Yesterday we travelled up to Manchester for the opening night of The X Factor 2012 live tour, and frankly we weren’t left disappointed! Here’s our review of the live concert show, with plenty of spoilers!
Those who have been to X Factor tours before will be familiar with the format, which hasn’t changed this year: All the singers bar the winner take it turns to come out and perform a song or two, then the winner will perform a six song set, followed by one last group performance.
Given the tough task of kicking off the show this year was 17-year-old Amelia Lily, and despite looking tiny in the vast 21,000 capacity MCR Arena, she pulled it off with style. Belting out Christina Aguilera’s Ain’t No Other Man and dressed in an Avril Lavigne-inspired pink tutu, the teenager looked every inch of the professional popstar on stage.
Liverpudlian Marcus Collins was next out and kept the energy going with an on-point performance of Moves Like Jagger, the first of five songs from the runner up.
The Risk seemed to struggle, and were by far the most forgettable act of the entire show, filling time until Janet Devlin performed her first number of the evening. The red haired Irish singer did exactly she what she did best, standing still and alone in the centre of the stage singing an emotional cover of Sweet Child Of Mine.
Kitty Brucknell was next out, and the cheers for wacky singer far outweighed any of the acts that had gone before her. The brilliantly mental performer didn’t disappoint, recreating her performance of Sweet Dreams from the live shows, which sees her enter spinning on a giant wheel. The 27-year-old’s powerful voice effortlessly filled the arena, in stark contrast to the rather quiet Janet whose style suits a more intimate setting.
Craig Colton was next up, providing some more filler before Misha B, who was performing in her home town. Kicking her set off with a performance of Rolling In The Deep (remixed, of course), Misha initially seemed to struggle to get the crowd on her side.
The teenager then took the chance to say a few words to the audience, dedicating her next song – Jessie J’s Who You Are – to “all the big dreamers”.
The last of the performers to make an appearance was Johnny Robinson. The screams for the cheeky Londoner were the biggest of the night – aside from those when a One Direction video played during the intermission – which still surprises us.
Johnny’s first track of the night was Kylie hit Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, performed with the same Japanese/oriental theme as on the live shows. This was shortly followed by a completely different performance in the form of That Ole Devil Called Love, with the 45-year-old simply singing in a smart suit in the middle of the arena on the B-stage.
Amelia Lily was on again next and quickly had the audience on their feet as she rocked out to Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone, performing in the crowd itself before ending up at the end of the main stage. Showing she could tackle the slow numbers too, Amelia went on to wow with China In Your Hand.
Marcus then matched Amelia’s energy with a two song medley of Reet Petite and Higher and Higher, together with Amelia, the pair were by far the standouts from the finalists and could easily have headlined their own shows.
After the intermission, Misha was back out on stage with a much better performance than her first two, singing Proud Mary followed by Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which certainly had most of the audience on their feet.
Marcus then returned with an uplifting performance of Hey-Ya on the main stage, complete with a large jet as seen on the live final last year. He followed this with the first performance of this debut single, the first time an X Factor star has performed their material on the tour. Travelling between the main stage and the B-stage via the crowd, Marcus performed an impressive dance routine whilst continuing to say on top of the vocals too.
Kitty was out next to perform her favourite song from the live shows, even if she had only sung it after pinching the microphone off Dermot O’Leary! Kitty’s take on Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory saw her rise above the arena on a small pedestal as an ever lengthening trail to her dress filled the stage.
After starting, Amelia finished the set for the finalists with her comeback track Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, proving once again what a performer she is.
It was then time for winners Little Mix, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The group leapt onto the stage through trap doors where they performed their own unique cheerleader-esque chant to kick off their six song set.
Starting with You Got The Love, the group quickly had the crowd up on their feet. The four girls then strapped themselves into swings for a more stripped back vocal performance with Beautiful, before pumping up the bass with Nicki Minaj hit Superbass.
Then came the highlight of the evening as Jade, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Perrie performed Katy Perry’s ET as they floated across from the main stage to the B-stage over the audience, dangling from wires and performing a mid-air dance routine as they went.
Once on the other side, the group kept the energy going with by far their best song, En Vogue’s Don’t Let Go, spinning around on a giant turntable in the middle of the arena.
The group finished, probably contractually rather than through choice, with their winner’s song Cannonball. The four girls rose on the turntable above the crowd once more to end their set to huge cheers which were thoroughly deserved.
Unlike in previous years, the encore performance was not of the charity single (thank God), but rather a mash up that had featured in the show’s final. Featuring tracks such as Edge of Glory, On The Floor, Moves Like Jagger and Party Rock Anthem, it was a great number to end on and Kitty no doubt loved getting in the last word!
By far the stand out acts of the night were Little Mix, Marcus and Amelia, who all very much showed they deserved their place in last year’s final. We’d have loved to have seen more of Kitty rather than Craig or The Risk, who could have quite easily not been there, sorry guys!