REVIEW: The X Factor Live at LG Arena, Birmingham
Love it or loathe it, The X Factor is unavoidable. It’s all over mainstream media, be it magazines, newspapers or television; and pretty much every other artist in the chart seems to be a by-product of Simon Cowell’s talent show empire.
If that wasn’t enough, to remind us there isn’t a calendar day remaining which hasn’t in some way been stamped by the Syco media machine, The X Factor Live Tour has begun sweeping the nation’s arenas in much the same way Britain’s Got Talent is once again invading everyone’s TV screens – and this weekend saw Birmingham being given a full dose of the telly stage spin-off.
The city’s LG Arena was virtually sold out with audiences showing up in throngs to support their favourite acts from last season. A three step platform filled the stage along with oversized LED screens, giving the crowd flashbacks of the original television show.
Taking part in this year’s tour are Amelia Lilly, Marcus Collins, Misha B, The Risk, Johnny Robinson, Kitty Brucknell, Janet Devlin, Craig Colton and of course, the winners of the televised contest, Little Mix.
Amelia Lilly kicked off the show with Ain’t No Other Man, settling Birmingham into the mood for the night. Her rendition of Since U Been Gone was a personal highlight of mine. Marcus Collins had audiences in the palm of his hands with his loveable grin and infectious personality while Misha B brought a bit of urban street style to the show with a cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
Meanwhile, Kitty Brucknell flew high above a company of backing dancers in the hope of providing fans a feisty but genuine tribute to Lady GaGa’s The Edge of Glory. The Risk, Craig Colton and Janet Devlin all held their own, with equally elaborate, bold and passionate performances; whereas Johnny Robinson was everyone’s little guilty pleasure as he performed camp production numbers of his highlights from the programme.
Headlining the night was Little Mix, re-performing songs from the series such as ET, Beautiful, Superbass and their debut single Cannonball. They belted out songs as they flew above the audience’s heads and performed slick dance routines.
There is a lot to praise about the show including the use of special effects which utilises everything from trap doors, dry ice, flying dresses, flying performers and enough pyrotechnics to give any firework display a run for its money – all providing the show with a great visual element.
Of course, with all the glitz and glamour of the arena show, it’s also important to mention the backing dancers who stole the show in their own right. Performing in virtually every song (with a new costume change each time) they had more stage time and more routines than any of the contestants and fulfilled that role incredibly effectively.
VERDICT: If you love the programme, see the tour. If you loathe the programme, still see the tour as you’re bound to have a good night and come away feeling content with a performance of good vocals, slick dance routines and a memorable visual display.
GALLERY: The X Factor Live 2012 | Photographs: Carlie-Ann Hare