English singer Tom Odell is currently touring the US on his ‘No Bad Days’ tour. His performance at Webster Hall in New York City was sold out, which I feel is a sign of the international success to come. The venue was quite small, with only a capacity of five hundred people; however, this meant that the concert was incredibly intimate. The concert opened with another English singer, Barns Courtney. Only having recently released his EP, Courtney is fairly unknown. However, his short acoustic set really showcased his incredible voice and gorgeous songs. While his style is slightly different to Odell’s, Courtney effortlessly set the tone for the evening.
Odell filled the close space with his high energy performance of his perfect mix of slow ballads and his more upbeat songs, with the lighting complimenting his set perfectly. As Odell sat at his piano, playing the first few bars of the song, a single, white light shone on him. Then, as the song reached the chorus, the four band members joined in and the stage lit up in shades of blue, pink, purple, and red. His performance was especially energetic; he moved around the stage, sang to every corner of the room and ended up singing to us from on top of the piano.
Odell’s set was made up of songs mostly from his new album, but not forgetting his singles from his first, Long Way Down, such as ‘Grow Old With Me’ and ‘Hold Me’. He finished his main set with ‘Another Love’, which was very popular with the crowd. Then, he finished his encore with his second and arguably most popular single from his newest album Wrong Crowd, called ‘Magnetised’. The set was brilliantly arranged, as it could have been difficult to move from a slow piano ballad to an energetic pop song, but Odell did it seamlessly.
An important element of the concert that separated it from others I’ve been to, is how much Odell engaged with the audience. Not only did he speak about his album and about being in the city, but he sang to individuals, held their hands while performing and crouched down to sing directly to the front row. Clearly, he genuinely cares for what he is singing about, and obviously appreciates his fans. Perhaps it was due to the venue being so small that he was able to get so intimate, but whatever it was, it created an extraordinary atmosphere and an unforgettable night.
Tom Odell will be touring the UK in November, with his London show taking place on November 13th, and Barns Courtney will be at XOYO on November 30th. If you get the chance to see either of them, I would highly recommend it, you won’t be disappointed.