The Vamps, Genting Arena, Birmingham - review
It was the homecoming gig fans of The Vamps had waited a year for.
So when Brummie frontman Bradley Simpson announced “it’s good to be home”, it really did feel like the whole of the arena was behind him.
Walking into the Genting Arena for the four-piece’s Night and Day Tour, it was as if coachloads of school girls had just somehow ended up in Birmingham.
So it was no surprise when, as the lights went down moments before the show opened, a frenzied racket of screams boomed throughout the venue.
We must have been waiting just a matter of minutes for the boys to appear but the nervous energy from the young eagerly waiting girls was just bouncing around the arena.
All eyes were on drummer Tristan Evans as the screens fell to the ground and he brought the stage to life with his fluorescent red drum sticks.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Brad, James McVey on guitar and bassist Connor Ball soon popped up onto the stage with their beaming smiles, which were definitely infectious and helped the good vibes flow all evening.
The arena was suddenly packed with teenage fans donning their sunglasses for song ‘Shades On’, while an appearance from American singer Maggie Lindemann for ’Personal’ and her own top 10 hit ‘Pretty Girl’ went down a storm.
‘All Night’ – their 2017 release with Matoma which only peaked at number 24 in the UK charts – actually seemed like the best way to close the gig.
As a self-proclaimed lover of pop music and with my teenage sister in tow, I thought maybe I would know at least some of the tunes on the set list, even if not all. But it didn’t seem to matter once the band hit the stage – whether you knew the lyrics or not, you couldn’t help but find yourself swaying along.
Just as the band said during their show, it was surprisingly warming to see mums and dads - who had obviously been roped in to chaperone their young children - awkwardly but happily bopping and singing along.
As a proud Brummie, I always get excited and feel very patriotic whenever I come across someone from my neck of the woods – and watching Brad, who hails from Sutton Coldfield like me, I felt just that.
From their humble beginning five years ago when very few knew their name to now, The Vamps seem to be crossing generations with tunes you’ll catch yourself singing hours later.
So from one Brummie to another, Brad, I salute you and the band. It was, well, a lot of fun.