Gig review: Sam Smith at O2 Academy Leeds

Sam Smith
Sam Smith
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One of the UK’s hottest new stars, Sam Smith, continued his sell out UK tour at the O2 Academy in Leeds on Friday (October 24).

And the city’s delighted crowd appeared to have made a good impression on the 23-year-old, who announced on stage it was the “best night of the tour so far”.

Granted, it was only the second date but it seems Leeds has set the standards for the rest of the tour.

But first hitting the stage as support act was rising star Tori Kelly who was quite the crowd pleaser with her stunning, soulful sound.

Tori performed songs from her upcoming album including Paper Hearts and Dear No one. With just a guitar and her effortless voice, she treated the crowd to a faultless, intimate performance.

Anticipation grew as Sam prepared to hit the stage, with a dramatic violin solo building up the atmosphere within the room. He opened with the upbeat EP track Nirvana which got everyone up and dancing. Sam interacted with the crowd throughout the show, giving background stories to songs such as love of his inspiring the song I’ve Told You Now.

He thanked the crowd for getting his debut album In The Lonely Hour to number one, making it the fastest selling album this year. He also spoke about the influential people who inspired him to pursue singing such as Whitney Houston – whose track I Wanna Dance With Somebody he later covered.

Stand-out popular songs with the crowd were Lay Me Down, Money On My Mind, Latch (his slower-paced version, rather than Disclosure’s) and the Naughty Boy feat Sam Smith track La La La, which he encouraged the audience to sing along with.

All four songs had out of their seats and at one point, the screaming crescendo of the crowd proved so overwhelming to Sam that he took a step back to take it all in.

But he saved his trump card for the encore- with number one hit Stay With Me receiving the biggest reaction of the night.

Many described Sam Smith’s debut album as depressing - a point he acknowledged himself on stage, saying he preferred to think of it as ‘brave’ - but his gig was far from it. His pitch-perfect voice, capacity to get the crowd dancing and ease of interaction made for a fantastic live show.

And with a sell-out debut tour, there are going to be some happy fans over the coming weeks. The future certainly looks bright for this young soulful artist.

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