After waiting more than a year for Sam Smith to bring his In The Lonely Hour Tour to Adelaide, Tuesday night was the city’s night to host one of the world’s most popular singers. Although the night was a little chilly, ironic for the first day of the Australian summer, fans turned up in droves to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena intent on seeing both Sam Smith and his supporting act Emma Louise.
Since I hadn’t been to a pop concert before I wasn’t sure what to expect, which was why the amount of fog that filled the venue confused me. That is until Emma Louise took to the stage and the light show began. Before the show, I knew nothing about this up-and-coming artist but early on it was clear that she has an amazing voice. Her tone is quite soft and what I would describe as ‘pretty’, but her intonation and ability to jump from mid-range to high-range is what caught my attention. Probably my favourite song that she performed was called My Head Is A Jungle, it was catchy because the lyrics and the melody memorable. However, I found that her songs sounded very similar. In my opinion, she needs to branch out a little and find more diverse inspirations and bring them into her style.
At a quarter to nine, it was finally time for Smith to take the stage. After what felt like five minutes of rapturous applause, he started his set. The first thing I noticed was that although he was right there onstage, my eyes were drawn to each screen on the sides of the stage where a close up of his face featured. I think I did this because his songs are so emotional and his facial expressions really accentuated every little feeling his songs have.
To introduce two of his songs, Smith recounted his inspirations. The first was a tale we’re all familiar with, drunk calling someone and admitting feelings that are normally hidden. This was the explanation behind one of my personal favourites: I’ve Told You Now. For the only song on his debut album that wasn’t about love, Money on My Mind, Smith explained that it developed from an anger that sprung from an encounter with a writer that was only in the business for money.
Before going to this event, I wondered how Smith was going to make at least part of the concert upbeat. Since almost all of his songs are quite emotional, arranging them so they could be danced to would be difficult and potentially problematic. Smith actually ended up mashing some of his songs together with classic dance hits like Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The thing that I loved most about this choice is that Smith let his extremely talented back up singers take over during these moments. Although this is probably because he was uncomfortable with performing that style of music, I as well as the rest of the audience were impressed by his backup singers’ abilities to fire up the audience.
All in all, it was a great night. It even ended early, which I’m fairly sure is rare for a pop concert these days. I think Sam Smith and his band are extremely good live. You could tell by the way they performed on stage that they gain such enjoyment from their careers. Even though my opinion on this one is extremely biased because I absolutely love Sam Smith’s music, I’ll give his concert 9/10.
Also, here’s a little video of Make It To Me from the concert, recorded by my sister!