Review of Sam Smith Glasgow Gig
A short time after seeing Sam Smith perform at the Brits (and stand not so far away from him in the urinals) it was welcome news to hear that Sam Smith was playing in Glasgow. Obviously a little too far for me, so we sent Sarah, one of Scottish chums up to see him.
Sam Smith really endeared himself to his scottish fans. He is so charming and knows how to say all the right things. Very early on Sam told us “I’m so glad to be back in Glasgow” a real crowd pleasing thing to say and the engagement never stopped.
He also told us that last time he was here he played in front of about 100 people. I really think he played somewhere pretty big recently, but lets not ruin a nice piece. After all, Sam Smith’s rise from collaborating on others tracks to being a main attraction and winner at this year’s Brit Awards is nothing short of remarkable. This success has been culminated by becoming the only artist to sell a million albums both side of the pond last year, thanks to his mesmeric debut album The Lonely Hour.
Music Eyz gave The Lonely Hour a bit of a lukewarm reception when reviewing it. Kind of expecting a bit more. But maybe we just were expecting more from the hottest ticket at the time. In all honesty, I wasn’t blown away by the album, but I did like it. It just seemed to have a bit of a confused place in contemporary pop music.
So it is understood that the gigs in Glasgow, that kick off his huge tour, were booked some time ago. Hence the reason an unusual starting leg and perhaps not the biggest venue Sam Smith could command.
Whilst in a previous paragraph I questioned the album, my excitement at seeing Sam Smith was not tarnished. I accepted his amazing talent and had heard many people say how great he is live. So to get him in the relatively modest O2 Academy is a great treat.
As mentioned earlier the crowd were lapping him up, his charm and what felt like conversation were great and showed the maturity of the man as a performer. His voice was huge and there were times when it felt like the roof would need to be raised. Throughout, despite the volume, it never felt forced and Sam was always in control of his vocals and the performance, despite it being such a huge performance.
The band that accompanied Sam’s vocals were brilliant as well. Five piece group playing what felt like complex compositions but may well have been very simple. The sound was incredible and boosted by the presence of the amazing gospel-style singers.
The only frustrating thing from a personal perspective was the behaviour of the crowd. There was nothing awful, violent or ridiculous about them, they just adored Sam so much, their noise was at times deafening and stopped maximum enjoyment of the performance. But that is a ridiculous criticism as they were enjoying themselves so much. Sorry I am justifying it, but the screaming was annoying.
The performance also brought about smartphone gallery again. As the room readied itself for, perhaps, the biggest soulful number of recent times, Stay With Me, the darkened, ambient feel was blurred by a sea of lights form phones. Won’t you all stop this?
So some minor criticism of my fellow gig goers, but an incredible, emotional and energetic display from Sam Smith. You must see him on his tour.
Review by Sarah Emery