So it’s a little past 1am. I start work in just under seven hours, yet I’m sitting in bed with my lamp on, earphones in, my laptop open and my phone playing videos on repeat from tonight’s show. Sleep is not an option right now. I have to watch these videos over and over because I just don’t want the night to end.
That’s the kind of feeling I want to have when I go to a concert. I felt something similar after leaving Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour at The O2, that was pretty amazing. This however? This was just indescribably special.
I’ve been listening to Tom Odell for years now. I know the words to his songs off by heart. I can hum every tune, maybe even play one or two of them (amateurly of course) on the piano, definitely sing all of his songs to you. There just isn’t a musician that I adore more than Tom. I think he’s so talented. His musical abilities, his voice, the words and feeling he puts in to his songs. He produces real music and not a lot of artists do these days. It’s so easy to get to the top of the charts nowadays but it’s not easy to do what artists like Tom Odell do.
When I listen to his music, firstly, I find it so relatable. His songs always tell a story and they do so so poetically. As a writer, I can’t not pick up on this. I love the way he pieces song lyrics together, the words are just so carefully plucked and they flow together in a very magical and enthralling way. There is no exclusivity here by the way – you don’t have to be a writer to pick up on this. Secondly, the way he plays the piano. I love hearing the piano. I love playing the piano myself and I find him to be such an inspiration. The musical arrangement of his songs is such that it feels like his fingers just run and dance along the keys. It’s the kind of music you hear and want to learn to play yourself. Thirdly, he’s so simple! It’s just him and his piano, singing about real life. He doesn’t try to be anything he’s not. He just produces raw, beautiful music and I love it. I’ve probably said this before but he is definitely my favourite musician.
Having said that, I never really thought that I would get to see him. Most of my friends don’t actually listen to the same music as me, only a select few. I thought I’d have to drag my mum or my sister along to one of his concerts. That’s no fun! It’s no fun when you go to a concert with people that don’t know any of the songs or don’t like any of them. You want to be with people that are going to sing along too, people you can turn to and get excited about each song with. So thank god my uni besties made the time to come and see him tonight with me. I can’t thank them enough, it’s literally been the highlight of my year so far!
Tom had such a unique energy on stage. I noticed that he uses the sustain pedal with his right foot and taps his left foot along as he plays the piano. You might think that watching a pianist live might be a bit boring. That they’d just be sat there the whole time. But even when he was seated he managed to bring this electric energy to the room. He hit every single note. His songs have notes that fly sky high and notes that he holds for years. Well he held them for even longer during this live show and his voice didn’t falter once – I was in awe. You know those people that sing with every feeling in their bodies? That’s Tom. You feel every word he’s singing. He paints the whole story with just his voice and it’s so mesmerising to watch.
He also had some funny moments with the crowd. There was a moment during his performance of Wrong Crowd where he tried to whistle and ended up laughing. Which made the crowd laugh too (obviously, because we’re all super fans and if he laughs we laugh too) and then he told us all to whistle along too! He then started playing Fur Elise randomly (which was really special for me because it was one of the first piano pieces I ever learned how to play) which was amusing but actually really beautiful too. He was really interactive with the crowd. He even took a rose off one of the fans in the standing area – who later fainted!
And there was a really special moment where he explained that London, being his “adopted hometown” is a really special place for him. He said he asked his manager to take a saxophonist on tour with him and his tour manager told him that they would only be able to take one on one of the shows as they’re really expensive. And he chose his London show because it’s so special to him. Which obviously made it even more sentimental for all of the fans that came tonight, knowing that we’re one of the only shows to hear the songs played with a saxophonist. He also described his upcoming album Jubilee Road, which I’m pretty sure is out in two days (I will be patiently awaiting my copy to arrive in the post) as “a love letter to this town” – so beaut.
He played almost all of my favourites – which wasn’t difficult because I truly love pretty much every song he has ever released. I was really hoping that he’d play Concrete which he did. It was such an intimate performance, he had the whole crowd singing, clapping along and even let us sing to him at one point. He also played Supposed To Be and I Know, which are two of my favourites off his first album. Then he played Sparrow, Somehow, Magnetised and Wrong Crowd off the second album.
Even when it was time for him to go, he kept asking us if we wanted to hear one more. You can tell that he loves what he does. I would have been happy for him to play every song he’s ever written. I really would have been happy to stay all night, never mind the fact that I have work tomorrow. These are the kind of experiences in life you want to have. The kind of feelings you want to feel and the kind of memories you want to hold on to forever.
If you ever get the chance to see him live, you will be mesmerised I have no doubt. This was the best show I’ve ever been to! All of the videos I took from tonight’s show can be found on my IGTV – @thetanyatales_ – and were shot on a Samsung S7.