Riding a wave of chart topping success and award wins in the past year, Sam Smith is nearing the end of a three month tour which took him to Manchester Apollo last week.
Sam’s set began with Life Support which reverberated around the venue from behind the curtain, garnering screams from the crowd. As the curtain pulled back it revealed the extent of his star-quality makeover, he looked slim and stylish. The set design was simple, with Sam front and centre and his band and backing singers behind him on a pyramid of platforms, and they were a talented group, delighting the audience with musical interludes whenever Sam stepped off stage.
Not only was Sam’s voice even more superb than it is on his phenomenal debut album ‘In the Lonely Hour’, but it was enhanced by his relaxed stage manner, and his personality came across very well. Moreover, we were treated to the personal meanings behind the songs he had written, calling the album his “diary”, he explained that the origins of his songs ranged from drunk-dialling, to heartbreak and his experience of the music industry. During Restart, he taught the audience a little step side-to-side dance routine so that we could groove along with him. Likewise in songs such as La La La he had the audience sing the hook back to him.
The highlight was definitely a stripped back version of Good Thing, Sam and his pianist taking the song back to its roots, and showing us just why his stunning voice has earned him such acclaim. He closed the show with Stay With Me, which had every audience member singing along, and finished to deafening applause, grinning and waving to the crowd.