Most of the time, when an artist pays a visit the O2 Academy in Brixton, it’s a part of nationwide tour to showcase their talents. This time round, Tom Grennan decided to do things against the grain and took to the stage for a one-off performance. Weirdly that’s not the most unusual part, as for no doubt the first time in his career, Grennan played to an empty crowd. The way 2020 has been makes that seem like just another ordinary event, but that’s exactly why Tom Grennan had no-one singing back the lyrics to him. Due to the ban on public gatherings as a result of the pandemic, the industry has had to adapt its operations, and the quick thinking brains behind MelodyVR jumped on to the opportunity to offer an exclusive online performance from the man himself. The crowds may not have been there in person, but thousands of fans tuned in online to hear crowd favourites, recent releases and upcoming tracks that had never been heard before.
Gracing the stage with his usual cohort of instrumentalists and back up singers, Grennan lit up the stage with his casual yet stylish suit and vest combo. Some might have been concerned about the lack of production going into an online gig, however right from the start it showed that no corners were cut. Light, lasers, and huge screens all helped to create the illusion that this was just like any gig you’d been to before, not one that you were watching from the comfort of your home. Not only did the set production impress, but also the engineering behind the live stream itself. MelodyVR worked behind the scenes to give viewers every opportunity to fully immerse themselves in live music again, and the certainly delivered. Fans were given the option to watch the gig from all different angles giving a full 360-degree experience, something the Tom clearly loved, singing down every camera he could with every new line.
As expected, the music itself was nothing short of fantastic. Over the years Grennan has managed to develop a reputation for bringing his soulful indie vibes to the stage in unmissable performances across the globe. With the promise of a new album on the horizon, speculation rose around the prospect of new music taking over from the old, but a return to the stage like this one wouldn’t have been right without the songs that sent Tom into the limelight. A steady opener of songs from Lighting Matches was nicely split up by his latest release Amen, which will soon have fans losing their voices over the lyrics when allowed back into venues. The energy carried on throughout the hour and half set, creating a real-life buzz with every song whether it be old or new, it’s just a shame there were no fans there to finish off the atmosphere. Classics included All Goes Wrong and Sober mixed in with a never heard before track titled, I Don’t Need A Reason, producing an almost perfect setlist which would’ve been hard to alter without leaving many fans disappointed.
A Friday night in was certainly the best option last week has once again, Grennan lived up to the hype. With ever growing excitement around his new releases and the sophomore album Evering Road dropping next year, his Brixton performance was just enough to tickle fans taste buds and keep them keen for what’s to come. Whilst it could be questioned whether a gig is really a gig without a crowd or pints of beer being thrown in the air, Tom Grennan gave us the best we can get at the moment, and the efforts made by him and his team really made it feel like things were just about back to normal.