Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportMusic.

Leona Lewis gig review

Rachel Winterbottom rides the wave of Leona Lewis ballads and comes out feeling refreshed

Written by . Published on June 9th 2010.

Leona Lewis gig review

With stage school experience, uncanny good looks and a voice to rival Carey and Houston in their heyday, Leona Lewis walked the final stages of her X Factor, her shy-girl-made-good shtick paving way for the SuBos of the future. And then, just as her fans were waiting with baited breath for their chosen one’s sure-fire Christmas number-one, she throws them a cover and jets off to America in the mêlée.

Despite it being another cover, Lewis sang ‘The first time...’ as if her voice was a soothing balm to all of life’s hurts. It could even make a cynic feel overcome.

Queue a J Records deal and a second single – ‘Bleeding love’ - that didn’t come out until nearly a year later, swiftly followed by the release of album Spirit and now Echo. X Factor what? It’s almost like she knew exactly what she was doing all along.

And now she’s back in the UK for her debut tour, The Labyrinth, and the Bowie-esque 80s theme is apparent in the glittering costumes, headband choice and fantastical sets, showing off Lewis’ flair for theatrics (and excellent taste in film).

She also made nature look sexy with her singing in a sparkling tree routine. Although it’s a shame that she sang Manilow’s ‘Could it be magic’ while she was up there, rather than her mawkish Avatar soundtrack song ‘I see you’. When compared to the rest of her set it was strangely lifeless. She was singing whilst lying down, though, and most people can’t do that standing up.

Vocally, she was flawless throughout. But it’s odd that sometimes flawless, much lik0e her note-perfect cover of ‘Could it be magic?’ (where the answer was, sadly, no), can share some of the same characteristics as monotony. There is no doubt that Lewis can sing her socks off, sometimes to the point where even the microphone couldn’t cope with her talent. The sound system occasionally failed to translate the lyrics clearly as she effortlessly belted out each number like her lungs were made out of bouncy castle pumps. This woman can hold notes longer than most people hold conversations.

There was no danger of monotony in Lewis’ covers of ‘The first time I ever saw your face’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘Run’, however. The latter was a walk in the park for Lewis; she seemed to put as much effort into delivering what was a phenomenal performance as most people do singing in the shower. The former was genuinely beautiful. Despite it being another cover, Lewis sang ‘The first time...’ as if her voice was a soothing balm to all of life’s hurts. It could even make a cynic feel overcome.

Between songs, there were times when her interaction with her audience got a bit awkward. ‘Manchester, I got you!’ shouted the Hackney gal before launching into song. And her attempts at encouraging everyone to sing along or clap their hands was often met with a baffled silence, where everyone appeared to be waiting for her to get on with what she was good at. It was nice of her to try though, and it felt good to know that somebody finally got us.

There was no missing Lewis when she was centre stage, but when it came to dancing, the stage presence was provided by her truly excellent dance crew. They echoed the ethereal whimsy of Lewis’ voice, complimenting her haunting vocals as they ghosted through the air on billowing sheets. Lewis didn’t try to sing and dance at the same time, so when it was her turn to swing through the air mid-song, there was no denying the excitement in the audience at the unexpected activity.

During her set and throughout a couple of costume changes, music videos played in the background. They were mostly there to show Lewis running in slow motion, riding a white swan and generally looking impossibly beautiful and angst-ridden. One depicted Lewis frowning thoughtfully at Escher-like staircases. Presumably to add another layer of existential angst to her performance, as if ‘Happy’, ‘Can’t breathe’, ‘Homeless’ and a ‘Bleeding love’ encore don’t hammer the melodrama home enough. She did get one of her best audience reactions from ‘Happy’ though, so hopefully that cheered her up a bit.

Lewis did try and break up the melancholy her songs induce with a couple of more risqué costumes, the energetic ‘Take a bow’ and the video mash-up of ‘They don’t care about us’ by MJ and Kanye West’s ‘Stronger’ (thanks, Glee). I did enjoy her performing a heartbreaking rendition of ‘Run’ whilst dressed in a black bra. Unfortunately, the more up-tempo songs seemed to lose the heart that the majority of Lewis’ songs beat to. There’s no need to dress up what is essentially a low-key set.

No one goes to see Kanye West expecting ballads.

There is something beautiful about a sea of mobile phone lights in darkened arena. Much like Lewis’ pop, you know it’s manufactured and, perhaps, ultimately hollow, but there’s no denying that even the most artificial of experiences can still be something special.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Heather Buchanan

link isn't working for some reason to play the music

 Read more
Heather Buchanan

don't be such a negative troll, post your face and name. There is absolutely such a thing where has…

 Read more
Beast is back

I managed to get tickets to this event and it was mesmeric. Never seen John before but it was a…

 Read more

Going to see John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, cannot wait! Anyone unfamiliar with him have a…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord