Sunday night was a far cry from the last concert I attended, AC/DC at Wembley Stadium.I booked tickets for Key103 Summer Live to see Rita Ora, but she’d already cancelled. I was not the demographic or target audience for the rest of the billing.
I arrived at Manchester Arena an hour early with two excited eight year olds and their mum. Huge fans of pop music, we entered an arena with 14000 people and the girl’s jaws hit the floor.
Minutes to wait before the lights went down. Key 103 DJ’s Mike and Chelsea welcomed the crowd and we were off.
James May started the evening, with mellow melodies, looking like Johnny Depp with a wide brimmed hat, long hair and skinny jeans. Laid back and quietly confident. This man will go far if he finds his market.
Mr Probz, who I wasn’t familiar with, on next, looking nothing like the preview video.
Ella Eyre, bounced on stage, sporting a one piece blue bodysuit and trainers, demonstrating the talent she showed while doing vocals for Rudimental, setting her up for a career in her own right. Watch this girl cos you won’t see her for dust. She is on her way up.
Talented producer Mark Ronson ended the first half with a DJ set and flame throwing pyrotechnics. The little girls said “That DJ man was a bit boring”.
During the interval the Dance Cam caused hysteria, competitions were announced, and spot prizes given out. I looked round and found someone older than me in the audience.
The second half started with a world news exclusive, during Little Mix’s sound check, Rixton boyfriend of Jesy, had proposed with the help of Ed Sheeran.
Lawson, a boy band, even I’ve heard of, looked cool and were rewarded with even more screaming.
Alesha Dixon, wowed the crowd in her boots, shorts and poncho, playing Mis-teeq’s ‘Scandalous’ which even I recognized.
Then came Stereo Kicks , who announced their split that weekend. They wandered on stage, struggled through a few numbers with little coordination, and less inspiration. They knew they were warming up for the main act. The girls sat down as they realized it was yet another band that ‘wasn’t Little Mix’. Stereo Kicks won’t be missed, with the girls announcing they were just yucky boys and there were too many of them.
Little Mix came on to thunderous applause and screaming, their set, the longest of the evening came in at 30 minutes. Fireworks, flamethrowers, streamers, and confetti cannons marked the end of a super-funkadelic, fab, fun, groovy evening for all the divas from 8 to 35
I think I got an idea of what the next generation of gig goers were going to be letting themselves in for.