George Ezra has spent years building up his reputation as a singer, frequently playing to rooms filled with a few dozen people who barely know his name. He has certainly worked hard enough to deserve his success at the young age of 21, and has become undoubtedly successful, especially over the last twelve months. George Ezra is currently touring around the UK, performing to night after night of sold out theatres, and the October 20th show was no exception. The Manchester Ritz was filled to the brim with excited fans, waiting to see their musical idol.
George Ezra has developed a very unusual singing style, fooling many people to believe from his voice that he has maturity and experience far beyond that of a 21-year-old. His bluesy, folky style makes him stand out from the crowd, and comes as a welcome change from the amount of pop music that seems to make up the majority of the charts at the moment. He has managed to make a name for himself with older people as well as young, with a versatile, smooth, and easy-going voice that makes him appeal to pretty much everybody.
It would be fair to say that the beginning of the show was slightly underwhelming; he just picked up his guitar and started playing “Cassy O’.” It was perfectly played without one wrong chord, but there was nothing to make it special or memorable. It was as if the audience were just listening to his CD, because he didn’t seem to be putting much of his personality into the song. For the next few songs, “Drawing Board,” “Listen To The Man,” and “Stand By Your Gun,” it was more of the same as he continued to play every note with incredible precision, but without the exciting quality that made so many people originally fall in love with him. He just stood there on the stage with his guitar, but he didn’t look like he was enjoying it. This meant that the audience weren’t getting very excited either.
However, all of this changed when he played his hit single “Blame It On Me.” Suddenly, his eyes appeared to light up, along with the rest of the sold out audience, and the whole atmosphere in the room changed. Everyone began to sing every word and harmony, and that obviously put George more at ease. He started talking to the audience in between songs, and dancing around while strumming his guitar; it was like he was a different person. From that point, the songs just got better and better, ending with an amazing rendition of “Budapest;” the song that managed to shoot George Ezra from pub singer into stardom.
When he returned to the stage for the encore in his very own t-shirt, displaying the phrase “Good girls go the heaven, bad girls go to Budapest,” his performance stepped up yet another level. He began by singing an unusual and unique cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” which had the crowd going wild. The pink lights flashing from the stage put everyone in an amazing mood, and by the end of the song, every single person was screaming the words at the top of their voice. He finished his show with “Did You Hear The Rain?,” which was undoubtedly the best song that he performed that evening. It was just a shame that the concert finished just as the atmosphere had become so electric. I only wish that the beginning of the concert could have matched the standard of his encore.