By Lauren Good, Second year English and Classics & Noah Bouchier, Second year Geography
Self proclaimed social media prince and sunglasses aficionado Lewis Capaldi played to a sold out O2 Academy earlier this week, off the back of the realease of chart topping debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, earlier this year.
His debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, matched his online success, spending six weeks at number one. It placed number two in the respective chart, behind the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman. His song, ‘Someone You Loved,’ has also been named the biggest song of the year so far. Bristol can count itself lucky that it booked Lewis Capaldi. His global success has seen him sell out his upcoming 2020 arena tour in the UK. This could certainly be thanks to his online following, considering his 4.1 million Instagram followers would fill the O2 Academy 2,400 times over.
Those lucky enough to get a ticket packed into the venue, awaiting the space to be filled with the Scot’s unique personality and songs of heartbreak. As we joined the audience, the first thing we noticed was the sheer capacity of the crowd. People were crammed in, vying to get a glimpse of the stage. All at once, the enthusiasm of the audience became clear when Lewis walked on stage. He received applause for every move he made and egged this as much as he could… and a bit more. A five-minute interlude included him acting out various sports, encouraging the crowd to cheer him on.
It was hilarious, but not something we had ever seen before. He gave a plectrum to a girl celebrating her fifteenth birthday before warning her life went downhill at sixteen and proposed a fight with a heckling man at the back of the room. The gig would quickly change from a comedic, almost pantomime-esque extravaganza to songs about extreme heartbreak. We didn’t know which mood to stick with, so just went along with the ride. And that ride was certainly interesting. When Lewis wasn’t miming a hammer throw or golf drive, the room was swept over with the vocal-driven ballads he is so famous for. Even if people weren’t a fan of his comedic interludes, no one in the room could deny that he is a very talented artist. His singing just seems effortless.
Seeing him live enforced the extraordinary difference in his personas as both a human and singer. It is difficult to get your head around the fact that a young man who is famous for his escapade with a blocked toilet in a hotel can be capable of such deep feeling. But this is probably naive. We can forget that famous personas are human and, therefore, multifaceted beings.
If his online fame could be proven by anything, the crowd already knew all of the words to ‘Before You Go,’ a song that had been released for just a week. In fact, they knew it so well they could carry the chorus as he stepped back from the mic. It is hardly surprising. The song has already had millions of views and streams across the digital world. It was certainly a night to remember, ending with the GRAMMY winning track ‘Someone You Loved.’ As the first few chords played, the room lit up with phone screens. If the proxy for a successful pop artist in the modern day is the number of phones out recording a gig, then Lewis wins it - hands down.
Featured Image: Lauren Good/Epigram
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