Following the bands' announcement that four UK shows had to be postponed due to “unforeseen logistical and technical challenges”, we were a bit sceptical about the tour itself. Having seen the show at the Metro Radio Arena, we completely understand now the issue of such challenges and why the band are so dedicated to upholding the quality of the show.
From start to finish it was a visual spectacle, combining the use of lights, smoke, staging and additional band members to create a wide contrast of atmospheres throughout the whole show. Kicking the night off with ‘Guiding Light’, ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘Babel’ the band were situated on the long platform stage centred in the middle of the arena performing with fans from all angles. Moving on to ‘The Wild’, the lighting rig lowered, creating a mellow atmosphere while a ten-piece band filled the arena. The audience was then invited to participate by using their phone flashlights to construct a wave of light around the arena as the growing energy behind the first single, ‘Believe’, from Wilder Mind filled the arena.
The use of the stage and lighting to create a specific atmosphere was most effective during ‘Ghost That We Knew’ and ‘White Blank Page’ as the band were accompanied by a solo violin; gathered on the side stage platform with only low lighting creating an intimate atmosphere bringing everyone in the room ever closer to the band’s intimate lyrics. The use of coloured smoke during ‘Ditmas’, the pyrotechnics and the use of video for ‘Picture You’/’Darkness Revealed’, followed by piercing guitar solos elevated the performance further. The contrasts between songs continued to keep everyone on the edge of their seat, neither prepared to either get up and dance or sit back, relax, and take in the atmosphere. Maggie Rogers, who supported the band, brought beautiful harmonies, energy and an incredible atmosphere to ‘Beloved’ winning over the hearts of everyone in the room.
The encore rounded the whole experience perfectly, including crowd favourites such as ‘I Will Wait’ and ‘Timshel’, culminating with ‘Delta’, the title track from their new album. Throughout the entire performance the members of the band were on top form, showing no signs of fatigue or boredom; giving their all to every song and not once becoming overpowered by the grandeur of the whole thing. It is definitely a must-see experience!