George Ezra - Manchester Arena
A dark stage, with huge lamp shades casting an inviting warm glow to small portions of the stage, Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger fills the arena, the entire room is singing alone. Towards the end of the song 06:58 appears on the two screens either side of the stage, changing to 06:59, a minute goes by, 07:00. Alarm bells ring. Greg James’ Radio One wake up call bellows through the arena, and George Ezra runs on stage, arms open wide. The entire room screams, Ezra jumps straight into Don’t Matter Now.
The energy was high from the first step Ezra laid on that stage, the room was full of excitement and adoration. Large windows with changing graphics were the back drop for the night, allowing the audience’s imagination to create a feel of Tamara’s house in Barcelona where Ezra wrote his last album Staying at Tamara’s. An image you couldn’t help but create in your mind after Ezra told the audience about his month long stay in Barcelona, as well as performing the song Barcelona.
Ezra announced early on that the set list would be a mix of songs off both Wanted on Voyage and Staying at Tamara’s, something the audience seemed pleased about based on the huge cheer that followed.
Changing the tempo to one of his latest hits Pretty Shining People, had the whole audience singing back to him, “Don’t we all need love? The answer is easy”, everyone in the room was there and focused on the show. An array of faces both young and old has their eyes focused on George as he moved around the stage with bouncing energy.
The set list switched between his upbeat songs as well as his calmer songs. The mix summer energy from his catchier songs, against the more thought provoking lyrics that challenge a deep reflection among those who pay attention to the darker messages within the lyrics, had the room on a rollercoaster of energy. What never differed was the level of energy Ezra put into every song, raw and pure, he exposed his music to the hundreds of people there to listen and was gifted in return with love and energy from his fans.
Photography by Holly Elizabeth Beson-Tams