Music Reviews

George Ezra @ Rock City

As someone who loves being known for being punctual, if not early, to literally everything, arriving 20 minutes early to Rock City and having to queue around the corner and into the adjacent car park, even I was shocked by Notts’ love for George Ezra.

With 2 hours to wait until George braced the stage himself, he made sure that the waiting crowd were not left without entertainment; providing a playlist bursting with what can only be described as certified bops. I’m talking Snoop Dog, B*Witched and S-Club, the night was guaranteed to be good. Besides, even if it wasn’t, the playlist was enough to get me going.

“Think soulful and heart-wrenching pop infused tracks”

Opening up for Ezra was Lily Moore, a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Brighton, who hones the vocal likeliness to artists such as Christina Aguilera and Jorja Smith. Think soulful and heart-wrenching pop-infused tracks and you’ll get there. Talking about how it was her second time at Rock City and how she was going to miss having her breakfasts in Notts (she’d had it three days in a row), it was evident that she was content, if not a little overwhelmed, to be opening up the show.

Launching the show with the ever-rowdy crowd favourite, ‘Cassy O’, the crowd became even more vocal than before when they were busy jamming to S-Club… if that’s even possible. Talking about how he was going to showcase a mixture of established hits and new songs, from his number one album, he moved seamlessly into ‘Get Away’ and had the crowd singing along despite it only being a week old, but more on that later.

“The crowd seemed to have the lyrics imprinted in their brains”

Showing off his baritone vocals, Ezra moved through the likes of ‘Pretty Shining People’, ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Don’t Matter Now’, allowing the crowd to showcase their lyrical knowledge and ability to carry the carnivalesque vibes of the brass ensemble into their dancing – a feat which impressed him very much. Knowing the lyrics to a newly released album is remarkable, let alone when the majority of the crowd seemed to have the lyrics imprinted in their brains. If George was ever in the market for any new backing singers, then I’m sure he’ll be bound to linger outside Rock City.

In between each song, Ezra was keen to engage with the audience,  telling us the stories behind each of his musical masterpieces. ‘Paradise’ was written after having been sick touring the west coast of America and ‘Budapest’ after getting drunk off of a strange man’s rum whilst watching Eurovision in a Swedish park, fyi.

“Ezra divulged the crowd with his version of ‘These Days’ by Rudimental”

Returning to the stage following the encore, Ezra divulged the crowd with his version of ‘These Days’ by Rudimental, a cover which he first premiered in the Live Lounge some weeks back. Needless to say, the crowd loved it, with the swinging rendition making the perfect introduction for the tranquil ‘Leaving It Up to You’.

Of course, the big finale came with ‘Budapest’, the song that ostensibly has brought Ezra where he is today. Despite being his biggest hit, its coherence with the rest of the set proves how George’s discography goes far beyond those singles that are picked up by the radio and is rather a vocal masterpiece.

Considering Rock City was so packed I thought it may have been a borderline fire-hazard, it is explicit that George Ezra is certainly on the rise. If having two number one albums doesn’t speak enough for itself then maybe his future Wembley date might. Who knows where he is heading next, but from my predictions it’s only upwards from here.


Lucy Robinson

Image courtesy of Lucy Robinson

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