lively, and animated show, injected with stunning visuals and humour. At some point between Sigrid and Ezra coming out to perform, the stage had been decorated with lamps, plants, and a gramophone. The windows adorning the back wall of the stage, that had simply been white outlines during Sigrid’s performance, were now windows that looked out on beautifully colourful landscapes.
Despite the large venue, the concert felt strangely intimate, helped along by the cosy set design and Ezra’s stories between songs. He described the influences behind songs and where he was when inspiration struck, including the story of how he missed out on travelling to Budapest and thus bore the song ‘Budapest’. His character, though somewhat gentler than others, was definitely not lost in such a large venue.
Ezra performed a mix of songs from both his chart-topping albums, displaying his range through slower, more ballad like songs such as ‘Hold My Girl’ and more upbeat songs like ‘Paradise’ and ‘Shotgun’. He even, unexpectedly to me, showcased a more rocky-style tone to his voice during an amped up version of ‘Did You Hear the Rain?’. The whole show was balanced perfectly between songs that had you dancing and singing along carefree, and those that had you affectionately swaying whilst taking in the beauty of a stadium all singing along to a heartfelt ballad.
The show was aided along by a brilliant band, including a mini brass section and an enormously enthusiastic piano player. The introduction of the brass players was something I enjoyed immensely, with a whole section of brass music being added during the song ‘Blame It On Me’ being one of my favourite parts of the whole show. Not only did it add a whole new sound to the music, but it gave Ezra himself some time to dance around on stage.
Overall, the show was incredible. The vocals were strong, and backed by a talented and vibrant band. The set and visuals played off the stories that Ezra was telling of his travels to Spain, across Europe, and beyond. It was simple, never too showy and nothing more than a showcase of talent, which is exactly what I wanted. George Ezra’s Staying at Tamara’s tour definitely has my stamp of approval.
By Robbie Nichols