(picture from NME.com)
Did it feel better than love? Not really. Was Hurts so good? Well, they were pretty decent, actually.
I was right though. Before going for the show, I'd surmised from the album Happiness that most of the songs would sound A LOT better live, especially since they were mostly SOARING, melodramatic ballads that would sound MUCH better played live and LOUD, instead of the more polished and slightly blander sound on the album. And I was right.
The songs, coupled with the group's presentation made it more than just another boring indie pop band gig. The concert started out cun-cun 8:30pm, with Unspoken, and lasted a little more than an hour, going through 15 songs, including a Kylie Minogue cover Confide In Me.
Songs like Silver Lining, Evelyn, Stay, Blood Tears Gold and Unspoken sounded SO much better than on the album. The soaring choruses, the pounding synth beats and melodramatic performances by lead singer Theo Hutchcroft and synth player Adam Anderson made it a pretty good show. I especially enjoyed the drama on songs like the soaring Blood, Tears Gold and Silver Lining, and the unexpected head-banging session during Evelyn, the only song where Anderson got up and played an electric guitar instead.
But those were not the best part of the concert for me though. Nor was it the expected Stay sing-along (which though good, kinda felt a bit of an anti-climax).
No, the best part of the gig for me was when halfway through the album's hidden track Verona, the back-up singer just BURST OUT into song, his powerful voice overpowering ALL the musicians and putting Hutchcraft's own vocals to shame. The fellow was STANDING STRIGHT the ENTIRE NIGHT, not moving a single muscle except his vocal chords, and when he finally left his post at the end of the encore (Better Than Love), that was when we KNEW that the concert was over (that, and the fact that Hurts had already played every single song on Happiness (barring The Water) and then some, and were pretty much out of songs to sing).
All in all, a decent gig, pretty decent for a band that only has one album to their name so far. At least they didn't make me regret not going for Gruff Rhys instead....