Sam Smith at Manchester Arena: Review

After selling around 15m albums, winning an Oscar and being known the world over, the highlight of Sam Smith's career came when he visited our lovely city last week and pounded out some of the most powerful and emotionally charged songs one could ever hear.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 6 April 2018

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Sam packed out the Manchester Arena, with more than 20,000 fans hoping to hear him perform songs from his newest album ‘The Thrill of It All’ as well as a few cheeky numbers from his back catalogue.

Supporting Sam was Bruno Major who is a rather attractive man with a fantastic voice. Not only this, but he manages to fit in the singing with being a songwriter, producer and he could probably come around and fix a few lightbulbs around your flat if you needed – he’s almost too talented to like.

Singing his songs though, passionately belting out the likes of ‘Just The Same’, it’s hard not to like him, and with the looks, a great stage presence and a great voice, he’s already doing rather well for himself. In fact, a quick Google reveals that Bruno will be touring extensively throughout the UK and US including a visit to the Deaf Institute on Tuesday 8th May.

Back to the main event now though, and Sam’s entrance on stage was welcomed with some very enthusiastic whoops from all around the arena – and with good reason. Kicking off with the emotionally charged ‘Burning’ Sam had the audience by the scruff of their heart strings and he wasn’t letting go.

There’s no denying that Sam is a very emotive and personal performer, not shy in singing about his most personal thoughts, events and fears. He manages to sneak in an exceptional level of emotion into each song, and you truly feel that this is the first time he’s ever sung and it’s just for you.

Dedicating his single ‘Lay Me Down’ to the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb last year, Sam pretty much had the crowd in the palm of his hand at this point and everyone around me seemed to be enraptured by his talent and passion.

The night reached a crescendo with a final flurry of hits, finishing off with ‘HIM’ and ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’. I must say I have a rather soft-soft spot for ‘HIM’, for it represents a struggle that many LGBTQ+ people must feel when confronted with accepting their sexuality, and the cruel institutions and prejudices people must face. It’s a slap in the face of outdated religions too which is always a plus on my side.

Many people criticise Sam Smith for being a little bit depressing and sad but I would disagree. He’s someone who clearly wears his heart on his sleeve, has a tremendous talent and so why not celebrate and embrace it? We’ve all had periods in our lives where we’ve felt lonely or heartbroken, and sometimes it’s good to share and know that everyone else has felt the same.

Sam is off on a worldwide tour now so if you missed him here, next time you’re on holiday – check his site and see if he’s on.