Soundchecked: McFly (Live)

Southampton Guildhall- 18/10/10

Rating: 9/10

A year ago, I’d never have imagined I’d be standing in the crowd at a McFly gig, chuffed that I’d found a pick on the floor, singing along to an alarming number of songs. Now, I can’t imagine a better way to have spent my evening.

Not only did McFly stay on stage for much longer than a lot of bands normally do, they also filled their time with an array of really good songs.

© Angus Marriott

Rolling out single after single, I was amazed by the variation in the songs on show. Taking on influences such as Bruce Springsteen and The Beach Boys (that I could pick out), it really was a treat to the ears, one that caught me very much off guard.

I’m normally pessimistic about pre-release shows, and my only criticism of the evening was the amount of new material that featured. Of course, singles “Party Girl” and “Shine A Light” were unavoidable, but in places some of the oldies may have worked that tiny bit better.

Far from all the obvious criticisms of ‘boy bands’ not playing or singing live, I can in fact confirm this show was live. Right down to the tiny missed string, that maybe happened twice at most. Not bad for a first night on tour, certainly an indication of just how good the band is.

With vocals wailing out from both Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones, it was hard to know whom to focus on, but that was irrelevant. There seem to be no superior players or singers in McFly- instead they are all fantastically talented, and eager to let everyone know it.

© Angus Marriott

As they moved through the obvious singles, such as “5 Colours In Her Hair” and “One For The Radio”, you also get to witness the maturation of McFly, from the sugary-sweet popsters of yesteryear, into the rugged rockers that were onstage in Southampton. Musically and lyrically, the change is there for all to see, and this went hand in hand with a professional performance, that made things look all too easy.

When we were treated to acoustic guitars for ballads“Falling In Love”, and “All About You”, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the sea of swaying arms from young fans, old fans, female fans, and male fans. It’s as if McFly are everyone’s guilty secret; the adoration from the entire crowd was easy to see.

By the time parting shot “Shine A Light” had ended; emphatically, and received by a tsunami of screams, I was in no doubt that I’d witnessed a very special show. This was just a few classics shy of a perfect show, but I’m not going to hold that against McFly, I can’t wait to see them again.

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